Curriculum Vitae

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Current Appointment

UC Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Department of City & Regional Planning

Research Areas: International Community Development, Planning Theory, Governance and Planning for Diverse Communities


2010 Ph.D., Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles Dissertation Title: The Capability Model of Disability: Assessing the Success of UAE Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 in the Emirate of Dubai
2006 M.C.P., City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley Concentration: Regional Economic Development Master’s Thesis: Inclusive Tourism and Redevelopment in Post-Tsunami Thailand College of Environmental Design, Berkeley, CA
2003 University of California, Berkeley B.A., Political Economy of Industrial Societies, Letters and Sciences B.A., Business Administration, Walter A. Haas School of Business


Pineda, V.S.,. Signaling Rights to the City: The Evolving Transformations of Disability in the Emirate of Dubai between 1980-2013. Urbe-Revista Brasileira de Gestão Urbana (Brazilian Journal of Urban Management). (revise and resubmit)

Pineda, V.S., and R. Gould. Rights Are Not Enough: Beyond the Limits of Disability and Employment Policy. Journal of Disability Policy Studies. (under review)

Pineda, V.S., Meyer,s S., and Karr, V.. Governments Are Not Enough: Disability, Development and the Role of Broad Based Planning. Journal for Disability and International Development. (under review)

Pineda, V.S., 2014. “Enabling Agency: Understanding Deprivations and Expanding Functioning for Adolescents with Disabilities.” in Coming of Age: Reframing the Approach to Adolescent Rights, edited by Jacqueline Bhabha. University of Minnesota Press. (forthcoming)
Meyers, S., Karr, V., and Pineda, V.S.. Youth with Disabilities in Law and Civil Society: Exclusion and inclusion in public policy and NGO networks in Cambodia and Indonesia. Journal of Disability and the Global South.(forthcoming)

Pineda, V.S., 2011. New Media Academy: Digital Storytelling through Universal Design for Learning. VSA Arts: Washington, DC.

Pineda, V.S., 2008. “Enabling Justice: Spatializing Disability in the Built Environment.” Critical Planning Journal15(Summer 2008):111–123.

Pineda, V.S., 2008. It’s About Ability – An explanation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 1st ed. edited by UNICEF. New York: UNICEF Retrieved (

Pineda, V.S., and Cuk. V., 2007. “From Policy to Action: Young people with Disabilities in the European and Central Asian Region.” Rome Conference on Development Report. Washington DC: The World Bank Group.

Pineda, V.S., 2007. “Toward Access and Opportunities: Economic Development of People with Disabilities in San Francisco” in Sustaining Our Prosperity: The San Francisco Economic Strategy, Ted Egan (Ed.). San Francisco: Mayor’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development


Pineda. Inclusive Cities: Governance, Planning, and the Struggle for Disability Rights. (topical interest by University of Pennsylvania Press, requested proposal in preparation for John Lockwood)


Pineda, V.S.. Cities of Illness and Cure: Planning History and the Urban Experiences of Persons with Disabilities. Journal of Planning Education and Research (in preparation, 25 page draft)

Pineda, V.S.. Planning History and the Urban Experiences of Persons with Disabilities: Linkages and Contemporary Implications. Journal of Planning Education and Research (in preparation, 25 page draft)

Pineda, V.S., and M. Dear. “Unlikely Soldiers: The Advent for Disability Rights and Fight for Spatial Liberation” with Michael Dear In Design Radicals, Greg Castillo (Ed), University of Minnesota Press (extended abstracts accepted, full submission in preparation)


2013 Disability, Planning and Inclusive National Development, Supreme Council for Family Affairs Grant: $12,000
2011 Youth Sector Study in Cambodia and Indonesia, Australian Int. Development Agency Grant: $120,000
2011 It’s Our Story Africa: Profiles of Youth with Disabilities, Open Society Foundations Grant: $17,000
2011 International Forum for Youth with Disabilities, Open Society Foundations Grant: $27,762
2011 Youth with Disabilities Convening: Bringing Life to the CRPD, Open Society Foundations Grant: $23,081
2011 Developing and Producing Content for Grant: $22,540
2011 Universal Design for Learning, Curriculum and Development Grant, VSA, Washington DC Grant: $50,000
2010 Innovation in Research Grant, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Washington DC Grant: $20,000
2009 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA), US Dept. of Education Grant: $65,000
2009 Hearne Award, American Association of Persons with Disabilities, Washington DC Grant: $10,000
2009 Sheikh Saud Al-Qassimi Public Policy Research Grant Grant: $60,000
2001 National Science Foundation Business Innovation Grant San Francisco, USA Grant: $100,000


2011 World Institute on Disability Berkeley, CA
Research Fellow
Support WID’s Domestic and International Research Initiatives through the development, execution and dissemination of empirical studies. Developed federal grant proposal for mixed-method study identifying the factors that act as barriers or facilitators to improved participation outcomes for persons with disabilities.
2009 United States Department of Education Dubai, UAE
Fulbright-Hays Scholar, Principal Investigator
Conducted historical, cultural, and media analysis, focus groups, polls, audits relating to UAE Federal Law No. 29 of 2006. Assessed public policies, institutional governance and stakeholder capacity of public sector agencies in Dubai.
2006 United States Department of the Treasury Washington, D.C., USA
Summer Associate and Independent Researcher
Studied consistency of US Treasury’s International Affairs with the Americans Disabilities Act, specifically with universal design in infrastructure loans and inclusive development in policy loans.
2005 Institute for Urban and Regional Development Bangkok, Thailand
Interviewed civic leaders, government officials and concerned citizens on the impact of the tsunami and the role of tourism in their life. Drafted a community driven strategic plan and policies for sustainable development. Attention was given to policies affecting marginalized populations in post-disaster areas.
2004 University of California, Berkeley, Kujacic Endowment, Belgrade, Serbia
Interviewed cabinet-level ministers in the transitional government’s role in facilitating inclusion of persons with disabilities. Emphasis was given to national policy impacting disabled people in post-war Serbia.
2003 National Council on Disability Washington, D.C., USA
Youth Policy Advisor and Researcher
Worked with national civic leaders on congressional policy.  Drafted reports and made recommendations on priority issues to the White House.
2002 Energenz do Brasil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Principal Investigator
Wrote commercialization strategy for renewable fuel company. Managed international team and researched strategic plan for development. Prepared Project Proposal to the US Department of Energy on Environmental Impact Report and Socially Responsible Investment.


2013 Lecturer, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Course City Planning 120: Community Development, Disability Policy in Planning
Developed course on inclusive environmental design with Prof. Michael Dear.  Co-taught the course for two years (2012-2013).
2012 Course UGIS 198: Disability and Professional Development
Co-taught course with Paul Hippolitus. Course was featured in NY Times and is being replicated across the state.
2012 Adjunct Prof., American University, School of International Service Washington, D.C.
Course School for International Service 628: Informing and Evaluating Policy
Developed and taught core mixed methods graduate course.

Course School for International Service 628: Introduction to Disability Policy
Developed and taught summer graduate course.

2009 Visiting Professor, Law and Policy, Dubai School of Government, Dubai, UAE
Capstone Project Advisor for Policy Analysis Course
Advised students on formulating research question, developing research design
2006  Recurring Guest Lecturer, Luskin School of Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles
Course Social Welfare 210: Social Welfare in Diverse Communities
Invited lecturer for mandatory graduate course of Social Welfare. Received highest ratings from students.


2013 “Planning Considerations for Inclusive National Development”. Doha, Qatar: Supreme Council for Family Affairs
2013 “Towards an Accessible, Barrier Free ASEAN Region: Methods and Indicators”. Bangkok, Thailand: Institute on Disability and Public Policy, School for International Service, American University
2013 “Consideraciones Metodológicas Para Promover un Urbanismo Inclusivo (Promoting Inclusive Urban Planning: Methodological Considerations)”. Caracas, Venezuela: Consejo Nacional de Personas con Discapacidad de la Republica Bolivariana De Venezuela.
2013 “Capability Model of Disability Policy”. Toronto, Canada: Canadian Society for Disability Studies.
2013 “Comparative Measures for Disability Policy: A Framework for Implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. Orlando, FL: Society for Disability Studies
2013 “Attitudes Toward People With Disabilities In The Emirate Of Dubai”. Orlando, FL.: Society for Disability Studies.
2013 “Disability City: Assessing Equity in the Emirate of Dubai”. Irvine, CA.: Department of Planning, Policy and Design, School of Social Ecology.
2013 “Towards comparative measures of disability policy: The case of inclusive cities”. Human Development and Capability Association, Health and Disability Thematic Group.
2012 “The Inclusion Imperative: Governance, Security and Post War Reconstruction”. Monterey, CA: Naval Postgraduate School.
2012 “Unlocking Capabilities and Expanding Futures”. Berkeley, CA: UC Berkeley.
2012 “On the Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Development and Foreign Affairs”. Berkeley, CA: UC Berkeley.
2011 “Towards Inclusive Higher Education: Partnerships in International Research”. Seattle, WA USA: Association of Higher Education and Disability.
2011 “Adolescence: Disability and the Human Agency Framework”. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Conference on Health and Human Rights.
2009 “Jumpstarting Inclusive Education in the UAE”. Dubai, UAE: Ministry of Education, United Arab Emirates.
2009 “It’s About Ability: Participation and Choice”. Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA: Prince Salman Center for Disability Research.
2008 “War and Disability, Post-Conflict Forum”. Beirut, LEBANON: Office of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability.
2008 “It’s About Ability: Technology and Independent Living 2.0”. Doha, QATAR: Shafallah Center 3rd International Forum.
2008 “Human Rights – Legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt”. Geneva, SWITZERLAND: United States Mission to United Nations.
2008 “On Citizenship and Educational Reform”. Geneva, SWITZERLAND: 48th Session of International Bureau of Education, UNESCO.
2007 “Social Development in Urban Planning”. Dubai, UAE: Municipal Social Development Authority.
2007 “Media+Messages: Authentic Representations of Disability in Development”. Doha, QATAR: Shafallah Center 3rd International Forum.
2007 “Entry into Force: The Inclusion Imperative and the United Nations Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities”. New York, NY USA: United Nations.
2007 “Evaluative Measures for Assessing Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities”. Sana’a, YEMEN: Save the Children Sweden.
2006 “Accepting Difference Through Expanding Cultures of Inclusion”. Berkeley, CA, USA: Independent Living Center.
2006 “The Medium Is the Message: Communication, Knowledge and Social Change”. Tuzla, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Landmine Survivor’s Network.
2006 “Communicative Justice, Treaties, and Human Rights”. New York, NY USA: Ad Hoc Committee for the CRPD, United Nations.
2006 “Development and the Need for New Alliances”. Sarajevo, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Summit on Youth and Development, World Bank.
2006 “Documenting Community Development of Persons with Disabilities Through Sport”. Tunis, TUNISIA: Association of Disabled Athletes.
2005 “Vulnerable Populations and Reconstruction”. Bangkok, THAILAND: UNESCAP, United Nations.
2005 “Disability in Post-Disaster Redevelopment”. Bangkok, THAILAND: Tsunami Response Team, World Bank.
2005 “Empowerment Networks: Civil Rights and Community Development”. Doha, QATAR: United Nations Office of Special Rapporteur.
2005 “Katrina and Natural Disasters: Inclusive Emergency Planning”. San Diego, CA USA: Graduate School of IR and Pacific Study, University of California San Diego.
2004 “United Nations Ad Hoc Committee to Promote the Rights and Dignity of People with Disabilities”. United Nations.
2004 “Documenting the Undocumented: Hearing the Voices of Persons with Disabilities”. Washington, D.C., USA: International Broadcaster’s Symposium, World Bank Group.
2004 “Understanding Rights and Inclusion”. Oslo, NORWAY: World Congress on Rehabilitation, RI Global.
2004 “Communication, Development and the Media”. Washington, D.C., USA: Disability Development Summit, World Bank.
2004 “The Role of Human Rights In Inclusive Development”. Athens, GREECE: Paralympic Games.
2004 “Voices, Vision, Visibility: Documenting Disability Discrimination in Cuba”. New York: United Nations Headquarters.
2003 “Nothing About Us Without Us: Forging a Agenda in Development”. Paris, France: Summit on Youth and Development, World Bank.
2003 “Spaces of Ability: The Role of Accessibility Standards in the Infrastructure of Global Information and Communication Technologies”. Geneva: Pre-Com 3, Venezuelan Delegation to World Summit on Information Society.
2003 “Testimony at Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Aid”. Washington, D.C., USA: Senator Harkin’s Office.
2003 “Business Connection: What The Private Sector Can Teach Us About Social Inclusion”. Washington, D.C., USA: Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice.
1999 “Expanding Ethnic Studies in the UC System”. Berkeley, CA.


2002 – Executive Director, World Enabled / Pineda Foundation for Youth, Berkeley, USA
2012 Established an international educational non-profit organization that conducts research and training on inclusive design and policy. Directed $1.5 million to disability programs in the US as well as in Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa.


2011 Selected as Doctoral Marshall, chosen to lead the procession of all doctoral graduates of UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
2010 Outstanding PhD Student Award, Luskin School for Public Affairs
2009 Dissertation Year Fellowship, Graduate Division, University of California at Los Angeles
2008 Katherine Fisher Fellowship, University of California at Los Angeles
2008 Will Rogers Memorial Scholarship, University of California at Los Angeles
2008 Fulbright IIE Award, U.S. State Department
2008 Katerine Gouvias Award, School of Public Affairs, University of California Los Angeles
2008 Graduate Research Fellowship, University of California at Los Angeles
2008 Graduate Summer Research Fellowship, University of California at Los Angeles
2006 Jefferson Award 2006 Recipient granted by American Institute for Public Service, Washington, D.C.
2006 Alice Belkin Memorial Scholarship, Burkle Center for International Affairs, University of California at Los Angeles
2006 Graduate Diversity Fellow, University of California at Los Angeles


2013 European Research Council, European Commission Peer Review Evaluator Served on the review committee for urban planning grant application. 2012 The Berkeley Prize, University of California Berkeley Committee Served on the review committee of the international undergraduate prize for architectural design excellence.
2011 Institute on Disability and Public Policy, American University Board member Supported the development of the world’s first virtual Master’s degree in disability policy. Courses incorporate universal design principles, and are accessible to blind, deaf, and mobility impaired students. 2005 California Health Incentive Improvement Program Sacramento, USA Board member Reviewed state and national Medicaid programs, and lowered the barriers to employment for the disabled. 1999 Order of the Golden Bear, University of California Berkeley Fellow For lifelong service to the University


2013. Beauty Factory. Windmills and Giants. New York, NY. (72 min)
2011. Voices of Strength: African Youth with Disabilities Speak Up. Berkeley, CA: WorldEnabled Retrieved ( (50 min)
2009. Jump Starting Inclusive Education in the United Arab Emirates. World ENABLED Retrieved ( (6 min)
2008. Tied in the Wake. (60 min)
2006. Mi Derecho:Educación Inclusiva. Ministry of Higher Education, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. (15 min)
2005. Community Development in Krabi: Post-Tsunami Redevelopment Plan. Chulalongkorn University and UC Berkeley. (8 min)
2004. Faces and Voices of Ability, External Affairs. World Bank. (30 sec)
2003. Broken Balkans. (4 min)
2002. In Cuba, Disabled. (12 min)


Human Development and Capability Association

National Council on Disabilities, International Watch

Global Partnership on Disability and Development

Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities

Global Flagship on Inclusive Education

American Planning Association (APA)

American Public Health Association (APHA)

Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP)


Written: English

Spoken: Spanish, French, Serbo-Croatian

Read: Portuguese, Arabic