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Thomas Debass

Acting Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State

Thomas Debass is the Acting Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State. Debass served previously as the Deputy Special Representative. In his current role, Thomas manages the office and provides thought leadership on partnerships related to economic growth, global finance, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Mr. Debass has executed partnerships with 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. He 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, Mr. Debass was Lead Economist/Deputy Director in the Office of Investment Policy with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington, D.C. 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. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a Master’s 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.