Dr French is a development practitioner specialising in affordable housing, slum upgrading and community planning in developing countries. His professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) and Masters of Architecture (MArch, research) from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. His research and practice explores the interrelationship between environmental and socio-cultural dimensions of sustainable urban development. He has coordinated capacity development workshops on participatory design of slum upgrading in Kenya and Brazil (‘Change by Design’ 2011). His current portfolio at the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) focuses on the development of normative guides, tools, and knowledge products in three thematic areas: housing policy, slum upgrading, and environmentally sustainable housing.