Editor’s note: Genie Birch, elected in 2014 as chair of the World Urban Campaign, is a prime activist-connector on today’s international cities scene. She regularly travels the globe, speaks on city themes at a constant flow of conferences, and thinks strategically about the role of cities and their future. At the University of Pennsylvania, where she is the Nussdorf Professor, she is the founding co-director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research. She’s been a member of the New York City Planning Commission. And she’s creator of the Global Urban Commons, a Penn-run directory for urban researchers and practitioners worldwide that fulfills an idea born at the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2007 Global Urban Summit in Bellagio, Italy. Her most recent book (with Susan Wachter and Shahana Chatterjee), Slums: How Real Estate Markets Work, will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press this fall. Here’s her full bio.