Perlman is the President and CEO of the Mega-Cities Project, which she founded in 1988 with the intention to shorten the lag time between ideas and implementation in urban problem-solving. Working at the intersection of poverty, environment and voice for the disenfranchised, the organization has brokered over 40 transfers of successful urban innovations across boundaries of geography, ethnicity and nationality. Research/action teams in cities with over 10 million people across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the United States are hosted by university research centers or non-profit organizations and use leaders from government, business, non-profits, grassroots groups, academia and the media to help identify unrecognized local initiatives. Dr Perlman's work has bridged the worlds of academia, public policy, and the non-profit sector. She has served as a tenured professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley; the Coordinator of an Inter-Agency Task Force on National Urban Policy during President Carter's administration; the Executive Director of Strategic Planning for the New York City Partnership; Director of Science, Technology and Public Policy at the New York Academy of Sciences; the founder and chief executive of a global non-profit organization; and Senior Advisor to the World Bank's Urban Projects Department.