|| IRG Staff
Asif M. Shaikh, President, is a widely recognized authority on the links between economics, governance, and rural production systems, as well as on environmental policy, poverty alleviation and population. A frequent lecturer at universities and international forums on the development challenges of societies in transition, Mr. Shaikh has experience in more than 35 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and North America. MA, Economics, Columbia University; BA, Economics, Yale University. Languages: French.
Benjamin S. Farrah, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has over 20 years of experience working in a government contractor environment. He served as the chief financial officer and treasurer for an international software engineering firm and an information technology services firm, and he worked for several years as an auditor with the Defense Contract Audit Agency, where he received the 1985 Special Service Award. MT, George Washington University; BS, Accounting, Christopher Newport University.
Cynthia K. Pflugh, Executive Vice President and Director of Corporate Development, has 20 years of international development experience. Since serving with the Peace Corps in the mid-80s, she has focused on marketing, recruitment, corporate communication, and other business information systems design and implementation. She has field experience in Asia and Africa. Graduate coursework in Political Science, Organizational Development, and Information Systems; BA, International Relations, US International University.
Doug Clark, Senior Vice President and Director, Environment and Natural Resources, has more than 30 years of experience in international economic development, including 27 years with USAID. Mr. Clark's former positions include chief of party for the Environmental and Natural Resource Policy and Training project; associate mission director for agricultural resources, USAID/Egypt; and director of the Office of Technical Resources, USAID/Thailand. MPS, International Development, Cornell University. Languages: Thai.
Timothy R. Knight, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Relief and Reconstruction, is a recognized authority on crisis and conflict/post-conflict management and disaster relief. Over a 25-year period, he has organized responses to complex situations in more than 50 countries. Mr. Knight formerly served as assistant director of USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, overseeing emergency assistance and reconstruction programs in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. From 1993 to 1997, he managed the US government’s $240 million humanitarian assistance program in former Yugoslavia. He also served as chief of staff for the International Commission on Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Languages: Spanish, French, and Croatian.
Ewa Szajner, Director, Energy & Environmental Management, brings 30 years’ experience in energy efficiency and district heating, with outstanding project management skills gleaned through assignments for the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and numerous other donors. Ms. Szajner has worked as a program manager and energy efficiency expert for a variety of World Bank, EBRD, and EU-funded projects as well as for private companies throughout Europe and Asia. She recently worked as Procurement Specialist for the World Bank’s GEF Second Beijing Environmental Project where she conducted an Energy and Environment Study, and worked on-site as energy efficiency and district heating expert, and as energy conservation specialist. MS, Sanitary Engineering, Technical University of Gdansk. Languages: Polish.
Sylvia Megret, Vice President, Corporate Development, brings over two decades of experience in strategic and innovative business operations planning and implementation, business development, and project implementation for USAID and other donor-funded programs. Prior to joining IRG in 1999, Ms. Megret served as Project Specialist with the USAID-funded POPTECH project, overseeing the planning and management of complex consulting assignments for the design and evaluation of USAID's worldwide reproductive health programs. Ms. Megret has worked in Brazil, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, and France. MA, International Development, American University; BA, University of Michigan, Political Science. Languages: French.
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Joan Ablett, IRG’s Communications Director, brings over 25 years of experience in development assistance, outreach strategies, media and government relations. She specializes in the design and implementation of public affairs strategies and programs, media outreach and writing and editing publications. Ms. Ablett has significant experience in the energy and natural resources sector, having developed and monitored strategic communications and outreach plans for projects dealing with reform in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Eastern Europe. Most recently, she trained outreach employees at Pakistan’s energy distribution companies and is collaborating with the field communications teams on the creation, implementation, and management of customer outreach strategies focused on energy and utilities. From 2003-2005, she served as USAID’s Public Affairs Officer in its Afghanistan Mission. Languages: French.
John Acree, Senior Manager, brings two decades of experience in humanitarian assistance, post-conflict stabilization, and rapid-response reconstruction and reconciliation projects. His keen leadership in complex and high stress environments has led to several project implementation successes for public and private organizations. While serving as the Director of USAID’s Stabilization Office in Afghanistan, he managed the $1.6 billion stabilization program portfolio while simultaneously acting as the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) Country Representative. He has also developed disaster risk reduction strategies and annual country plans for OFDA’s six international offices. MA, International Public Administration/Development Management, Monterey Institute of International Studies. Languages: Spanish.
Glen Anderson, Senior Manager, has extensive professional expertise in environmental policy, strategic planning, and institutional strengthening in developing and transitional countries. Dr. Anderson has worked in senior consulting positions for USAID, the World Bank, and OECD-funded programs and is an IRG senior policy advisor under the EPIQ II contract. Recently, he worked in Romania on USAID projects dedicated to conducting analyses of the financial and environmental costs of natural disasters, reducing agricultural pollution, and strengthening environmental management. PhD, Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Leslie Anderson, Manager, has more than 30 years of professional experience in design, development, and implementation of international educational projects, communications, community outreach, and advocacy. Mr. Anderson has served as Program Officer for the Bureau for Latin American and the Caribbean at USAID, Director of US Career Development Programs at the Institute of International Education, and Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Baghdad. MS, Reading Education, University of Southern Maine; BA, Government/History, Beaver College.
Fabian Arellano, Senior Manager, is a disaster relief expert who brings more than 25 years of experience in disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation. He is an innovative manager with a deep understanding of project tools and management. While serving with the OFDA Relief and the International Federation of the Red Cross, he led disaster relief efforts throughout Latin America including with the Centro de Coordinación para la Prevención de los Desastres Naturales en América Central. He additionally served as the Interim Program Manager for OFDA’s Regional Disaster Assistance Program advising on risk management activities, training design, first response, and emergency planning programs. BA, Administration, University of Cartagena. Languages: Spanish and Portuguese.
Patrice Beaujault, Manager, is agricultural development specialist who brings nearly two decades of experience in small- and medium-scale irrigation, capacity building, and business development projects throughout Western Africa. In Mali, he served as the Country Representative and the Director of Agriculture and Enterprise projects for several USAID-funded projects. In this capacity, he managed a program to increase incomes through market-led livestock and co-developed and won several projects focused on supply chain development in the region. MA, Agricultural Engineering and Technologies, Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs des Travaux Agricoles. Languages: French and Spanish.
Marie-Ange Binagwaho, Manager, has more than 30 years of experience in organizational development, knowledge management, strategic planning, program management, and communication. She has worked in nearly 20 countries applying her expertise across development areas including energy, education, and economics. With IRG, she has managed the implementation of KDMD’s Assessing and Learning mandate. MA, University of Pittsburgh, Public and international Affairs. Languages: French, Spanish, and Kiswahili.
Nada Bright, Manager, brings more than 10 years of experience in project management as well as training and research for projects primarily focusing on energy-related issues. While serving as a Senior Program Officer, she designed, supervised, and delivered training materials and capacity building activities under the USAID-funded People, Energy, and Development IQC. Her experience also includes the preparation and monitoring of project budgets and financial reports in compliance with USAID and Department of Energy regulations for the Pakistan Energy Efficiency and Capacity Project and India Energy Conservation and Commercialization Project. MA, International Commerce and Policy, George Mason University. Language: French
Stephanie Broughton, Manager, is a talented project manager who combines capacity building and grants management expertise with more than a decade of experience on transition initiatives in the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. Prior to IRG she was the Start-Up Deputy Chief of Party on an USAID/OTI-funded earthquake recovery project in Haiti, successfully overseeing all programmatic aspects and promoting stability creation and the restoration of public services. She was previously contracted by USAID/OTI to review the strategic development on a Haitian conflict reduction and prevention. M.Phil, Conflict Management, University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Languages: French.
Dillon Case, Manager, is a conflict resolution expert with eight years of experience in turbulent locations including Kyrgyzstan, Darfur, Southern Sudan, and Kosovo. His work has focused on internally-displaced people for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Kyrgyzstan and with the International Organization for Migration in Sudan. In these capacitates, he provided technical backstopping and training for safety assessment and advocated for protection issues to government officials and other stakeholders. LLM, International Human Rights Law, University of Essex. Languages: Russian.
Marc Cassidy, Senior Manager, is a democracy and governance specialist with nearly 20 years of international development experience. He has held several prominent positions with USAID-funded projects in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Eastern Africa, having served as Country Director for an open government and anti-corruption project in Bulgaria, interim Chief of Party for a legislative support project in Jordan, and Chief of Party on legislative strengthening projects in Kenya and Uganda. MRP, Urban and Regional Planning; MA, Latin America and Caribbean Studies, State University of New York at Albany. Languages: Spanish, Swahili, and Portuguese.
Divina Chingcuanco, Chief of Party (Philippines), is an international energy expert with more than 25 years of experience in energy regulation, power sector reform, energy efficiency, renewable, and clean energy development. For the past decade, she has provided exceptional technical advice to USAID, US Department of Energy, and energy regulators across Asia. As Country Director for the USAID-funded Sustainable Energy Development Program in the Philippines, she successfully promoted and implemented the sustainable development of alternative fuels and renewable energy, as well as regulatory reforms such as the Biofuels Act. Ms. Chingcuanco has also served as a power sector consultant in Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Pakistan. MBA, Ateneo Graduate School of Business. Languages: Tagalog.
Michael Curry, Chief of Party (Costa Rica), OFDA/LAC, is an accomplished project manager and skilled expert in disaster management and mitigation, risk management, democracy and governance, and economic growth. Under a cooperative agreement with USAID/El Salvador, Mr. Curry provided leadership and technical/financial management to the Earthquake Recovery Program to enhance emergency management and disaster mitigation capabilities nationwide. Prior to IRG, he served as the Chief of Party on the USAID-funded Strengthening Democratic Linkages Program in Uganda where he coordinated project start-up and oversaw the selection of 10 working districts and the development, coordination, presentation and approval of the first year work plan. MBA, International Management. Languages: Spanish, Portuguese.
Mohit Dayal, Manager, brings more than a decade of experience in planning, managing, and coordinating logistics and administrative systems. As Senior Project Coordinator of USAID’s ANE Personnel Support Contract, he administered project and program support to personnel based in Washington, DC as well as those deployed to Iraq. He also served as the Administrative Coordinator for USAID in Baghdad, where he coordinated the processing of legal documents and the design and implementation of fundamental operations systems. Prior to his management of this contract, he contributed to the research of taxation policy, monetary policy and banking laws, and assisted the design of policy initiatives for the Kelso Institute in Washington DC. BS, Finance, Rutgers University. Languages: Hindi.
Philip J. DeCosse, Food and Livelihood Security Practice Director, has combined practical experience in directing agricultural and natural resources field programs with monitoring and analysis of those activities. He is now completing an edited volume on his work with Bangladeshi partners on forest co-management during the period 2003-2009, and has earlier written and published on resource governance, monitoring and environmental assessment. He has worked for 19 years for IRG, both in DC and over three long-term positions in Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Bangladesh. He holds a MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a BA in Philosophy and English from Georgetown University, and speaks four French, Spanish, and Wolof.
Michelle DeFayette, Senior Manager, has worked for more than 15 years in training design, facilitation, and intercultural communication and management with nonprofit organizations and the US government. She specializes in staff training programs for disaster assistance including emergency operations and planning, cross-cultural communication, and development. She was formerly Director of Training for the National Association of Community Action Agencies and Training Specialist for the Peace Corps. MA, International Communication, American University. Languages: Portuguese.
Dieynaba Diallo Bah, Senior Manager, has 20 years of project management experience with expertise in financial management, personnel procedures, and general administration. Prior to joining IRG, Ms. Diallo Bah has coordinated the management of numerous USAID and other donor-funded projects in Africa and the Caribbean. She also coordinated daily interactions with USAID field offices to ensure grants management and compliance agreements. MS, Business Management, University of Maryland; MS, Economics, University of Paris X. Languages: French, Wolof.
David Douglass, Manager, brings a decade of international experience in managing global assignments and USAID contracts focusing on political transition, transparency, conflict resolution, and disaster relief. He has spent several years managing projects focused in the Latin America region, including a USAID-funded project that strengthened and fostered transparent democratic institutions in Bolivia. In this capacity, he oversaw budgeting, accounting, recruitment, fielding, and compliance with USAID regulations and reporting requirements. He also volunteered with the Peace Corps in Paraguay, establishing various trainings and workshops. MA, International Relations, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; BA, Government, Cornell University. Languages: Spanish and Guarani.
John Richard “Dick” Dumford, Chief of Party (Pakistan), is a renowned energy engineer with more than 30 years of wide-ranging experience in the energy sector in developed, developing, and reconstructing economies. He has worked for private and public organizations in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Afghanistan. With a decade of experience on USAID-funded projects, he has overseen billions of dollars in technical assistance, construction, and procurement for international development projects. From 2003-2009, Mr. Dumford spent six years as IRG’s Energy Sector Advisor for USAID-funded projects in Iraq, where he oversaw a $2.1 billion portfolio to strengthen the generation, transmission, and distribution of Iraq’s energy sector and resources. BS, Industrial Engineering, University of Miami.
Derrek Ekanem, Manager, brings 11 years of experience in food security, agricultural development, environmental impacts, and monitoring and evaluation for international donors. While serving as a Food Security and Livelihood Coordinator Specialist for World Concern, he oversaw the design, implementation, and evaluation of agricultural and food security interventions to increase income for refugees in eastern Chad. In this capacity, he developed USAID proposals that secured $1 million of grant funds to implement projects throughout refugee and internally displaced person camps. MA, International Development, University of Denver; BA, International Studies and Philosophy, The American University. Languages: French and Kotokoli.
Janet Esquivel, Senior Manager, brings 20 years’ experience in financial and administrative operations, local office systems and events management, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, and training for development organizations. The majority of her experience comes from managing finance and administration departments for USAID-funded projects in Latin America. Prior to joining IRG, Ms. Esquivel oversaw the design, implementation, management, and monitoring of USAID’s five-year Food for Peace Program in Guatemala. In this capacity, she supported infrastructure projects with a food-for-work approach and organized institutional feeding programs and mother-child-health rural projects. MS, Re-engineering, Francisco Marroquin University. Languages: Spanish and French.
Christy Ferguson, Manager, is an accomplished project manager for various international organizations including USAID where she ensured smooth operations for development projects in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. As Grants and Procurement Manager for multiple USAID-funded programs in Timor-Leste, and technical advisor for USAID/OTI’s Iraq Transition Initiatives, she supervised staff, oversaw grants, operations, and procurement teams, and ensured compliance of grants with USAID regulations. Additionally, she brings well-regarded technical knowledge on USAID’s procedures and regulations to ensure compliant project activities. MA, Anthropology and Sociology, American University in Cairo; Languages: English and Arabic.
Rudy Gharib, Manager, brings more than eight years of experience in communications and media consulting, program management and development, event coordination, digital presence, and public diplomacy strategies. As the Senior Program Manager for Democracy with the US Department of State, she created and launched several public advocacy campaigns and led the development of communication and promotional materials designed to enhance brand uniformity. With the Department, she also served as the Program Coordinator with the Foreign Service Institute where she led language and cultural trainings for diplomats and government officials. MA, International Affairs, Georgetown University. Languages: Arabic and Spanish.
Eduardo Gutierrez, brings more than 20 years of experience in risk reduction and disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation. With the OFDA in Latin America and the Caribbean, he has provided risk management training under the School Safety Course Program. As a risk reduction expert, he has built the capacity of response teams to respond effectively to disasters in the LAC region including Hurricanes Dean, Felix, Ike, and Hanna. An authority in Panamanian risk and education policies, Mr. Gutierrez collaborated with Panama’s Civil Defense Departments and government ministries to develop Panama’s National Plan for Risk Reduction. MS, Administration of Education, Cartago University of Panama; MS, Education Research Latin University, University of Panama. Languages: Spanish.
Information Systems Analyst, is a programmer with nearly a decade of professional experience in information technology. Mr. Hermanu possesses significant expertise in developing analytical models and databases. He has developed a number of computer models and systems for evaluation purposes. He has contributed tremendously to the incorporation of information technology tools into environmental performance analysis and evaluating ratings. MS, Faculty Engineering, Technical University of Delft, Netherlands. Languages: Indonesian.
Christine Herridge, Manager, has more than 15 years of experience serving in international disaster management roles, creating alliances for disaster preparedness, and risk mitigation, in the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. From 2004-2010, she worked with several international donors, including USAID and OFDA, to design and implement the Pan American Development Foundation’s Disaster Management Alliance – an initiative that helped 154 communities in nine countries develop emergency and risk reduction plans. She also served as a Founding Coordinator of the NGO, the Dominican Disaster Mitigation Association, to implement training programs in prevention and preparedness. BS, Psychology and Spanish, Ohio State University; Languages: English and Spanish.
John Higgins, Manager, possesses nearly a decade of professional experience providing overseas and US-based technical, financial, and administrative management to donor-funded development programs, including training and conflict management activities in Africa, central Asia, south and southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. He has a comprehensive understanding of working with funding agencies, international and local NGOS, PVOs, national and regional representatives, and local stakeholders. Through his work with IRG, Mr. Higgins has devoted particular emphasis to projects that are dedicated to improving disaster response and crisis management capacity that inherently contribute to the development of regional networks. BA, International Relations, Carleton College. Languages: Ilonggo.
Amit Jain, Managing Director, IRG Systems
South Asia Pvt. Ltd. (IRGSSA), has 13 years of national and international
experience working in energy and the environment on projects funded
by agencies including USAID, World Bank, European Commission, Asian
Development Bank, financial institutions, and the government of
India. Mr. Jain has worked extensively in resource and policy planning,
institutional strengthening, project financing, and capacity building.
M.Tech, Engineering, Indian Institute of Biotechnology and Biochemical
Technology (India); MBA, Asian Institute of International Business
Technology (Thailand). Languages: Hindi.
Todd R. Johnson, Senior Manager, is a natural resources management (NRM) expert with 24 years of experience in climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, and carbon financing throughout Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, and the Caribbean Basin. Mr. Johnson is skilled in planning, development, and analysis of programs for land and water management systems, with an emphasis on natural resource-based enterprise for promoting sustainable management while alleviating rural poverty. Currently, as IRG’s Carbon Financing Specialist for the USAID Environmentally Sound Design and Management Support to Africa, Mr. Johnson plays a key role analyzing ecosystem carbon storage, carbon financing, and adaptation to support the USAID Africa Bureau’s climate change portfolio. MS, Agroforestry. Languages: Ilonggo, Tagalog.
Jevie Joyner, Training Coordinator, is a trainer-facilitator with 25 years of experience in curriculum development, project management, research and analysis and auditing in the government and private sector. Her training work with USAID has taken her to 27 countries where she has taught over 600 participants. Ms. Joyner has also served as manager at several financial institutions monitoring and assessing compliance with federal banking laws and regulations. MS, Business Administration, Marymount University.
Alisia Kachmar, Training Manager, has a decade of experience designing, facilitating and managing training and training-related systems. While working with OFDA, Ms. Kachmar has designed, facilitated, and evaluated courses for USAID, the Department of State, the Military, and partner organizations. Previously, she has served as a Training Contract Facilitator with the Peace Corps and as an English teacher with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. Ms. Kachmar possesses extensive cross-cultural experience, and has spent significant time traveling, living and working abroad in over 20 countries. MA, International Training and Education, American University.
Andrew Keck, Chief of Party (Senegal), an expert in environmental and natural resources management, economic growth and policy reform, has 18 years of professional experience specializing in forestry management, agriculture, and soil conservation, water resources management and irrigation, land tenure, and climate change. He recently served as Chief of Party for IRG’s Sustainable Environmental and Forest Ecosystems Management (SEFEM) Project in Madagascar, leading policy reforms to encourage investments in sustainable forestry and reforestation. MEM, Environmental Economics and Policy, Duke University. Languages: French.
Yoon Kim, Manager, is a global climate change specialist with field experience in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Dr. Kim has conducted assessments and led studies for key impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation needs to inform USAID strategy development. With the Global Climate Change Team, she updated the mission’s vulnerability and adaptation guidance. She also co-authored USAID’s Asia-Pacific Regional Climate Change Adaptation Assessment report for 10 countries. As Team Lead for a Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) Scoping Assessment, Dr. Kim identified priority LEDS needs, gaps, and challenges in Bangladesh and Vietnam. PhD and MA, Development Studies, University of Oxford, BS, Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Languages: French.
Patria Klein, Manager, has 12 years of international experience managing energy and environment capacity building programs in Africa, Central Asia, Europe and Eastern Europe, Latin America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. She brings extensive experience in all aspects of program development, implementation, evaluation, and management of technical and training programs ranging from power sector policy, regulation, restructuring, and human resource development to renewable energy, environmental issues, and oil and gas sectors. JD, Loyola Law School; BA, Government/Sociology, University of Notre Dame. Languages: Tagalog, Visayan.
Anne Lewandowski, Senior Manager, has over 20 years of experience in designing, managing and evaluating natural resources and environmental projects and programs for USAID and the Inter-American Development Bank. Her recent experience includes serving as the deputy coordinator of the USAID-funded Environmental Policy and Institutional Strengthening (EPIQ) IQC, project development with Cuban environmental groups and coordination of a comprehensive disaster assessment for all seven countries in Central America. MS, Water Resource Management, University of Wisconsin at Madison. Languages: Spanish and Polish.
Veronica Letelier, Senior Manager, has 17 years of experience as an agricultural development specialist specializing in program design, management, and evaluation and strategic planning for various agricultural development projects. She has overseen and evaluated several USAID-funded projects, taking a lead role in key decision-making situations in agricultural development programs throughout Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Western Asia. In this role, she has worked to increase food security. MS, Animal Science-Value Added Technologies, Kansas State University. Languages: Spanish and English.
Felicia Long, Manager, is a learning, development, and training expert with more than a decade of experience in human resources management, organizational development, and mediation and conflict resolution. With USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance she managed and coordinated training activities around the world. Dr. Long has created effective training, train-the-trainer, professional and personal development programs for development, military, educational, and correctional organizations. She has successfully initiated government programs to promote employee health and wellness programs for the Air Force, Army National Guard, and the Virginia Department of Corrections. PhD, Executive Leadership and Human and Organizational Learning, George Washington University; MA, Clinical Psychology, Norfolk State University.
Masood Malik, Senior Manager, is an energy strategist and advisor with more than 30 years of experience in the energy sector. For USAID, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and governments around the world, he has developed a reputation for advising, designing, and implementing energy programs in transitioning energy economies. An intellectual and practical manager, he has overseen multimillion dollar IQCs and task orders in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Central Asian Republics, including the USAID-funded People, Energy and Development IQC. MA, Economics, George Washington University; ME, Industrial Engineering and Management, Asian Institute of Technology. Languages: Urdu and Hindi.
Shannon Martinez, Chief of Party (Kyrgyzstan), has a decade of experience in political transition grants, democracy and governance, community development, human rights, and emergency management. She brings on-the-ground experience throughout the Middle East and Europe managing USAID and OTI-funded projects in fast-paced conflict settings. As a coalition builder and cross-management expert, Ms. Martinez is effective at collaborating with international donors and local governmental and non-governmental organizations to promote sustainable peace and security. Recently, she served as Deputy Country Director for the USAID West Bank and Gaza Civic Engagement Project and Program Manager for the USAID/OTI program in Iraq. MA, Globalization Studies, Dartmouth College. Languages: Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish.
Katherine A. McNeil, Senior Manager, has 13 years of experience in risk management, disaster response, mitigation, and program management. Serving as chief of party of the IRG Technical and Administrative Support Contract with USAID's OFDA/LAC in Costa Rica, she was responsible for overall contract management and oversight, performing technical assistance activities, and immediate response actions, including leading teams, conducting damage assessment, and recommending appropriate US government emergency assistance. Ms. McNeil held the positions of advisor to the Minister of Foreign Trade and senior advisor to the Minister of Agriculture in Costa Rica. Languages: Spanish.
Geron Pleasant, Manager, is an information technology expert who brings a decade of experience in software development, website maintenance, and database design. He has created innovative web applications for a variety of organizations including the US Air Force and NASA. He also brings fluency in several software systems including: Agile, RUP, Dreamweaver 8, Fireworks 8, Rapid SQL, TOAD, Oracle SQL Developer, JAWS, Coldfusion Developer, Query Analyzer, Adobe Photoshop 7, ER Studio, Fusebox 4.0/5.0, VSS, Subversion, Sql Server Management Studio, VersionOne, Rational Rose, ClearQuest, ClearCase, and Requisite Pro. MS, Computer Science, George Washington University.
Douglas Pool, Senior Manager, has been designing, evaluating, and managing international development efforts in tropical ecology, agriculture, and forestry for more than 25 years. Mr. Pool's research and technical consulting have focused on the interaction of people with their resource base-ranging from studying Andean peasants who have colonized lowland Amazon forests to leading integrated rural development at the river basin level. His professional experience extends throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. MS, Agronomy, University of Florida. Languages: Spanish.
Jeffrey Povolny is an accomplished manager and technical expert with more than three decades of experience in sustainable economic development, natural resources management, and government reform. For 10 years, Mr. Povolny has provided exemplary leadership to numerous USAID-funded multi-million dollar projects. He has worked in 12 countries with various communities in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. MBA, International business, University of North Carolina Greensboro; MA, Natural resource economics, University of Delaware. Languages: French.
John Pullinger, Chief of Party (Liberia), is an innovative project manager with 30 years of management experience including extensive experience in operational management, security and conflict resolution, and support to the Civilian Emergency Services. As a talented manager and leading technical expert, he brings in-depth knowledge and experience with public and commercial institutions in operations, project management, procurement, and logistics, having worked in numerous developing countries and conflict and post-conflict zones such as Angola, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Lithuania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela. He has acted as Chief of Party for USAID’s Reconstruction of Iraq Team in Baghdad, and most recently worked in Afghanistan as Operational Director for Counter Narcotics programs.
Carlos Rivas, Chief of Party (Bolivia), is a seasoned watershed management and biodiversity expert with over three decades of experience in natural resources and environmental management. Dr. Rivas has successfully served as Chief of Party on four USAID projects throughout Latin America. He brings extensive experience in biodiversity management and conservation, and tropical forest silviculture. PhD, Earth Resources, Colorado State University; MS, Irrigation, Utah State University; BS, Agriculture Engineering, National Autonomous University of Honduras. Languages: Spanish.
Barbara Rossmiller, Chief of Party (Jordan), is an experienced financial manager with significant technical expertise in enterprise development, business analysis, strategic planning, monitoring, and evaluation. She possesses more than ten years of experience working in developing countries and emerging markets, in large part on USAID projects. As a senior evaluator for the Management Training and Economics Education Project for Central and Eastern Europe, she was responsible for assessing and strengthening private sector growth projects and market economies. MBA, Business Administration, Duke University. Languages: Spanish.
Lynn Sauls, Senior Manager, brings three decades of experience in managing and leading humanitarian assistance and disaster response projects for USAID and various international NGOs. In her previous role as a Management Specialist for USAID Asia and Middle East Bureau, Ms. Sauls led the Bureauís civil military affairs, collaborated to lead a stabilization assessment in Sri Lanka with State Departmentís Office of Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, and directed the Bureauís Anti-Trafficking in Persons program in 20 countries. She also has extensive experience managing USAID/OFDAís emergency response programs in the Horn of Arica. MSW, Fordham University.
Ram Sharma, Protected Area Management Specialist (Bangladesh), is a natural resources economist and forester boasting a 20-year career in a broad range of forestry and natural resource programs in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. He acted as Director of the Swedforest International program in India and has consulted extensively for the Sida, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. Post Doctorate Fellow, Resource Economics, Scottish Agricultural College; PhD, Resource Economics, Department of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Edinburgh. Languages: Hindi, English, Bangla, Oriya, Sanskrit and Urdu.
Mark Svendsen, Team Leader (Egypt), is an international agricultural development specialist with more than 30 years’ experience. Dr. Svendsen brings extensive knowledge of policy analysis, irrigation management transfer, private sector participation, impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation, and institutional analysis practices around the globe. He is an evaluation and analysis expert, specializing in the creation of national and regional implementation planning for the water and irrigation sectors. Prior to joining IRG, Dr. Svendsen served as a senior water expert for numerous integrated water management projects funded by the Asia Development Bank, USAID, and the World Bank in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. PhD, Soil and Water Engineering and Tropical Agriculture, Cornell University. MS, Water Resource Systems, Colorado State University.
Senior Manager, has more than 28 years of experience in environmental economics and natural resource management, including environmental economic policies and impact assessments and project management. He served as chief of party for the Natural Resource Management II Program in Indonesia for five years and chief of party for the Red Sea Sustainable Development and Improved Water Resources Management Project in Egypt. Currently he is a Senior Policy Advisor for IRG/EPIQ II and manages IQC subcontracts on environmental health and sustainable urban management. Before working at IRG, Dr. Tarrant was a senior environmental policy advisor in USAID's Europe and Newly Independent States Bureau. PhD, Development Studies, University of Sussex (United Kingdom). Languages: Bahasa Indonesia.
Andy Tczap, Chief of Party (Egypt), is a highly respected project manager and water sector expert with more than four decades of international experience, combining managerial ability and technical leadership in the water sector. Mr. Tczap’s career has included 13 years of field-based experience as Chief of Party on large-scale USAID-funded programs valued at well over $100 million. Mr. Tczap’s expertise in water resources engineering and technical assistance programs ranges from the detailed design of infrastructure to identifying policy reform measures that enhance private sector participation, decentralization, and water management. MS, BS, Civil Engineering, Michigan Technological University.
Bil Tucker, Chief of Party (Ukraine), has over 30 years of public utility regulation reform and policy, energy reform and policy, and institutional capacity building experience. For the last 12 years, he has served on USAID and World Bank projects, including as Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party, Resident Country Manager, Resident Project Manager, and Resident Task Manager on both single country and multi-national programs in more than 10 countries in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. As Commissioner and Chair of the Wyoming Public Service Commission, Dr. Tucker regulated the services and rates of intrastate electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and common carrier pipeline utilities. PhD, Chemistry, University of Wyoming.
Susan Turnquist, Senior Manager, brings more than 25 years of technical experience in water and climate change sectors throughout Asia and the United States. Prior to IRG, she was a Project Manager for the Water Research Foundation where she successfully led more than 30 climate change, water supply, and information technology projects and $7 million in related research. She also spearheaded a variety of water and climate change research initiatives and managed project development and implementation in Southeast Asia for more than 10 years, particularly in the Mekong River Basin and its surrounding communities. PhD, Development Sociology, Cornell University. Languages: Korean, Vietnamese, French.
Craig VanDevelde, Chief of Party (Pakistan), is an accomplished manager with two decades of experience designing and implementing multifaceted energy and natural resources management projects for public and private funders and organizations. Recently focusing on the energy sector in the MENA region, he has overseen projects in the fields of power generation, transmission, and distribution. As the Program Manager on a USAID-funded National Electricity Sector Economic Study in Afghanistan, he effectively led economic studies of previous, current, and planned investments in local electricity capacity by various investors. MA, Development Economics, University of Kentucky. Languages: Russian.
Eric Viala, Chief of Party (Lebanon), has 20 years of international experience in water resource engineering and project management throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for projects funded by USAID, the World Bank, and the European Commission. He has prepared technical designs of river management structures, irrigation and drainage networks, and dams, and is proficient with water decision support systems, hydrological and hydraulic modeling tools. Recently, Mr. Viala worked as Regional Water Advisor with USAID Office of Middle East Programs developing innovative water governance activities. MS, Agricultural Development and Environmental Management, University of London, and MS, Water Resources and Civil Engineering, Hydraulics Engineering School of Grenoble. Languages: French.
Robert Walker, Senior Manager, has more that 30 years of expertise in strategic planning and knowledge management. As a Senior Advisor for USAID, he designed the Corporate Learning Strategy and guided its implementation. Known for his innovative approaches to business development, he produced the first career development blog and Twitter feed for USAID’s Office of Human Resources. Prior to his work with USAID, he was the Chief Executive Officer of a successful minority-owned small business, Aurora Associates International Inc. In this role, he managed international projects in Asia, Latin America, and Africa promoting small businesses for minorities and women. JD, International Law, Georgetown University.