Gruia has worked in the fields of local development, urban design and regeneration, with a focus on post-socialist and post-conflict contexts. A graduate of Middlebury College (USA) and of the MSc in City Design and Social Science at the London School of Economics (UK), his experience ranges from working for the National Geographic Society in Washington DC to the UNDP, the World Bank, as well as together with NGOS and public administrations in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Romania. Gruia has a particular interest in urban post-conflict recovery and he won in 2008 a National Geographic Society grant to research the role of architectural reconstruction in post-war reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Lebanon. Concerned about what he saw as rapid deterioration of urban and rural landscapes in his native Romania, Gruia returned to Bucharest in 2009, where he was involved in the drafting of the city center’s Integrated Plan for Urban Development, as well as in other projects addressing urban and rural regeneration, including national audits of public spaces and integrated urban development. He is now a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, researching the process of coming to terms with the past in architectural reconstruction. He maintains strong links to Romania, where he joined a team of local development specialists in creating the Romanian Centre for Innovation in Local Development.