As Country Representative for Bangladesh, Dr. Bhandari leads IRRI's programs in the country which includes developing strategies, managing the office and programs, liaising with the government, and handling stakeholder relations. As an agricultural economist, Dr. Bhandari undertakes socio-economic research activities in agriculture, food systems, and rural development with special focus on research-for-development in agriculture development, rural livelihoods, food and nutrition security, natural resources management, climate change, agribusiness and markets, agri-food value chains, gender and youth, rural institutions, agricultural policies, and public-private partnerships.
Dr. Bhandari has 20 years of experience in designing, implementing, and managing large-scale agricultural and rural development projects. He joined IRRI as a Postdoctoral Fellow at IRRI HQ. Prior to IRRI, he was a Japan Society Promotion of Science Research Fellow at the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Science and an Assistant Professor at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. In addition to Bangladesh, he has worked in several other countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia, engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including government, academic and research institutes, NGOs, the private sector, development partners, and grassroots organizations.
He holds a PhD in Agricultural and Environmental Economics from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Philippines. He earned his MSc in Agricultural and Environmental Economics and BSc in Agriculture from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He was awarded the Mahendra Bidhya Bhusan Gold Medal by His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Saha Dev of Nepal.