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Dan Waddle is senior vice president of NRECA International, leading efforts that promote cooperative development and designs programs that offer access to modern electric service in developing countries. He directs programs in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Central and South Asia. The programs focus on low-cost electric service expansion through establishing and strengthening rural electric utilities using conventional and off-grid solutions.
With more than 30 years of experience, Dan is an expert in electric power supply and demand-side efficiency and in the design and implementation of renewable energy projects. He has hands-on experience in designing small and micro-hydro projects; biomass combustion and gasification for power applications; solar photovoltaic applications; and wind-diesel hybrid projects. He has managed numerous projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S. Dept. of Energy; the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and Asian Development Bank.
Dan has a B.S. and M.S. in agricultural engineering and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.
Nicholas Allen is the Ethiopia country director and senior engineer supporting NRECA International’s electrification projects. Nick has worked for NRECA for 12 years as an electrification engineer, project manager and electrification expert on a series of projects in South Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Liberia and Ghana. He led integrated electrification planning tasks for the Uganda Accelerated Rural Electrification Program and was a key participant in the electrification planning activities in South Sudan and Liberia.
Nick is currently leading a massive data collection and geospatial planning project in Ethiopia. This effort is digitizing more than 20 million household structures, over 60,000 kilometers of MV infrastructure and evaluating electrification expansion planning (grid and off-grid) throughout Ethiopia. Nick is an expert in geographic information systems applied for electric power distribution systems and off-grid energy solutions. He also has extensive experience in technical, financial and sustainability analysis of grid and off-grid rural utilities.
Nick has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and an M.A in International Environmental Policy from Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
NRECA Frank Bergh is a Senior Electrical Engineer, supporting NRECA International’s electrification projects with an emphasis on energy access in off-grid and microgrid contexts. Frank joined NRECA in 2020 and brings more than 12 years of experience in renewable energy, energy storage, electrical transmission planning, and microgrids.
Since 2005, Frank has served on several overseas projects as a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders, USA, and previously served as a member of the organization’s Board of Directors. Prior to NRECA International, Frank served as an independent consultant working on projects in Africa and the Caribbean with his firm Beyond The Grid, PLLC. Frank began his career as a transmission planning consultant with Burns and McDonnell, where he was responsible for grid integration of utility-scale wind and solar projects. He later led grid-interconnection projects for Nordex wind turbines in North and South America. He has also worked extensively on solar energy and battery projects with SoCore Energy and Edison Energy.
Frank is an instructor in Technology & Community Based Development at Colorado State University and a former contributing editor for Engineering for Change. Frank also co-founded JustDesign Cooperative, a multi-disciplinary design cooperative in 2017. In 2015, Midwest Energy News named Frank one of the Top 40 Under 40 Energy Professionals in the Midwest.
Frank has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis.
Dr. Patrina Eiffert drives complex initiatives, and facilitates institutional and private sector partnerships. As senior director she currently leads the Sun Keeper Initiative in the Philippines to support rural electric cooperatives to finance, build, own and operate solar farms.
Dr. Eiffert’s expertise in mini grids and large-scale renewable energy power generation has made her a natural fit to lead projects in various countries funded by agencies like U.S. Agency for International Development, World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. Recently Dr. Eiffert helped draft and develop the technical standards and specifications for mini grids in Zambia and Tanzania. In Uganda, she led the effort to develop the national off-grid strategy focusing on mini-grids and solar home systems. Dr. Eiffert also designed and developed the National Productive Use of Electricity Program to facilitate the financing of electric equipment supporting agricultural businesses and economic development.
In 2018, she was invited to present the research on work involving the productive use of electricity at the United Nations in New York. More recently, Dr. Eiffert presented ways co-ops in the Philippines are advancing renewable solar power generation via the Sun Keeper Initiative at the NCBA CLUSA Cooperative Impact Conference in Washington, D.C.
Previously, Dr. Eiffert served as senior advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, U.S. Army in the Pentagon’s Office of Energy Initiatives. During this time, she identified strategies to increase energy resiliency at 163 U.S. Army bases with large-scale renewable energy generation as well as micro-grids and storage. Formerly with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Dr. Eiffert managed the successful implementation of a portfolio of more than 2,000 federal, renewable energy projects including remote micro-grids and grid-connected systems on federal facilities for the US Department of Energy. She also led the collaborative International Energy Agency (IEA) Task Force with 16 countries focusing on strategies directed at overcoming prevailing financial and regulatory market barriers for solar energy over a 5-year period.
Dr. Eiffert has a number of patents in photovoltaic and solar electricity applications. Dr. Eiffert has travelled to all 7 continents, working on solar and wind projects as remote as the South Pole.
Dr. Eiffert has has a B.A. in Ecomonics from California State University Sacramento, and wrote a doctorate on the topic of building integrated photovoltaics at the Oxford Brookes School of Architecture.
David Gibson is the Uganda country director. He leads NRECA International’s activities in Uganda in the areas of service territory master planning, productive uses of electricity, cooperative strengthening, national distribution network condition assessment, national distribution network loss assessment, affordable house wiring design, and off-grid electrification public policy.
In addition to his work in Uganda, his 34 years of experience includes contributing to projects in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Philippines, and Haiti. David’s experience includes serving as the project coordinator for Ghana’s Northern Electricity Distribution Company’s Financial and Operational Turnaround Project and the Malawi National Electrification Strategy. In Ethiopia and in Ghana, David was the survey team leader for willingness-to-pay/energy consumption surveys in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Beyond the Grid project and the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Market Access project.
In addition to his experience in rural electrification, David has a solid foundation in utility energy efficiency program implementation and the design and construction of high-performance facilities like data centers and university research laboratories.
David has a Masters in Liberal Arts in Sustainability from Harvard University, and serves as the head teaching assistant for the Harvard Extension School’s Introduction to Sustainability course.
Ingrid Hunsicker is the NRECA International’s Senior Program Manager. She has worked for NRECA International Programs for 21 years, both in the Guatemala Regional Office and at headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. She manages the recruitment of volunteer professionals from electric co-ops throughout the United States for voluntary assignments in developing countries to train line workers, local staff as well as to encourage on-going working relationships among US and foreign cooperatives.
In addition, her portfolio includes the stewardship of hundreds of donors throughout the country whose contributions assist NRECA International in its international initiatives. Her previous professional experience includes 10 years with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Guatemala working with internally displaced, returnees and refugees of Guatemala’s civil war that ended in 1996.
Aceline Rene is the Volunteer Program and Fundraising Associate and coordinates all operations to support the organization’s fundraising and volunteer programs. Aceline brings with her communications, advocacy and fundraising experience working in political campaigns, advocacy groups and non-profit organizations. Her experience includes creating and managing fundraising campaigns, organizing fundraising events, monitoring social media accounts and conducting donor research.
Aceline has a B.A. in Political Science from American University, and is working toward a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Certification in Nonprofit Management from Villanova University.
Jim is the director of engineering, overseeing the construction of 110 substations in Bangladesh, and updating construction standards and material specifications for the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board. Jim also is playing a key role supporting projects in Ethiopia and Mozambique and Liberia.
Jim began his career almost 50 years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer working in planning, design and construction of rural electrification projects in Ecuador. He continued to work in rural electrification with electric cooperatives in the United States, as well as utilities in Africa, Latin America and South and Central Asia. His area of expertise includes system planning, loss reduction, low cost distribution technology development, integration of distributed generation, and design and construction of transmission and distribution lines and substations. Jim at one time also managed a transmission and distribution research group at the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Jim holds a Master of Engineering degree in Electric Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Jim Walsh is the director of business development, responsible for securing funding for new projects to fulfill NRECA International’s mission to increase electricity access in developing countries. Jim is an experienced project manager with expertise in project planning, risk evaluation, and business development. He has extensive experience in project conceptualization, mobilization, and international contracts and grants for a variety of development interventions, including electrification projects.
He started his career more than 25 years ago as a project development officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development and has lent his expertise and work experience in countries across all continents. In addition, Jim has received specialized training in a variety of areas including environmental assessment, new cooperative start-up, and project finance.
Jim has a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and attended graduate-level classes in economics from the George Washington University.
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