Hayden Aaronson is a private sector development specialist with 12 years of professional experience designing and implementing value-chain-strengthening strategies, assessing industry competitiveness, and building the capacity of local economic development groups. He currently serves as technical director for ACDI/VOCA’s Enterprise Development practice area. Before joining ACDI/VOCA, he designed and managed the implementation of numerous economic development initiatives in Bulgaria, Georgia, Ghana, Liberia, Russia, Serbia, Sudan and Uganda. He has demonstrable success in applying value chain approaches to enhance market access and competitiveness across a variety of subsectors and in transitional and post-conflict environments. Mr. Aaronson has extensive USAID management experience as the former economic security advisor and chief of party for USAID’s Stability Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Uganda (SPRING) project. In that capacity, he led the design and implementation of SPRING’s stabilization-driven value chain selection and assessment for commodities, including rice, maize, and groundnuts. He also managed the implementation of value chain interventions, including revolving loan funds, collective marketing, agroprocessing, vocational training, small and medium-sized enterprises, and land tenure support. Mr. Aaronson previously served as the economic development program manager for the Community Revitalization Through Democratic Action–Economic (CRDA–E) project in Serbia, for which he designed and managed strategies for agricultural value chain strengthening and local economic development initiatives. While working as an economic development technical advisor for Mercy Corps, Mr. Aaronson provided direct technical assistance through program design, assessments, training, and resource development on market and value chain competitiveness for field and headquarters staff. Mr. Aaronson holds an M.S. in development management from American University and a B.S. in business administration from the University of Vermont. He is a native English speaker and is proficient in Bulgarian, Russian, and Serbian languages.