Aklilu Fikresilassie (PhD) is the Director of Cities for Africa at World Resources Institute (WRI). He leads WRI’s cities portfolio/work in Africa.

Dr. Aklilu, a qualified Urbanist and Leader, has over 19 years of professional leadership and technical experiences in the field of Urban Development and Management, Environmental policies as well as managing governmental and non-governmental programmes.

Prior to joining WRI, Aklilu spent seven years as programme manager at UN-Habitat and representing the agency in Ethiopia. He worked as Planning Specialist and team coordinator for UNDP in South Sudan. Aklilu served as bureau head for finance and economic cooperation with a responsibility to manage, monitor and evaluate government and NGOs programmes. Further, he was a successful city manager.

In addition to his managerial and technical role, Aklilu is a researcher on thematic areas such as urbanization, environment, water resources and common pool resources.

Aklilu holds a PHD on Environmental policy and Urbanization from University College Dublin; Master of Arts degree in Urban Management and Development (specialization: Urban and Regional development strategies) from Erasmus University, the Netherlands.