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Senior Grid Extension Advisor, East Africa

Natural Sciences Research
International Development Group
190ET Requisition #
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RTI International is a research institute based in North Carolina, USA of approximately 5000 employees with 30 years of worldwide experience implementing international development projects in energy and other disciplines. We have extensive experience implementing a variety of projects worldwide focusing on legal/regulatory reform of the energy sector, improving energy efficiency, utility turnaround, raising private financing for energy infrastructure, working with governments on legal and regulatory reforms to alleviate bottlenecks, and increasing underserved populations’ access to energy. RTI is implementing on behalf of USAID a four year, 10-country energy program focused on East Africa, called EAEP (East Africa Energy Program). Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Other countries include Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Uganda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This 4-year task order will run through December 2023.

RTI is hiring a Senior Grid Extension Advisor to oversee all work focused on adding new customers to existing grid-based energy systems, and reducing the cost- and time-requirements of continuing to add new customers. This position will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but will be responsible for overseeing the work in multiple countries, starting with the priority countries listed above.


Responsible for facilitating the connection of new end-users to the grid via regularization, grid densification, and grid extension—with a focus on enhancing the cost-effectiveness and speed of electrification. Promotes increased grid-based productive and direct use applications and reduced grid connection costs for both the customers and the utilities.

Specific Responsibilities:
• Lead Objective 2 Team.
• Review and conduct feasibility studies for connecting renewable energy projects to the grid.
• Review host country’s regulations pertaining to the integration of renewable energy into the grid.
• Develop investment plans for the most cost-effective ways to bring power to various types of customers.
• Train EEU staff on integrating the geospatial and engineering platform into their daily operations and electrification plans.
• Improve utilities’ procurement procedures and train them on how to follow the guidelines and templates of international lending agencies or donors.
• Support EEP with rehabilitation of transmission and distribution (T&D) networks by providing them with technical consulting/assistance on T&D operations’ improvements.
• Support Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MOEP) with developing templates that county governments (CGs) can use to present their energy plans, developing a process for consolidating energy plans by service providers and CGs into a national energy plan, and establishing an effective framework for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the national energy plan.
• Work with CGs through the Council of Governments and its secretary to obtain political buy-in and leverage the Council’s convening power and established communication channels.
• Support the promotion of renewable energy development by leading and participating in workshops, conferences, and short courses in the KPLC Institute of Energy Studies and Research and elsewhere, in addition to setting up administration centers in the counties for the preparation of the county energy plans.
• Quantify the financial impact by assessing the grid expansion foreseen under the Kenya National Electrification Strategy and generating a model that calculates the resulting increase in operational costs and revenue.
• Manage subcontractor Tetra Tech’s tasks and deliverables with respect to working with KPLC to implement and operationalize its new corporate strategy, including the 30+ strategic initiatives identified in the new strategic plan.
• Support utilities and rural electrification agencies in reducing the cost of connections and time required to connect to the grid.
• Work with the relevant utility/regulator to design and implement innovative, alternative business models for new on-grid connections.
• Work with the relevant stakeholders and utilities to create demand for on-grid connections in several East African countries.

Required minimum qualification and experience.
• Minimum of Master’s degree in engineering, economics, or a related field;
• Minimum of 10 years’ experience in utility planning, with 5 years direct international work experience in developing countries;

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
• Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
• Strong oral/written communication skills and ability to communicate at multiple levels in the organization: and ability to coordinate activities with officials from host country government, US Government, NGO’s, and other agencies;
• Ability to build effective relationships with all clients, peers, and stakeholders
• Ability to work hands-on, independently, and within team.
• Demonstrated success managing and leading technical and administrative teams;
• Strong organizational and interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team-oriented setting;
• Experience in general business administration and financial management
• English language proficiency

Physical and mental demands of this role include those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job, as outlined above.  Examples include:  remaining in a stationary position for long periods of time; operating a computer and other office machinery; thinking, learning, and concentrating effectively and frequently communicating with other people, both within RTI and outside of RTI; frequently moving about inside and travel between offices and laboratories; frequently conducting laboratory site inspections (if applicable), ability to handle the stress associated in meeting frequent, multiple and tight deadlines, ability to work in excess of 40 hours per week as workload and deadlines may require, consistent demonstration of mental stability and ability to have regular, reliable and predictable attendance.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job, per RTI procedure 4.2.1. 

RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach—one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world. For more information, visit www.rti.org.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Further information is available here.

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