Lida (Meliha) Aljabar leads the Catalyst Initiative, American Forests’ initiative to expand the Tree Equity movement across America. Prior to American Forests, Lida served as Director of Climate Resiliency Planning & Policy at NYC Housing Preservation & Development, where she led initiatives in disaster recovery, climate resilience and affordable housing in frontline communities. Previously, she managed the national Climate-Smart Cities program at The Trust for Public Land, advancing green infrastructure through partnerships and civic technology, and worked as a park planner in the Washington, DC area. Lida is an adjunct professor of community planning at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and serves on the Board of The Greenlining Institute, an Oakland-based racial justice organization. She is an AICP certified planner, LEED Accredited Professional and holds a Master of Urban & Regional Planning, and BA in Public & Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech.