Rene works as a Programme Manager at the Cities Alliance (CA) Secretariat and is responsible for managing the Joint Work Programme Equitable Economic Growth in Cities, chaired by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Rene holds a PhD in Geography from King’s College London and a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from Humboldt University in Berlin. From 2004-2013, he worked as a policy officer and consultant for the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and advised various urban governance projects funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). As a professional and academic, he is eager to learn more about and share experiences on poverty oriented development approaches in cities and particularly the effectiveness of area-based development approaches to address socio-economic deprivation. He taught urban planning courses at the London School of Economic and Political Science (LSE) and has an extensive research and consultancy experience in evaluating urban regeneration schemes in Europe and slum-upgrading programmes in developing countries.