Senior Project Manager, Economic Growth Division
GETTING TO KNOW WILLIAM WALLIS
William Wallis is Senior Program Manager with the Economic Growth Division at Creative Associates in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Please tell us about your area(s) of expertise.
My role as Senior Project Manager for the Economic Growth Division is to support business development opportunities, particularly in the Latin American and Caribbean region. In addition to acting as capture manager on bids, I provide technical advice to the Economic Growth Division in areas of agriculture, agricultural market systems, value chains and local economic and rural development. I also provide support to the World Bank-funded Dry Corridor Alliance project in Honduras.
Do you have an accomplishment, programmatic result or activity that you are particularly proud of?
I am particularly proud of my experience and time spent in the field. My first experience working with USAID programs was in 2007 when I worked as a consultant with the USAID mission in Ecuador as part of the Business Growth Initiative to identify high growth value chains for the design of an economic growth instrument. During that time, I was an associate researcher with the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) and worked with a research network called the Latin American Center for Rural Development (RIMISP) based in Chile.
In addition to working as a short-term technical consultant in the areas of agricultural value chains and local economic development, I also coordinated a multi-stakeholder policy platform called the Rural Dialogue Group in Ecuador. The policy dialogue group brought key policy makers (such as the Ministers of Agriculture, Social Development, Economic Development and Competitiveness and the National Planning Secretary) NGO leaders, indigenous leaders, academics and business leaders to help design a market based Rural Development program. That convening led to the approval of a $60 million dollar program funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
This experience working in the field and engaging closely with local municipalities, grassroots organizations, producer groups and cooperatives, women’s groups, private sector agribusinesses and traders shaped my professional development and helped me to better understand where local partners are coming from. This has been really useful in terms of building effective partnerships with local organizations now that I work in both business development and project management.
My technical expertise is in private sector development, value chains and local and regional economic development. In terms of project management, I backstop programs in the areas of inclusive business such as business incubators and innovation challenges as well as agricultural and rural development programs. In terms of business development, I have worked in development of strategic partnerships with key U.S. implementing partners, universities and local and private sector partners, including developing private sector engagement strategies.
M.A. in development studies from the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, Erasmus University, Netherlands. B.A. in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park with a certificate in Latin American studies.
I bring over 15 years of experience in international development in the areas of business development and program management. My technical expertise is in the fields of agricultural value chains, rural development, private sector engagement, local and regional economic development and economic growth.
I have experience working with USG donors such as USAID, Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), multilateral donors such as the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, European bilateral donors and U.S. private foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Prior to joining Creative, I was a business development manager with World Vision and Stichting Nederlandse Vjijwilligers (SNV). As part of the core agriculture team of SNV, I helped to secure funding to advance SNV’s market-based agriculture work in Latin America (Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia), West Africa (Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso), East Africa (Kenya and Uganda) and Southern Africa (Zambia and Zimbabwe).
While Senior Program Associate with the Small Enterprise Evaluation Project (SEEP) Network, I led a working group to develop the Minimum Economic Recovery Standards that brought together technical experts to define best practices in terms of post-crisis economic recovery programming, including guidance on productive assets, enterprise development and inclusive financial services. I was also involved in the development of a library for the Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) program that was instrumental in advancing an inclusive market systems development approach.
I lived in Ecuador for five years and grew up living in different Latin American countries, including Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Barbados. My experience in the Latin America region includes backstopping and coordinating programs in Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Peru.