Mahesti holds a PhD in urban planning from the University of Tokyo with a dissertation on the institutional implication of the decentralised system on the construction and practice of collaborative metropolitan governance in providing better public infrastructure. She is interested in understanding institutional architecture in the age of transition and how development policies are applied to bridge the gap between social, economic, and environmental sustainability in the Global South. Her current work includes assessing multilevel governance arrangements, policy processes, laws, and the politics to implement, monitor and report the SDGs and Paris Agreement, exploring the ways in which global agendas are translated into national and local development plans, researching gaps and opportunities in delivering socially inclusive decarbonization strategies, and building knowledge on the partnerships and financing for the SDGs and climate adaptation. Her past projects covered SDG localisation, sustainable consumption and production, and renewable energy adaptation in Asia-Pacific and Africa. Before joining UNU-IAS, she spent several years conducting research and consulting in disaster management, regional planning, and housing policies in Indonesia.