Kevin W.


Kevin is a senior technical specialist with over 16 years of experience in business development, marketing, and program design and delivery for public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

Proficient in Fulani and French, he has led culturally diverse, cross-functional teams, and managed complex agricultural value chain development and commercialization programs with budgets in excess of USD 15 million per year in post-conflict, fragile, underdeveloped, and emerging markets.

Having lived and worked in Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Senegal, and Tanzania, and supported programs in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, and Uganda, Kevin brings a deep understanding of markets, systemic constraints, actors, and opportunities to bear when developing public-private partnerships that address core issues, and barriers to entry or expansion; to realize technical improvements; and to unlock potential, optimize revenue generation, and improve competitive positioning.

Adept in bridging alliances and aligning interests, he has led productive collaborations for and with Blommer Chocolate Co., Garmin International, Olam International, the World Cocoa Foundation, and aid implementers including Adam Smith International, Catholic Relief Services, and Lutheran World Relief. Separately, he has liaised with donors representing grantees’ interests in direct meetings with the UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, US Millennium Challenge Corporation, GIZ, and International Finance Corporation.

A Marine veteran, former presidential appointee, Returned US Peace Corps Volunteer, and Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Kevin is dedicated to service. Recently completing four years as the Society for International Development's Private Sector Development Workgroup co-chair, Kevin maintains affiliations with several international development and military veterans associations.


Perennial Agriculture Component/Sector Lead (Cocoa and Coffee)
Adam Smith International
Congo, the DRC
October-2016 - Present

ÉLAN RDC is a five-year, £50m market development program funded by the UK Government (UK Aid) and implemented by Adam Smith International (ASI). It aims to raise the incomes of 1.7 million poor people the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by tackling systemic constraints that are holding poor people back from entering, or justly benefiting from markets. This is not only ASI's second largest program, but it also represents one of DFID’s most significant investments in M4P and market systems change programming to date.

Working closely alongside actors throughout the private sector, ÉLAN designs and propagates new models to improve function, streamline operations, increase revenue and incomes, create jobs, and promote inclusion and competition. In doing so, ÉLAN seeks to improve the way the private sector works to achieve far-reaching, sustainable change.

Targeting four geographical areas, ÉLAN's sector focus includes: perennial (specialty crops) and non-perennial agriculture (food crops), renewable energy, transport, SME finance, and mobile money. To its 112 partnerships, ÉLAN brings sound technical advice, finely-tuned financial support, and critical market and network linkages to support and enable functional markets and business practice changes.

As the AGP Sector Lead and member of ÉLAN's technical leadership team, responsibilities include country-wide oversight of personnel, technical design, partnership development, management and implementation, and communications and reporting of all cocoa and coffee work—a portfolio that has grown to over $1.8 million.

Partnering with national exporters, cocoa processors, coffee roasters, and international traders, and strategically balancing limited UK Aid support, between 2014 and 2018, AGP leveraged over £844,000 in private sector investments, realizing 6,928.817 metric tons of additional cocoa and coffee sales benefitting over 106,000 producers throughout DRC.

AGP Site:

Agricultural Value Chain Development and Private Sector Partnerships Advisor
Independent Advisory
United States
June-2014 - Present

Providing advisory services in business development and planning, market analysis, market entry strategy, partnership and opportunity assessments, strategy/positioning, value chain development, proposal writing, project design and delivery, communications, relationship-building and management, and process improvement.

Sampling of Clients: Agrivi, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), D3 Systems, Garmin International, Lutheran World Relief (LWR), Partners for Development (PfD), Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), Zico Beverages

Range of Services:
- Business Intelligence: Partnership/Funding/Opportunity Assessments and Landscape Analyses
- Strategic Positioning and Market Linkages: Stakeholder Alignment
- Market Analyses/Entry Strategy
- Technical Program/Project Design/Management
- Proposal Development/Writing (USAID/USDA/IFC)
- Marketing/Communications
- M&E Design/Delivery
- Grants/Funds Management/Administration/Coordination

➢ Highlights:
— Designed and delivered the East Africa landscape analyses and produced a redesigned strategy, partnerships, and implementation plan for LWR.
— Led the mid-term agriculture/horticulture performance evaluation of USAID’s Regional Agriculture Development Program for Southern Afghanistan (RADP-S).
— Crafted a comprehensive horticultural value chain market linkage model tailored to the E. African marketplace. Brokered the partnership w/ the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), CRS, and TAHA to move implementation forward.

Program Director
GrowCocoa (Blommer Chocolate Co./Olam International)
United States
October-2012 - June-2014

As GrowCocoa’s Program Director, led the administrative, operational, and technical setup, as well as brand foundations and communications strategies for the newly established joint venture, guiding global sustainability heads and C-suite executive board members from Olam International and Blommer Chocolate through the decision-making and market positioning processes.

Technical elements included producer capacity building, farmer field schools, and farmer business training, developing operational and social infrastructure programs (cooperative warehouses, offices, health units, schools), and establishing long-term commercial ties to one of the top four global cocoa buyers for >35,000 producers in West Africa and >15,000 in Southeast Asia.

At the time, certified and conventional cocoa purchases averaged 50,000mt per year.

As program chief, I led and oversaw the following:

Alliance Building/Business Development
— Developed/Reviewed/Refined Procedures/Processes
— Led Strategic Analyses of Opportunities
— Crafted Donor/Partnership Communications/Outreach/Engagement Strategies
— Coordinated Program Development/Design of Components
— Led Stakeholder/Partner Engagement

— West Africa (>35,000 farmers)/Southeast Asia (>15,000 farmers)
— Identified Vendors/Managed Contract Negotiations
— Orchestrated Board Meetings/Ensured Adherence to Bylaws
— Navigated Trademark/Copyright Protections
— Established/Managed IT/Server/Communications Systems

Budget Development/Coordination/P&L Oversight
— Annual Budget of ~$15MM

— Developed Brand Foundations/Points of Difference
— Content Development/Management — Print/Online Resources
— Designed/Maintained's LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram Feeds (@GrowCocoa)
— Established Reporting Systems/Tools
— Developed/Published/Maintained Database of Reports
— Internal/External Communications/Public Relations
— Conducted Guest Lectures/Panels

Director of Operations and Africa Business Development
CG/LA Infrastructure
United States
September-2011 - October-2012

Cultivated clients among multinational firms in infrastructure, advisory, technology, and engineering/construction.

• Worked with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and financial institutions including African Development Bank (ADB), IFC to establish linkages to move transformational infrastructure projects forward.
• Secured contract with the ADB to conduct continent-wide infrastructure capacity survey.
• Arranged high level of representation from African engineering/logistics firms, financial institutions, and insurers involved in major infrastructure projects at CG/LA’s 2012 Global Forum in London.
• Facilitated exchange of ideas among them and public-sector entities, thus assisting troubleshooting on major infrastructure projects in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Tanzania.

Education and Program Development Fellow
International Foundation for Education and Self-Help - IFESH
Cote d'Ivoire
August-2010 - June-2011
Volunteer for Agroforestry and Agribusiness
U.S. Peace Corps
September-2008 - August-2010
Special Assistant to the Director and Deputy Director
U.S. Trade and Development Agency
United States
September-2007 - August-2008
Staff Assistant, Office of Presidential Personnel
The White House/Executive Office of the President
United States
August-2006 - September-2007
U.S. Marine Corps
United States
May-2000 - May-2004


Postharvest Loss Prevention
University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
United States
January-2015 - March-2015

Certificate: Global Postharvest Loss Prevention: Fundamentals, Technologies, and Actors, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, online

U.S. Department of State, School of Foreign Service
United States
February-2008 - June-2008

Graduate Coursework

Horticulture and French
U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School
United States
January-2008 - June-2008

Graduate Coursework

Lynn University
United States
September-2004 - December-2006

B.A., Communications/Public Relations, summa cum laude, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.