Before becoming a consultant, Rae worked as  an urban economist at Wesgro (Provincial Trade and Investment Promotion Agency) and at the City of Cape Town as a Manager: Economic Development for seven years (responsible for various positions including: Policy Analysis, Trade Promotion and Strategic Sector Development) at the City of Cape Town.

Rae was involved in the initial formulation of the South African National Spatial Development Perspective in 1998 when he was asked to write a research paper on the National Economic Importance of South Africa’s Metropolitan Areas. Rae was also part of a team that provided research to inform the development of the 1998 South African Local Government White Paper.

Rae has facilitated a wide range of economic development strategy processes at national, provincial, and local government levels including economic development strategies, trade and investment strategies, red tape reduction strategies, entrepreneurship development strategies, and value-chain / sector development strategies.

Rae has in-depth knowledge of economic development economic assessment and analysis methodologies as well as local economic information sources and has worked with making economic development databases available to the public using internet-enabled technologies.

Rae has been trained in Collaborative Leadership in Regional Economic Development and the Development of Agri-value chains (University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice); Red Tape Reduction and Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA) methodologies (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH or GIZ), the Rapid Appraisal of Local Innovation Systems (RALIS) methodology, as well as completing a Public-Private Partnership Course (Institute of Public Private Partnerships).

Rae has served as a Board Director and facilitated a number of regional sector/ cluster public private partnerships including the South African Oil and Gas Alliance, Calling the Cape (now Business Processing Enabling South Africa), Cape Craft and Design Institute, Cape Manufacturing Advisory Centre , the Western Cape Clothing and Textile Service Centre (Clotex), and the Cape Town Boat-building Initiative (now part of the Marine Industry Association of South Africa).

Rae has also facilitated long term scenario thinking and futures processes in South Africa, particularly at a local community and municipal level to ensure municipal integrated development plans address long term challenges and opportunities related to globalization, climate change, and energy futures. Rae presented these experiences at the first World Futures Society: South Africa Chapter Conference held in 2010: the Fast Changing World of Scenarios and Cities and Towns in South Africa.

Rae has recently published an journal article in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries and containing the findings of a meta_review of the effectiveness of over 75 interventions aimed at promoting the development of small businesses.