Thierry Paulais is an Urban Planner and Economist. He started his career in consulting firms and then worked with companies providing advisory services to local governments. He later joined the Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC), the French financial institution that funds, inter alia, public housing and urban planning. At the CDC, he headed a team handling urban project loans to financially distressed municipalities. In 2000, he was hired by the Agence française de développement (AFD) to head the newly-established Urban Development Division specializing mainly in the provision of financing to local governments, either directly or via financial intermediary refinancing. In 2008, he joined the Cities Alliance Secretariat in Washington DC as head of a research/publication program on financing Africa’s cities. Upon his return to France in 2012, he was hired as the Deputy Director of AFD’s Africa Department.