Robert Caudwell represents IRRI’s key interests in Myanmar and Lao PDR. As Country Representative, he liaises closely with relevant government offices and agencies regarding IRRI’s programs and activities. He also engages with national and international development partners and donors to identify and nurture fundraising and partnership opportunities that support IRRI’s research agenda in these countries. He contributes through disciplinary research expertise to IRRI’s research for development activities as well. He coordinates the development and implementation of a strategy that enables IRRI’s research agenda, ensuring IRRI’s positive impact on Myanmar’s and Lao’s rice sector development and rice-based food security.
Robert has 26 years of international experience in Myanmar, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea as a manager, technical specialist, and consultant in agriculture and rural development. He has worked with the public and private sectors, including a range of international organisations and large-scale international agribusiness.
From 2014 to 2019, he was a Country Manager with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia (CSIRO) for a program of agricultural innovation, as part of the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Rural Economic Development. The program used a market systems and public-private partnership approach to develop and commercialise agricultural innovations for smallholder producers of maize, pulses, cassava, vegetables, sugarcane, beef, pork, and milk in eastern Indonesia.
Having also worked at GRM International (now part of Palladium), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (DANIDA), he has invaluable expertise in agricultural innovation, value chain and agribusiness development, market systems development, climate-smart agriculture, public-private partnerships, institutional development and capacity building, agricultural extension, financial services, agricultural policy, sustainability and the environment.
Robert holds a MBA with a Distinction in International Development, PhD in Agricultural Science (with field work in Mali), and BSc in Agricultural and Environmental Science (First Class honours).