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Richard Vokes

Development economist specializing in sustainable development in South and South-East Asia. Held Director level positions within the Asian Development Bank between 1999 and 2011. Extensive experience in conflict and post-conflict environments and disaster reconstruction. Board Member Sarvodaya Development Finance Company. 

Richard is an economic consultant and advisor with decades of senior experience in economic development, focusing on the transition from planned to more market-oriented economies, and agriculture and rural development in South and South-East Asia. He also has extensive experience in conflict and post-conflict environments and disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation; policy dialogue; project appraisal; project and program administration. His work has expanded broadly into other sectors such as transport, power, water supply and sanitation, education, and microcredit, and community development. 

During the 20 years in which he worked for the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Richard held a number of director-level positions including Country Director for Nepal and later Sri Lanka. In these roles, he was responsible for complex programs in sensitive and difficult environments due to conflict, involving comprehensive interaction, coordination, and diplomacy with government, development partners, and civil society. During his time at ADB, he was also part of IMF missions to Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia, head of ADB’s India desk, and responsible for the Maldives at the time of the 2004 Tsunami. 

Currently, an independent consultant, Richard’s particular interest is microfinance, rural development/natural resource management, renewable energy, and environmental protection and conservation. Since 2012, he has worked in various capacities globally including as the Consultant to the Evaluation Department of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2015/2016. 

He was the Assistant Professor of Rural Development Planning at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand, from August 1978 to December 1982. Between 1985 and 1991, Richard was Lecturer in Economics and South East Asian Studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.  

Over the years Richard has published numerous economic reports, essays, and articles and is a Board Member of the Sarvodaya Development Finance Company, Senior Advisor, Agrifood Consulting International Ltd, and a member of the Advisory Panel of the Mahila Sahayatra MicroFinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd.

Richard holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Hull, certificate of Education in Economics, Hull College of Education, and BA (Hons.) in Economics and South East Asian Studies from the University of Hull. He enjoys hiking, playing guitar and singing folk music.