Chiara Passerini

Director of Special Projects

Chiara Passerini

Chiara Passerini is passionate about process. As an anthropologist, she gathers and synthesizes knowledge about the environments she works in to inform everything from Urbane's applied research practice to the systems that support the team's growth.

In her current role, Chiara is dedicated to fine-tuning the mechanisms that enable the team to excel across its practice areas. In addition, she continues to hold one foot in Urbane's ethnographic praxis, leveraging a research-driven and rigorous approach to managing multi-year, multi-stakeholder projects for various clients across a range of issues. Since joining in 2015, she has successfully led engagements with the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, to develop indicators of neighborhood financial wealth; Detroit Design Core, to assess Detroit's design economy and leverage it as a pathway for inclusive economic development; and with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to understand ways in which small businesses can improve the economic mobility of low-wage workers.  

Chiara previously spent two years at Accenture, a consulting firm with a global presence, where she designed innovative digital experiences, including websites and mobile apps, for financial institutions and other Fortune 500 clients. Prior to joining Urbane in 2015, Chiara conducted fieldwork in Mumbai where, in partnership with Slum/Shack Dwellers International, she mapped the inter-generational and informal transfer of knowledge amongst women.   

Chiara holds a B.A. in Arts and Visual Culture from Bates College; an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from University College London; and an M.S. in Public Policy from The New School. In 2019, she held a visiting professorship at The University of Cincinnati's School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She is a native of Italy and currently lives in Seattle, WA, with her husband and son.