Ami Thakkar leads RTI’s Governance and Youth Economic Opportunities (GYEO) Division within the International Development Group. In this capacity, she oversee a $110 million portfolio of governance and youth-related programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Ms. Thakkar manages a team of technical experts, project managers, business development advisors and researchers working across a range of practice areas including integrated governance, political economy analysis, youth workforce development, local capacity building, gender and adaptive management. While at RTI, she also served as Program Manager for higher education and policy programs in El Salvador, Egypt and Indonesia, led business development in Kenya, Uganda, Jordan, Nepal and Southeast Asia and researched topics on youth development, higher education and internships.
Ms. Thakkar has worked in international development for over 20 years and is passionate about working collaboratively with international clients and stakeholders to deliver locally driven programs that measurably improve the lives of young people, women, and the communities they live in. Prior to RTI, she was based in Laos with the World Bank as Advisor for Youth, Gender, and Skills Adolescent Girls Initiative, where she facilitated the establishment of the Young Entrepreneurship Marketplace Competition and first-of-their -kind career counseling offices at two higher education institutions. She also served as a Program Director with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and managed their largest private sector partnership, a $35 million 25-country global youth development initiative funded by Nokia. At IYF, Ms. Thakkar increased the reach, scale, and sustainability of programs serving more than half a million youth. Ms. Thakkar began her career as a Presidential Management Fellow at the US Department of Labor’s International Labor Affairs Bureau and forged strategic partnerships with the International Labor Organization and other global organizations to deliver a portfolio of education and child labor elimination programs totaling over $200M.