Neli Aparecida de Mello-Théry holds a PhD (2002) in Geography from the USP and the University Paris-Nanterre, France. Her main research areas focus on environmental management and policies, urban and territorial management and sustainable development.

Dr. Aparecida de Mello-Théry held several leading positions with state and national governments in Brazil, such as those of Technical Planner in the National Council of Urban and Regional Development in the Housing Ministry and of Director of Research, Science and Technology at the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA). From 1995 to 1999, she led a pilot programme on tropical forest preservation with the State Secretariat for Amazonian Affairs Coordination at the Brazilian Ministry of Environment. She has also been a Public Policy Consultant on territorial management with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Inter-American Institute for cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

Previously Associated Researcher at the Center for Sustainable Development of the University of Brasilia, she is the coordinator of the research group on Public Policies, Territorialities and Society of the Institute of Advanced Studies at the USP. She is the co-editor with her husband of the French-Brasilian Journal Confins.

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