Franck Daphnis: A Planner's Pathway to a Career in International Development: Key Trends and What You Need in Your Toolbox

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Mr. Daphnis, MRP '04, is a recognized leader in international development. He currently serves as President and CEO of the Development Innovations Group (DIG), a private international management and consulting organization working primarily in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.  Mr. Daphnis's professional expertise encompasses financial inclusion (with a focus on housing finance), emergency management, urban development, infrastructure rehabilitation, and urban environmental management.  Mr. Daphnis was born and raised in Haiti before pursuing graduate degrees in architecture and city and regional planning in the United States and has worked in more than 40 countries around the world.  Prior to his current position as DIG's President and CEO, Mr. Daphnis was Director of Field Program Management at CHF International (now Global Communities).  Mr. Daphnis has served on the board or on advisory committees for several leading international institutions, including the World Bank's Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP), the City Alliance, and the Self-Employed Women Association's (SEWA's) Mahila Housing Trust.  Mr. Daphnis is the author of Housing Microfinance: A Guide to Practice (Kumarian Press).


This lecture will be practice-focused.  It will aim to provide planning students interested in pursuing a career in international development with an overview of current and emerging trends in that field of work.  Using the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its ecosystem of private and non-profits implementing partners as examples, the lecture will examine how planners can fit and contribute to the practice of international development.  In addition to a comprehensive overview of what he sees as trends, opportunities, and challenges/gaps in the practice of international development from a planner's perspective, Mr. Daphnis will also suggest tools and skills Cornell students should seek to master when seeking successful careers in the sector. The format will be interactive, and Mr. Daphnis will welcome no holds barred questions from all in attendance.

*All Cornell students, faculty, and staff in attendance must wear a mask at all times and show their Cornell ID for admission. 
Those who are not current Cornell employees or students (such as alumni, visitors, guests, parents, community members, third-party event attendees, and others) must provide ONE of the following when arriving at the event:
  • Proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine; OR
  • Results of a negative FDA- or DOH-authorized PCR, rapid PCR, or nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) COVID-19 test collected within 72 hours of the event start; OR
  • An FDA-authorized antigen test was performed on a specimen collected within 6 hours of the event start.
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