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Brian R.

Project Director, Health & Environment

Brian Smith has 25 years of experience leading diverse international development programs, including public-private partnerships for health and clean energy. His expertise includes project leadership, alliance-building, and developing sustainable markets for programs, partnerships, and products that improve people’s health and communities’ resilience to climate change. He has worked in 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, collaborating with donors, private sector partners, and program implementers to strengthen strategy, market analysis, policy advocacy, and program design for health and clean energy.

Smith’s top priority is leading the Power Africa Health Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance (HETA). The five-year initiative will provide reliable, renewable energy and digital connectivity for health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa, enabling facilities to provide services at night, run the equipment that keeps vaccines viable, and share data in real time. HETA’s success requires contributions from a diverse network of public, private, and non-profit partners, which Smith is coordinating as he leads this effort to increase the resilience of countries’ health systems.

Before joining Abt, Smith was chief operating officer for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. That organization helped create a sustainable market for clean and efficient alternatives to charcoal-fired and other traditional cooking methods, attracting more than $100 million in funding from grants and private investment for the clean cooking sector. Previously for Population Services International, he led strategy development and execution for a global portfolio of projects in more than 60 countries with an annual budget of $600 million. In that role, he initiated a groundbreaking partnership that led to the first-ever maternal and newborn health development impact bond.


  • Program design, implementation, and evaluation of global health and clean energy projects
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Market-based solutions
  • Social marketing and behavior change communication

Key Projects:


Brian R. Smith