William (Billy) Cobbett is Director of Cities Alliance, a global partnership for poverty reduction and the promotion of cities in sustainable development. As Director. Mr Cobbett initiated a series of corporate and strategic reforms for Cities Alliance, including relocating the Secretariat from Washington DC to Brussels, and which will culminate with the inaugural meeting of the Cities Alliance Assembly in April 2016. Born in South Africa, Mr Cobbett was overall coordinator of Planact, an urban NGO providing policy and technical support to civic organisations and trade unions. He moved to African National Congress (ANC) headquarters in 1992, serving on the National Housing Forum and, prior to the historic 1994 election, the Transitional Executive Council (TEC). In the Government of National Unity under President Mandela, Mr Cobbett was appointed Director General of the National Department of Housing under Minister Joe Slovo. He has a History degree from Middlesex University, London.