With a background in landscape architecture, international development cooperation, and social impact measurement, Jia currently leads a research, analytics, and evaluation team at the City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Division to provide decision-support to improve quality of life for the public. She has a special interest in community development through design, performance measurement, and socio-ecological resilience research. Jia is also a research collaborator with the University of Toronto, working on translating resilience thinking into practical policy and operational priorities.
Jia brings to the City of Toronto a decade of experience in international development cooperation, working in over a dozen countries in the global south on improving organizational and program effectiveness within non-governmental organizations and government agencies. She has worked with Plan International, the World Bank (Asia), Ministries of Health in Tanzania, Mali, Ghana, Bangladesh, as well as donors including Dubai Cares, Global Affairs Canada, Global Sanitation Fund, and African Development Bank.
In Canada, Jia has developed organizational effectiveness strategies for the Ontario Trillium Foundation and created a social impact measurement toolkit for Park People, a public space NGO. She has also worked with Toronto-based design firms Office Ou and the Planning Partnership.