Theofilia Gracella (Ella) Sahertian


As an Analyst, Theofilia Gracella (Ella) Sahertian supports AHI’s mission to tackle global housing issues through research, analysis, and consultancy. An Indonesian native, Ella’s interest in affordable housing developed through seeing the impacts of inequitable housing policies on slum dwellers in Jakarta. Through her work, she aspires to promote equity and justice for the marginalized in the housing realm around the world.

Ella first joined the team as an intern in the Spring of 2021. During her internship, she supported the AHI team in upgrading the IFC’s Affordable and Socially Sustainable Housing Application Tool and developed a Health Secure Housing framework that addresses holistic issues of housing with respect to health at multiple scales. Her current work is primarily focused on Solomon Islands’ affordable housing rapid analysis.

Ella recently graduated from Cornell University with a Master’s in City and Regional Planning. There, she conducted various research projects related to informal settlements, public housing, disaster management, and climate resilience in cities in the US, South Africa, India, and Indonesia. She received her B.A. with Honors in International Studies and a minor in Community Development from Covenant College.

Prior to graduate school, Ella worked as a Community Development Research Analyst at United Way of Greater Chattanooga. In this role, she utilized data and GIS analysis to guide policy and advocacy initiatives, including supporting low-income neighborhood leaders solving housing and socio-economic problems in their communities.

Outside of her work with AHI, Ella uses her climate adaptation skills to support resilience initiatives in the US. In her free time, she enjoys photography, cooking Asian food, video-calling her family back home, traveling, and doing outdoor activities including hiking in the Adirondacks with friends. She is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia and English.

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