Specialist in Effective Implementation

Sustainable Development Economics

Welcome To My Website

Welcome to my website. I am an international development economist specializing in private sector development in emerging markets, focused on sustainable pro-poor business models. I have professional experience in 67 countries around the globe, with expertise in market systems development (MSD/M4P), SME/value chain/enterprise development, strategy, competitiveness, and international trade and investment for both public and private sector clients.

Most recently Project Director on USAID’s Linkages for Small and Medium Enterprises (LinkSME) project in Vietnam, following a year in Egypt turning around USAID’s Strengthening Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (SEED) project, I spent the four previous years based in Nairobi with Cardno Emerging Markets (East Africa) Ltd. as Team Leader on  DFID’s pioneering Private Sector Innovation Programme for Health (PSP4H) in Kenya. PSP4H was rated A+ four consecutive years in its DFID annual reviews, shortlisted for a British Expertise award in the International Development category, and has been cited by the BEAM Exchange as a model market systems development program. While in Kenya, I simultaneously served as Strategy Advisor in a range of both implementation and management roles regionally across East Africa, building a portfolio of ten projects for both public and private clients during my tenure. Click here to view a video documentary on PSP4H.

In addition to pioneering the market systems development approach in healthcare, I have created private sector and industrial development strategies for sovereign governments, managed networks of enterprise assistance centers serving thousands of private firms, trained and mentored large teams of national and international consultants, authored widely-used consulting tools, processes and training materials, researched evolving development methodologies in action to advise on future program design, turned around underperforming projects and organizations, authored numerous articles and presentations, and led performance improvement, restructuring, privatization, and analytical efforts.

Educated at Harvard University and The Wharton School, I am equally adept at managerial and technical roles with advisory experience that spans policy, strategy, financial, operational and marketing issues, from new business acquisition to project delivery. I am known for delivering results that surpass expectations, getting right to the heart of the matter while keeping value for money in mind. I have a track record of projects being won, extended, and expanded.

I have the ability to help solve complex problems, implement thoughtful programs and processes that work in practice, turn around difficult situations, add value to your project and improve outcomes for all stakeholders.

What Clients and Colleagues Say

  • My sincere thanks for your commitment and support…Also for your all the passion, openness and experience you put during the session. I really enjoyed working with you.

    Professional Conference Organizer
  • Mr. Ashkin possesses outstanding technical abilities and is credited for integrating the various components of the project into one standardized approach. Mr. Ashkin made it clear that his priority was to get the best value for USG resources. When he presented issues that the project was experiencing, he also offered solutions and closely consulted the mission before proceeding. Mr. Ashkin also promoted talented local professionals to key positions in the project.

    Official US Government Key Person Evaluation
  • He is exceptionally capable. He is a leader. He is extremely intelligent and quick, an excellent product developer, a good team builder, highly efficient, hard working, and a good writer and presenter. Of the 45 different expatriate consultants who have worked on our project over the past three years, I consider him clearly the most effective.

    Project Director
  • I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the effort that you have expended on this project. I am convinced that it is a better project for having you as team leader…and thank you for your patience and diplomacy in handling [the client]

    Consulting Firm Chairman
  • It was great working with you and your team. The PSP4H was ‎a great initative and I hope the lessons learned continue to feed into new initiatives.

    DFID Head of Technical Office
  • USAID-Central Asian Republics presented me with an Eagle Award for Outstanding Service to the SMEs of Central Asia.

    I am recognized as a ‘Thought Leader in Health Markets’ by the global Health Systems Hub, a knowledge platform supported by the African Development Bank, DFID, IFC, USAID, the World Bank et al.

  • The report is great, and thanks again for all your work on it

    Responsible Officer from Major Bilateral Development Agency
  • The programme has met or exceeded all scheduled log frame deliverables, submitted substantial additional deliverables, and has delivered in time in accordance with contract milestones. Programme score: A+

    Official UK Government Programme Annual Review
  • Ron is truly one of the outstanding professionals with whom I have worked in the business development field. He combines extremely strong technical skills with a no-nonsense attitude towards getting the job done that is refreshing and highly unusual.

    USAID Mission Director






Countries and Territories

I have worked in 67 countries and territories and lived in 13. I back up my consulting and advisory roles with years of hands-on commercial experience exporting to and conducting international trade with partners on every continent except Antarctica. My experience ranges from emerging markets to fully developed economies; I have done business in all of the BRIC countries, well before they were known by that acronym. I have first-hand work experience in: