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Michèle Laird is a principal associate and portfolio manager at Abt Associates. An interdisciplinary expert, she has more than 25 years of experience in investment and financial analysis in the United States and international markets. She has worked in developing countries providing financial, investment, and enterprise-enabling environment technical assistance across sectors. Combining an investment banking and venture capital background with public policy experience, Laird manages USAID and multilateral development bank projects for Abt with experience managing projects across Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.
Since joining Abt in 1994, Laird has managed large-scale projects with multiple subcontractors and multidisciplinary teams both as a home office project director and as a teamleader in the field. She is adept at leveraging resources from other donor and development bank initiatives to deepen and scale up the impact of program investments. She regularly manages concurrent projects in multiple continents and time zones.
She is the project director for USAID/Mexico’s $22-million Mexico Economic Policy Program, whose goal is to strengthen economic governance policies and build capacity within counterpart institutions. She is also the climate change adaptation investment advisor for USAID’s global Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience Project. A key member of Abt’s Climate Smart Group, Laird has managed and contributed technically to multiple climate change mitigation, adaptation and low-emission growth projects.
Prior to joining Abt Associates, she directed the American Chamber of Commerce/Mexico’s Economic Services Department. While on Wall Street, Laird worked both in mergers & acquisitions and in corporate finance, advising private-sector companies in industries from the health sector to agribusiness to software on financial structures and financing issues.