Employee Spotlight: Renee Gifford

Proposal Manager

Renee Gifford

I have nearly two decades of international development experience. Earlier in my career I managed economic growth projects in conflict regions. I also spent a number of years managing a USAID Leader with Associate Award mechanism during which time I worked with a consortium to blend the monitoring and evaluation frameworks and methodologies of a dozen plus organizations that led economic growth programs for USAID. I joined QED in 2008 to manage a Grants-Under-Contract mechanism under the USAID Knowledge Driven Microenterprise Development (KDMD) program. I later became interested in transitioning into a business development role as I had increasingly taken on more responsibility in that area and I wanted to focus on it exclusively.

At QED I currently serve as a Proposal Manager working with the Business Development and Technical teams to facilitate capture, solution design, and proposal production processes.

QED’s culture is friendly and collaborative. QED’s team is composed of well-rounded individuals with strong leadership, teamwork, and facilitation skills. As a learning organization there are feedback loops, opportunities for reflection, and support for professional development goals. Creative is another word I’d use to describe the culture at QED.

I returned to QED because I had a positive experience working here earlier in my career and because it stood out as unique amongst all the development firms I’ve encountered. It’s both a learning organization and a firm that harnesses technology to increase development effectiveness in practical and user-friendly ways. I had an opportunity be part of the development of CLA tools and methods that were piloted under the KDMD program. CLA has since been become a central part of USAID’s approach and an integral part of USAID’s programming. I’ve followed this progress over-the-years by staying in contact with former colleagues, by participating in the QED alumni network, and by hearing about QED’s accomplishments under the USAID Uganda Learning Activity. In addition, I began referring friends and colleagues to participate in the Hackathons that QED’s been running under its Center for Global Data Visualization. I was excited to follow the progress from our earlier work at QED as well as to learn about QED’s more recent data and innovation practice offerings. I returned because I see what QED has produced over the years and I see potential for QED to continue pioneering wholistic and innovative approaches to client needs that blend monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL), CLA, and technology offerings to answer questions around development effectiveness with greater insight than what’s been previously possible.