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Rachel Friedman

Rachel Friedman

Senior Energy Specialist


MA, Planning, Environment, and Trade in the Developing World (in French), Sorbonne Université, Paris, France
BA, International Relations and French, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Rachel Friedman has more than a decade of energy sector experience working in both the on- and off-grid sectors. Ms. Friedman currently serves as the Central Africa Lead on the USAID-funded Power Africa Empowering East and Central Africa program, implemented by RTI. Previously, she served as the Country Lead for Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on the Power Africa-funded East Africa Energy Program.  

Ms. Friedman has developed a deep knowledge and understanding of the energy sectors across the African Great Lakes region, having lived there for most of her career. Her specialty is the nexus between energy and finance.  

Ms. Friedman lived and worked in Kigali, Rwanda, from 2013–2021. Prior to joining RTI, Ms. Friedman consulted on various projects across sub-Saharan Africa, creating financial models for government subsidy programs, reviewing business plans and financial models for financing applicants, and conducting market scoping reports. Ms. Friedman spent a year in Goma, DRC, working with renewable energy companies under Elan RDC, a private sector development program. She also spent four years working for a solar energy company in Kigali as the Chief Financial Officer. 

Ms. Friedman received her master’s degree from the Sorbonne Université in Paris and applies her French language skills to her work in francophone Africa. Ms. Friedman is passionate about supporting the growth of the renewable energy sector both locally and globally.