Image of Thomas Feeny

Thomas Feeny

Program Director

Innovation is an essential part of responding effectively to development challenges that are continuously changing. If we can keep pushing ourselves to work faster and smarter, we have a much greater chance of building stronger, more sustainable health and education systems around the world.”

Tom Feeny has 20 years of international development experience, including significant project management and organizational management and strategy work. He has worked in range of countries from Afghanistan to Bangladesh, India and Senegal.

As a Results for Development program director based in London, Mr. Feeny manages the International Development Innovation Alliance — a community of international development partners represented by senior innovation executives from the World Bank, USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, Grand Challenges Canada, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Swedish International Development Agency, UNICEF and UNDP, who are focused on integrating and scaling innovative approaches.

Mr. Feeny also leads a multidisciplinary team that is delivering a year-long adaptive evaluation of the LAUNCH Food initiative — an effort supported by DFAT Australia and USAID that is designed to accelerate solutions to improve nutrition and healthy eating practices of low-income communities around the world — and he is advising Dubai’s government on design of the innovation component of their Expo2020 program. Within R4D, Mr. Feeny is leading the design and implementation of its knowledge management strategy in partnership with staff from around the organization, and serves as a member of the communications committee.

Before joining R4D in 2015, Mr. Feeny held a range of senior management roles for organizations in the U.K. and Australia. He led the Secretariat for HANSHEP, a group of development agencies and governments seeking to improve the performance of non-state actors in delivering better health care to the poor. As chief of staff to the CEO at The Smith Family, one of Australia’s largest children’s charities, he designed and secured board approval for carrying out a transformational organizational strategy and operating structure for 400 staff that resulted in an 11.2 percent increase in operating income, as well as better workflow between the teams amid a general realignment of roles and responsibilities.

As a consultant, Mr. Feeny was part of a team that designed the strategic and operational merger of Save the Children Sweden and Denmark’s programs in Bangladesh; and he co-authored a series of research articles or reports for UNICEF, PLAN and Child Fund International to inform their child protection, child participation and child poverty policies. For UNICEF and Save the Children USA, he conducted fieldwork with child soldiers and child sex workers in Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh.

He has also worked as a researcher at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, and lived in Northern India for two years working with the Tibetan government-in-exile on research that was later presented at the UN World Conference on Racism in 2001.

Mr. Feeny holds master’s degrees in English and social anthropology from the University of Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He speaks English and French.

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