Power Africa & Region III Director, USADF
Tom Coogan has led project development and implementation at the U.S. African Development Foundation for over 15 years. Currently, Tom serves as the USADF Power Africa & Region III Director (which includes Nigeria, Zambia and South Sudan). As the Director of USADF’s Power Africa portfolio, Tom oversees USADF’s Off-Grid Energy and Entrepreneurship programming in the nine USADF Power Africa countries.
Tom helped establish USADF’s Power Africa program, a part of President Obama’s Initiative to eliminate energy poverty across Africa. To date, USADF has awarded and provides technical assistance to over 75 grants to off grid energy enterprises. These $100,000 grants or seed capital are partnered with technical assistance to support enterprising African energy entrepreneurs and businesses provide almost immediate energy access and/or efficiencies via off-grid technologies.
In 2015, three of the Power Africa grantees presented their projects to President Barack Obama and President Obama personally congratulated Tom on his work. USADF has received recognition and awards for its Power Africa program including the “Innovative Investor Off Grid Award”. To date, USADF’s Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge continues to successfully couple innovation and ingenuity by partnering by investing in Africa’s greatest resource – it’s people. This model of targeted investment of technical assistance and patient capital led by and for Africans epitomizes USADF’s unique role in the U.S. government’s development assistance toolkit. Tom Coogan was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Yale School of Management; he has extensive experience in the private and not for profit sectors, including as Vice President of Finance at Rite Aid Corporation and as head of Finance and Administration at Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade organization. He also served in the Peace Corps as a small business advisor in The Gambia, West Africa. He is married and lives with his wife Belinda in Alexandria, Virginia.