Robert Townsend is a Lead Economist in the Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank. He has worked on country operations in agriculture and food security in Africa, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and on related global programs including the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program and the Global Food Crisis Response Program. He was a core author of the World Development Report (WDR) 2008 on Agriculture for Development, and the lead author of a series of World Bank Group Agriculture Action Plans that took forward implementation of the WDR2008 within the World Bank Group. He has recently led preparation of a seven part series on the Future of Food, focusing on the agenda for the food system to end poverty and hunger by 2030, climate-smart agriculture, health and nutrition, jobs, financing, digital solutions, and fragile and conflict-affected situations. He had a PhD in Agricultural Economics.