Matthew D. Glasser

Matt Glasser Urban Law and Policy Analyst

Urban Law and Policy

Matthew Glasser is an urban law and policy analyst who advises governments interested in supporting cities’ ability to finance urban infrastructure. He serves on the International Advisory Committee at the Centre for Land Governance, Indian Institute of Human Settlements. Mr. Glasser has over forty years experience working in municipal law and finance, including as lead urban specialist at the World Bank for over eleven years, senior municipal finance specialist at RTI International for nine years, and as a city attorney for nine years.

While serving as a lead urban specialist at the World Bank, Mr. Glasser worked to develop innovative approaches to manage, measure, and harvest the development knowledge the Bank produces. He has worked with national and local governments in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria, to support reforms to utility pricing, communal services, and municipal finance systems. In addition, he developed new laws for municipal borrowing and financial emergencies in South Africa, and addressed municipal finance and urban issues across Africa through the World Bank. Since leaving the Bank, he has continued to advise South Africa’s National Treasury. 

Mr. Glasser earned his J.D. from Cornell University Law School and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado. He continues to teach law school courses on the relationship between law, justice and development, and seminars on municipal finance and borrowing, urban law, and urban land issues. 


Areas of Expertise: 

Municipal Finance, Local Government Law, Urban Infrastructure and Services, Land Titling and Governance, Land Use and Zoning.

Organizations Assisted: 

World Bank; Centre for Urban Law and Finance in Africa (CULFA); Centre for Land Governance at the Indian Institute of Human Settlements; RTI International (formerly Research Triangle Institute); National Treasury of South Africa; PADCO

Countries Assisted: 

Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Swaziland, Uganda, India

Previous / Other Positions:

Lead Urban Specialist, World Bank; Director for Municipal Law and Finance, Centre for Urban Law and Finance in Africa (CULFA); International Advisory Committee, Centre for Land Governance at the Indian Institute of Human Settlements; Fellow of the South African Chair in Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability, North-West University Faculty of Law; Adjunct Professor, Washington College of Law, American University


J.D., Cornell University Law School; M.B.A., Executive MBA Program, University of Colorado; B.A., Political Science (cum laude) University of Colorado


“Municipal Finance Systems and Processes: Reflections on Current Issues in India,” for upcoming book, Constitutional Local Government @ 25: The Future of Urban Governance in India, Centre for Law and Policy Research, 2019; Sub-Saharan Africa chapters, “Subnational Capital Markets in Developing Countries,” Mila Freire and John Petersen, editors, Oxford University Press, 2004; “Reflections on Study Space Cape Town” Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy, Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth at Georgia State University College of Law, Volume 1, Issue 1, May 2017;“Urban Law: A Key to Accountable Urban Government and Effective Urban Service Delivery,” with Stephen Berrisford, The World Bank Legal Review Volume 6, March 2015; “Land Use Law and the City: Toward Inclusive Planning,” The World Bank Legal Review Volume 5, November 2013