Mahesti Okitasari is a Research Associate at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) based in Tokyo, Japan. She joined the institute in 2014 as a JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Prior to joining UNU-IAS, she also spent several years conducting research and consulting on disaster management, urban settlement, and regional planning in Indonesia.
Okitasari holds a PhD in urban planning from the University of Tokyo. She is interested in understanding institutional architecture in the age of transition and how urban policies can be applied to bridge the gap between social, economic, and environmental sustainability in the global South. Her current work includes assessing multilevel governance arrangements and policy processes to implement the 2030 Agenda, researching gaps and opportunities in the urban development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) nexus, and building knowledge on the partnerships for the SDGs.