Thomas Herlehy

Dr. Herlehy is the Practice Area Manager for Agricultural Productivity & Competitiveness at Land O’Lakes, Inc. working out of their office here in Washington, DC, and the Chief of Project for the USAID-funded Powering African Agriculture (PAA) project.  As the International Development division’s Practice Area Manager for Agricultural Productivity and Competitiveness, Tom is responsible for helping to develop and implement USDA or USAID-funded projects that involve staple food crops, high value horticultural crops as well as medicinal and aromatic plants.

Tom designed and managed the implementation of a three-year pilot project in Kenya (2010-2012) which was built on the sucessful corporate demonstration farm model known as Answer Plots® in the USA.  The innovative JibuPlot® pilot project in Kenya facilitated the adoption of sound farm management technologies and new technologies by more than 2400 smallholder farmers around 3 sites in the maize growing region of western and central Kenya.

Based on the succss of that Kenya model, Land O’Lakes is using the Answer Plot® learning platform for projects in both Zambia (a USAID OFDA-funded fodder project) and in Malawi (a USDA-funded Food for Progress project).  In Zambia, more than 15 Answer Plots® have been established working with and through private sector input suppliers.  In Malawi, there are four YankhoPlot™ sites where sound farm management practices and new technology for both rice and cassava are being demonstrated to community farmers.

Before joining Land O’Lakes in March 2009, Dr. Herlehy was the Chief of Part of the West Africa Trade Hub where he led a team of 20 professionals strengthening the ability of West African firms in 21 countries to produce and export cashews, shea butter, textiles and apparel, handicrafts and fish and sea food, utilizing the special provision of the US Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).

Between 2003 and 2007, Dr. Herlehy led a $19 million USAID-funded project that connected more than 10,000 small land-holding farmers in Upper Egypt with high-value horticultural markets in the EU.

From 1999 to 2003, Dr. Herlehy helped facilitate the establishment of the first private sector agribusiness association in Egypt under a $36 million food processing and export promotion project.

In Ukraine, between 1996 and 1999, Dr. Herlehy led the design and implementation of more than 20 private sector partnerships between US agribusiness firms and Ukrainian partners.

Dr. Herlehy was an Agricultural Development Officer with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Madagascar from 1993 – 1996. Tom also served with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1989 – 1993.  Dr. Herlehy began his international development career in The Gambia where he worked for the USAID Mission between 1985 and 1989.

Dr. Herlehy received his Ph.D. degree from Boston University where he studied African History and Economics.  Tom was a Fulbright Scholar in 1979-80, which funded his Ph.D. research in the UK and Kenya.  Tom speaks French and has also studied Swahili, Russian and Arabic.