Gruia Badescu is a PhD Candidate at UCR and a Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar.  Gruia's interests and academic work lie at the intersection of studies of urbanism and nationalism. He holds a MSc degree in City Design and Social Science from the Cities Programme at the LSE and a BA with Highest Honors in Geography and European Studies from Middlebury College, Vermont, USA, where he also worked as a researcher for the Nations and Nationalism: a Global Historical Overview research project with Professor Guntram Herb. Before joining the team at Cambridge, he researched with a National Geographic Society Grant the uses of architecture and urban design in the process of post-war reconciliation in Beirut and Sarajevo and was involved in urban design and integrated urban development/strategic planning for UNDP, the Center for Sustainable Destinations at National Geographic Society, Space Syntax Romania and a number of NGOs in Romania, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. Gruia´s  PhD research is examining the relationship between the reconstruction of cities after war and the process of coming to terms with the past, focusing on Belgrade and Sarajevo.