David Ferguson

David Ferguson


Senior Research Fellow

David Ferguson is a 3ie senior research fellow and runs a boutique consultancy that operates at the intersection of international development, creating evidence of what works, and building partnerships to support innovative, collaborative programs to solve complex challenges.  He was the director of the Center for Development Innovation in the US Global Development Lab at USAID from its inception until 2018. Mr Ferguson was one of the leaders of institutional change at USAID. The Center for Development Innovation created both directed and open innovation approaches, many involving a consortium of donors, to sourcing and accelerating solutions that have the potential to be transformative in bettering the lives of millions of people.  As a leader of the International Development Innovation Alliance, an alliance of the heads of innovation at a dozen large donors and foundations, he facilitated partnerships that accomplished more than would have been possible otherwise.

Before joining USAID, he worked on international development at the nexus of development, technology, and the private sector. He spent 27 years at AT&T where he created and ran the company’s Professional Services Division, developing it into a US$200 million profitable entity. He was based in Hong Kong for seven years and focused on the developing markets of China, India, and Indonesia, for telecommunications investment opportunities. He built seven joint ventures during this period.  

Mr Ferguson holds a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. 

The Research Fellows Program brings together experts from diverse backgrounds to provide intellectual leadership and technical support to strategic areas for 3ie. Our fellows work with our global team and are uniquely positioned to lead or support new and ongoing initiatives and programs in their areas of expertise.