Image of Thomas Feeny

Thomas Feeny

Practice Lead, Scaling Innovation

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 25 years of international development experience, with significant project management, organizational management and strategy work. He has worked in range of countries Including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Senegal.

As a senior program director and manager of the Results for Development office in London, Mr. Feeny leads R4D’s innovation practice and manages a range of programs within this portfolio, including the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) — a collaboration platform bringing together senior innovation executives from the World Bank, USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.K. Department for International Development, Grand Challenges Canada, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Swedish International Development Agency, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, GIZ, the Skoll Foundation, UNICEF and UNDP.

Mr. Feeny also leads a multidisciplinary team from R4D working with a consortium of partners that is delivering Phase 2 of the multi-year Frontier Technologies program funded by the U.K. Department for International Development. This global initiative is working to test and accelerate the uptake of a range of technologies (including UAVs, Fintech and artificial intelligence) within international development policy and practice.

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 oversaw a transformational pivot in organizational strategy from a welfare-based model to one centered around overcoming disadvantage through education and lifelong learning.

During his years 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. 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 Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile on research 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.

Global & Regional Initiatives

R4D is a globally recognized leader for designing initiatives that connect implementers, experts and funders across countries to build knowledge and get that knowledge into practice.