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Principal Associate

Rebecca Savoie has over 25 years of experience designing and leading market system projects with a focus on enterprise development and organizational strengthening.  Dr. Savoie has lived in Tanzania, Uganda, Liberia, and Egypt and supported projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She is a seasoned project implementor who builds effective teams that navigate challenges and collectively achieve and often exceed project goals. She has worked on dozens of value chain projects and is a champion of women and youth inclusion with a focus on navigating pathways and strengthening networks for women leaders.  She is a skilled communicator and has fostered successful partnership with everyone from farmers to ministers.

Savoie is a technical advisor with a focus on business development primarily  in the east central and southern Africa region.  Her work includes exploring the intersections of nutrition, climate, energy, and agriculture. Savoie’s current research involves economic empowerment of women in sub-Saharan Africa, women entrepreneurs, cooperatives and development, and digital solutions and trust. She provides technical support to an integrated agriculture and nutrition project in Uganda and offers technical support for cooperative development, which currently includes a broad program evaluation.

Before joining Abt, Savoie consulted on projects for non-profit and for-profit clients on apex organization financing, internet of things, cooperatives, and economic empowerment of women in sub-Saharan Africa. At the University of Missouri, she worked on private sector engagement, building relationships with global companies ranging from biotechnology companies working on food security and a white oak barrel maker focused on forest management to a plant-based food company implementing climate-smart resource management. For over 20 years she has led various development projects in Africa focused on enterprise development, organization and institution strengthening, linking farmers to markets, nutrition-sensitive agribusiness, and market systems projects involving over a dozen commodities. Clients included U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gatsby Foundation, AGRA, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Irish Aid, and International Finance Corp.


  • Enterprise development
  • Cooperative/Producer group development
  • Agriculture market systems and resilience
  • Value chain strengthening
  • Women’s economic empowerment
  • Management and Leadership

Key Projects:

  • Cooperative/Enterprise Development
  • Agriculture Market Systems Projects  
  • Staple food fortification


  • Savoie, R.M., (2013, June) Public-private partnerships in Tanzania. In JICA Seminar Series on Private Sector Led Development in Africa, How Can Partnerships Between Public and Private Sector Contribute to Creating Social Value and Enhance Development Effects, TICAD V, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Meador, JE, O’Brien,D.J., Cook, M.L., Grothe, G., Werner, L., Diang’a, D., Savoie, R.M. (2016). Building sustainable smallholder cooperatives in emerging market economies: findings from a five-year project in Kenya. Sustainability, 8(7), 656.
  • Savoie, R.M., (2017). When Women Lead. Cooperative Business Journal, Spring 2017, 20-23.
  • Savoie, R.M. (2018, November). Business Models for the Delivery of Technical Assistance Complementing Finance for Smallholders/Agri-SMEs. Business Models for Technical Assistance
  • Savoie, R.M. (2018). Social Capital and Membership in Dairy Cooperatives in Kenya. Retrieved from
Rebecca Savoie