Grant Thornton hires Brien Desilets to lead Infrastructure Advisory practice

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--()--Grant Thornton LLP has hired Brien Desilets to lead the firm’s Infrastructure Advisory practice in the United States. In this role, he will collaborate across Grant Thornton’s federal and state and local Public Sector and commercial Advisory Services businesses to deliver infrastructure strategy, planning, and financial modeling and analysis solutions to both public- and private-sector clients.

Desilets has more than 20 years of experience in infrastructure finance and management. Most recently, he was managing director of Claret Consulting, a consulting and financial services firm he founded in 2011. Before Claret, Desilets was a senior managing consultant for Public Financial Management Inc., where he advised dozens of U.S. state and local governments on their public-private partnership—or P3—projects, programs and policies.

“Brien is a champion of applying the technology revolution to infrastructure through autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and other forward-thinking approaches,” said Scott King, national managing principal of Grant Thornton’s State and Local Public Sector practice. “He’s worked with a broad network of firms and consultants on projects internationally, but he’s also an active participant in the transformation of his own community of Tysons Corner, Virginia. His addition will help us bring more innovation to the infrastructure advisory services we provide to public- and private-sector clients across a range of industries.”

Previously, Desilets spent nearly five years as an independent consultant. At the Institute for Public Private Partnerships, he led sector assessments, feasibility studies and training programs in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa; for Radian Guaranty and Elliott Management Corporation, he provided early analysis of subprime mortgage defaults. He assessed the feasibility of a National Acquisition Fund for affordable housing developers for the Fannie Mae Foundation. Early in his career, he advised client engineering firms on the pursuit of World Bank contracts and related policies and procedures.

Desilets helped pioneer research on incorporating environmental criteria into financial institution lending decisions in the 1990s. He co-authored a World Bank publication on intergovernmental fiscal relations in Eastern Europe in the early 2000s and was the lead author of the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s Guidebook on Financing of Highway Public-Private Partnership Projects. In 2015, he founded the Silk Road Working Group, which has since organized three conferences focused on delivering infrastructure investment and economic integration throughout Eurasia.

Desilets received a master’s degree in economics from the University of Barcelona and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and economics from The George Washington University.

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