Thomas Debass serves as the Acting Special Representative for Global Partnerships. Previously, Debass served as the Deputy Special Representative. While serving as the acting special representative, Thomas will continue to be responsible for managing the office and providing thought leadership on partnerships related to economic growth, global finance, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
His recent partnership accomplishments include: Fishackathon, mFish, Women In Science (WiSci) Camp, Veterans Innovation Partnership (VIP), International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA), Liberalizing Innovation Opportunity Nations (LIONS@FRICA), and Unreasonable@State. Thomas has played a leading role in promoting and institutionalizing the role of public private partnerships as a tool for advancing foreign policy and development objectives. He regularly gives lectures and talks about the intersection of foreign policy, business, and society.
Prior to joining the State Department, he was Lead Economist/Deputy Director in the Office of Investment Policy with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington, DC. Thomas also served as a senior technical advisor in USAID’s Global Development Alliance (currently named Development Lab) and Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade (currently named E3) teams.
Prior to his development finance career, Thomas worked on agricultural research projects in Bangladesh and East Africa. Thomas is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a master’s degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics and a bachelor’s in Economics. He also has an Executive Certificate in International Business Management from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.