Robert is a recognised figure in international energy relations, having been the Executive Director of the IEA from 1994-2002. Since then he has operated as a consultant with clients in the Far East, Europe and North America. As Executive Director of the IEA, he advised the governments of member countries, developing and co-ordinating the main strands of energy policy across the membership, and was responsible for the executive readiness of the Agency to intervene in global oil markets in the event of a serious oil supply interruption.
Under his leadership, the Agency became an authoritative source of policy advice on energy and climate change and extended the reach of IEA activities in non-member countries, formalising co-operative arrangements between the IEA and Russia, China and India and bringing Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea into membership of the Agency. He previously served in the UK administration, working principally on aspects of the relationship between government and industry, covering aerospace, information technology and telecommunications, and all aspects of energy.
From 1989-92, he was a Deputy Secretary and Director General of Energy Resources in the UK Department of Energy and Trade and Industry. He had earlier been responsible for policy in relation to exploitation of the oil and gas resources of the UK Continental Shelf and the creation of the British National Oil Corporation. From 1992-1994, Robert was Head of Consumer and Corporate Affairs at the DTI. He is based in the UK.