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Energy Innovation and Emerging Trends Lead

Organization : USAID Southeast Asia’s Smart Power Program (“SE Asia Smart Power”)

USAID Southeast Asia’s Smart Power Program (“SE Asia Smart Power”)

Energy Innovation and Emerging Trends Lead – Job Description


Organization Overview


Abt Associates’ International Development Division (IDD) manages projects that are pioneering new approaches in governance, energy, health, agriculture, food security, climate change, and economic growth—as well as monitoring and evaluating projects within these sectors. We work throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East for chiefly governmental clients, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Project Description


The anticipated five-year, USAID Southeast Asia’s Smart Power Program (“SE Asia Smart Power”) will be a task order under the Energy II IDIQ designed to support and assist USAID and SE Asian partner countries achieve sustainable economic growth through targeted energy sector reforms. These reforms will promote energy security in the SE Asia region by improving reliability, increasing access, and providing affordable electricity as well as supporting countries and their utilities achieve financial stability and avoid adverse health impacts from the energy sector by accelerating clean energy solutions. Toward these ends, the project will be structured to include the following six tasks:


  • Task 1: Southeast Asia Power Utility Modernization
  • Task 2: Southeast Asia Cooling Efficiency
  • Task 3: Southeast Asia Energy Innovation and Emerging Trends
  • Task 4: Southeast Asia Center for Competitive Procurement
  • Task 5: Southeast Asia Power Trade and Grid Integration
  • Task 6: Support to the Asia Gas Partnership


Job Summary


Abt Associates seeks a qualified Energy Innovation and Emerging Trends Lead to execute USAID’s SE Asia Smart Power program technical activities under Task 3: Energy Innovation and Emerging Trends. The Energy Innovation and Emerging Trends Lead will manage a team to support the development and deployment of innovative solutions and approaches in the energy sector, ultimately increasing the deployment of advanced energy systems across Southeast Asia. S/he will partner with existing organizations, platforms, finance facilities, and/or initiatives to incubate, pilot, and deploy solutions that support the regional energy transition. The position will be based in Abt’s Bangkok office and is contingent upon program award and USAID approval.


Key Roles and Responsibilities


  • Reports to the Technical Deputy Chief of Party.
  • Provides technical leadership on energy innovation activities, ensuring alignment with the program’s overall vision and cross-cutting deliverables and reporting.
  • Provides leadership, management and supports strategic direction, including managing a diverse technical team covering subject areas including corporate procurement, disruptive technologies, off-grid electrification, energy policy, grid integration and power systems engineering.
  • Works with the Director of Partnerships and Communication to seek and partner with organizations, platforms, finance facilities, and/or initiatives to incubate, pilot, and deploy solutions supporting the regional energy transition.
  • Leads the identification of and support for regional trends and opportunities for emerging solutions that increase the deployment and scale-up of advanced energy systems, including the use of challenges, prizes, pilots, incubators, accelerators, revolving funds, or other mechanisms.
  • Works with Sr. Corporate Procurement Specialist and the Competitive Procurement Lead to support procurement aggregation on behalf of corporate purchasers at country and regional levels.
  • Leads technical assistance activities supporting utilities or system operators in designing wheeling or interconnection guidelines for direct power purchase agreements between buyers and sellers.
  • Manages disruptive technology program activities, including a pilot electric vehicle program, and off-grid and renewable energy innovation activities.
  • Manages the design and administration of a revolving fund to support early-stage energy management startups.
  • May manage Grants under Contracts (GUC) mechanism to implement financing and partnership activities for energy innovation and technology.
  • Liaises with Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) manager on task-relevant data collection, monitoring and evaluation activities.
  • Supports knowledge management and communications on energy innovation and emerging trends.
  • Coordinates cross-cutting activities with other task leads, Director of Partnerships and Communication, MEL Manager, Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Lead, Communications Manager, and Technical Deputy Chief of Party, Operations Deputy Chief of Party, and Chief of Party.





  • A Master’s degree in energy/environmental policy, power systems engineering, international development, or a related field.
  • 10+ years of experience leading, managing, or implementing energy innovation projects, preferably in SE Asian countries, USAID or donor-funded initiatives desirable.
  • Advanced knowledge and experience training stakeholders in developing countries on energy innovation and emerging trends, preferably in SE Asia countries.
  • Experience managing partnerships with organizations, platforms, finance facilities, and/or initiatives to incubate, pilot, and deploy energy innovation solutions, including through challenges, prizes, pilots, incubators, accelerators, revolving funds, GUC, or other mechanisms.
  • Experience managing or supporting bulk energy technology procurement.
  • Experience managing, designing, or implementing innovative solutions in grid connected and off-grid energy including distributed energy, electric vehicles, and battery energy storage systems.
  • Experience managing or supporting country and regional-level energy innovation program activities.
  • Previous experience supporting energy innovation projects for USAID is preferred.
  • Knowledge of Southeast Asian countries’ renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change policies, laws, and capacity constraints.
  • Demonstrated capacity in facilitating in-depth and effective dialogues with internal team as well as with external stakeholders.
  • Experience managing teams, consultants and sub-contractors to ensure high-quality and timely submission of technical work and deliverables.
  • Highly self-motivated and adaptable to learning and understanding new concepts.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.
  • Strong oral, written, and interpersonal skills are required.
  • Fluency in English is required; knowledge of a regionally relevant second language is an asset (Thai, Lao, Khmer, Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Bahasa Indonesia, etc.).      



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