Richard Harrison

Managing Director, Strategy & Partnerships, Asia

Richard joins GEAPP as Managing Director for Strategy & Partnerships for Asia (excluding India). As some of you know, Richard was the founding CEO of Smart Power Myanmar which, with the support from The Rockefeller Foundation, has over the last five years been a major player on Myanmar’s off-grid sector, and has pioneered local currency financing for SMEs through partial risk guarantees and targeted technical advisory work throughout the private sector energy ecosystem.

GEAPP’s newly-minted agreement to provide $12.5m to SPM to grow the private C&I solar market in the next 3+ years will play an important role in informing GEAPP’s guarantee strategy going forward. In the last 5 years, SPM has played a critical role in leveraging close to $35m in financing for off-grid electrification in Myanmar, including connecting 300,000 people to reliable electricity. Geographically, Richard’s career has spanned roughly equal thirds in Africa, Asia and Europe / Eastern Europe. His varied professional background spans both private and public sectors, including investment banking in the commodities industry; financial journalism; and a ten-year period during which he focused on developing the commercial, franchising and marketing space in frontier markets such as Pakistan, Myanmar, Zambia and Botswana to help address some of the world’s most salient challenges in HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, TB and malaria. In that time, he has developed more than 20 leading brands in the commercial health space, and led three national public health communications campaigns.

Between 2013 and 2018, immediately prior to establishing SPM, Richard was the Country Director for Pact Myanmar, at the time the largest integrated development organisation in Myanmar with $200m under management from 12 different donor partnerships, supporting programs in agriculture, aquaculture, water access, public health, governance and rural electrification. Richard earned his MBA at IE business school in Madrid in 2011. He has two teenage children who are in the midst of trying to figure out who they want to be in the world. He will be based in Bangkok, where he lives with his wife Nicole, also a recovering investment banker. While Richard does not expect to have a lot of time on his hands while working with GEAPP, he enjoys trail running, street photography, the Asian street-food scene, and is in the process of self-publishing an illustrated book which will take readers on a journey through the urban beauty and decay of downtown Rangoon.