Michael Donovan, an expert in urban planning with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), arrived on February 26 in Majuro as part of the Embassy Science Fellows program. Michael will be supporting the RMI Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in its efforts to monitor coastal change through using geospatial analysis, including Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.). He is focusing on building mapping capacity to identify environmental degradation resulting from rapid urbanization and an influx in infrastructure development on Majuro Atoll.
The Embassy Science Fellowship Program facilitates and promotes bilateral cooperation in the fields of science and technology. Begun in 2001, nearly 300 scientists from twelve departments and agencies have lent their expertise to projects at U.S. embassies around the world. This program seeks to build relationships between U.S. scientists and their host country counterparts.
Michael Donovan is an urbanist who is co-chairing a task force that is developing USAID’s new policy for service delivery and urban assistance. Previously, Donovan served as the urban specialist for the Organisation for Co-operation and Development where he provided regional analysis for the 34-country membership and a wide number of mayors. He co-authored 15 books at the OECD including reviews of Copenhagen, Guangdong, Gauteng/Johannesburg, Chicago, Toronto, and Venice. Donovan served as the American Planning Association’s legislative liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives where he helped develop “smart growth” legislation.