Haussmann began his work in public administration in 1831 when he was named the secretary-general of the prefecture of the Department of Vienne at Poitiers. From that point on he worked his way up through the administrative ladder eventually obtaining a post as the Prefect of the Yonne Department one of the largest public administrative departments in all of France in 1850. That same year Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, the first democratically elected president of France and nephew of the famous Napoleon I, began work on a new project to connect the Louvre to the Hotel du Ville by extending the Rue de Rivoli east. This project went incredibly slowly and was not completed by the time Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte's term as president had ended in 1852. Napoleon then staged a coup-d'etat naming himself the emperor of France. Since he was such a popular president this move to the throne was not widely contested. Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, now Napoleon III continued his plan to extend the Rue de Rivoli, however he became increasingly frustrated with its slow progress, so he fired the Prefect of the Seine in charge of the construction, a man named Berger, and hired Georges-Eugène Haussmann to replace him on the 22nd of June 1853, tasking him with improving the health, traffic and aesthetics of Paris.
"It was Monsieur Haussmann who impressed me the most. It was a strange thing, but it was less his talents and his remarkable intelligence that appealed to me, but the defects in his character. I had in front of me one of the most extraordinary men of our time; big, strong, vigorous, energetic, and at the same time clever and devious, with a spirit full of resources. This audacious man wasn't afraid to show who he was....He told me all of his accomplishments during his administrative career, leaving out nothing; he could have talked for six hours without a break, since it was his favourite subject, himself. I wasn't at all displeased...It seemed to me that he was exactly the man I needed to fight against the ideas and prejudices of a whole school of economics, against devious people and skeptics coming from the Stock Market, against those who were not very scrupulous about their methods; he was just the man. Whereas a gentleman of the most elevated spirit, cleverness, with the most straight and noble character, would inevitably fail, this vigorous athlete....full of audacity and skill, capable of opposing expedients with better expedients, traps with more clever traps, would certainly succeed. I told him about the Paris works and offered to put him in charge."
-Victor de Persigny (Napoleon III's Minister of Interior Affairs who interviewed Haussmann for the position as Prefect of the Seine Department.)