Robert Watkins 100x150.jpg  
Robert Watkins 
Research Associate

Email: robert.watkins (at)


Robert began working as a Research Associate at the CCDP in April 2018 focusing on Japanese and Chinese approaches to Peacebuilding. He is also a Senior Fellow at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Since retiring from the UN at the end of 2017, he has taught as a Practitioner at the Graduate Institute and at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and presented papers on Conflict Prevention at AUB, Lebanon, and the University of Tianjin, China.

Robert joined the CCDP after a 35-year career working for international organisations in political, humanitarian, development and post-conflict recovery areas in some 13 different countries, principally in the Middle East, Central, and South Asia.  He served for the United Nations as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in Lebanon (2011-2014) and Afghanistan (2009-2011) at the level of Assistant Secretary General, as well as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Bangladesh (2015-17), Djibouti (2014), and Georgia (2006-2009).

Before the UN, Robert worked for the European Commission (2000-2005) as Head of the ECHO Regional Office for the Middle East based in Amman, Jordan, focusing on activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria.

Earlier in his career he worked for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as Head of Mission in Iraq and Deputy Head in Turkey, and covered the Middle East and North Africa Desk from the IFRC headquarters in Geneva.

He holds an MA in International Affairs from the Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa.

Field(s)of Interest:
  • New approaches to Peacebuilding
  • Role of Land Ownership in conflict settlement
  • Digital literacy in the Prevention of Violent Extremism
  • Mediation
  • Role of the UN in World Politics, Conflict Prevention & Peacekeeping