Microsoft in development

    Technology + Development.

    This is what Frank McCosker, the managing director of Microsoft’s Global Strategic Accounts, wants to see in the team’s future projects.

    McCosker is responsible for the company’s engagement with multilateral institutions and bilateral development agencies. He joined Microsoft in 1997 as a partner development manager at the company’s East European Headquarters, where his work focused on public sector-related IT development projects. In 1999, he was promoted to general manager of Microsoft in Bulgaria, where he initiated a number of public-private partnership projects on e-government.

    McCosker’s career at Microsoft was on a fast lane. In 2000, a year after his promotion to general manager, he was named director — and then later on general manager — of Microsoft’s headquarters in Munich, Germany. Four years later, he moved to Brussels and took the new role of managing director at GSA.

    As part of GSA, McCosker and his team work with senior people at global organizations that are “changing the world.” One of their projects is the new energy-neutral U.N. headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, which was officially opened last year.

    The building has innovative green design features, such as 6,000 square meters of solar panels, rainwater harvesting and energy-efficient lighting. McCosker said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called it a “living model” of the sustainable future for Africa and the whole world.

    The building, McCosker describes, is fitted with solutions that work in Africa. The data center system installed at the building reduces IT power usage by up to 80 percent. It is inexpensive, energy saving, easily configured and maintained, and very helpful in a city with power shortages. He said it can be done all over Africa.

    “The further impact is that Africa can start accessing cloud computing for connectivity, access to content and knowledge. You can have environmental sustainability and digital inclusion, hand in hand,” McCosker said. “It’s so exciting.”

    McCosker, whose personal values include fun, impact and recognition, said he wants GSA to have a larger impact on development. He said he’d like GSA to contribute to a more holistic global story about technology and development. He, however, said it will only happen if the team’s global partners think it is worth doing.

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    About the author

    • Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.