The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’s (EITI) Board today announced that Mark Robinson has been named executive director of the EITI. Currently the global director of the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Governance Center, he will assume his position at the end of November 2018.
“Mark Robinson is a widely respected figure in the international development community, spanning the worlds of policy-making, research and philanthropy,” said Chair of the EITI Board Fredrik Reinfeldt. “I look forward to working with Mark as the EITI continues to address the important issues facing open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources worldwide, such as beneficial ownership transparency, contract transparency and systematic disclosure of extractives data. While much has been achieved over the last decade, we owe it to the citizens of resource-rich countries to push harder for better governance to ensure that the revenues from the extractives sector truly do benefit all.”
Robinson, a British national, has extensive experience in applied policy and research on governance, transparency and conflict issues. At WRI he led the development of an ambitious climate and environmental governance strategy focused on climate resilience, energy access, environmental democracy, and natural resource governance.
Over the course of a 30-year international career, Robinson has held numerous leadership and management roles at WRI, the Department for International Development, the Institute for Development Studies, the Ford Foundation, and the Overseas Development Institute. He currently serves as chair of the board of directors for the Open Government Partnership Secretariat.
“It is both a great honour and responsibility to be appointed as executive director of the EITI and to lead it into its second decade,” said Robinson. “I am passionate about the potential for enhanced transparency and accountability to contribute to fundamental improvements in the well-being of countries and in the lives of their citizens. I believe the EITI is of huge importance to the governance of the extractives sector and that it serves as a beacon of innovation to seemingly intractable governance problems.”
Robinson earned his PhD in Comparative Politics from the University of Sussex, specializing in the politics of contemporary India. He also holds a BA honours degree in Social and Political Science from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Comparative Politics from the University of Sussex.
Robinson will be based at the EITI’s headquarters in Oslo, Norway. He will take over from EITI’s Acting Executive Director Eddie Rich, who will return to his position as Deputy Head of the EITI International Secretariat.
“Mark comes into a small, strong and important organization, which has achieved a lot in a short time,” said Rich. “However, there are still challenges ahead. Countries and their citizens are not yet getting what they should from their resources, companies who are open and honest are still not always able to compete on fair terms, and in many countries, the civic space is closing. The EITI needs to help reformers deliver. The team looks forward to working with Mark on addressing these issues.”
Robinson added “I am excited at the opportunity to lead a talented and committed group of staff and to work closely with the board. I am especially keen to learn from the many dedicated individuals, governments and organizations who sustain the work of EITI in over 50 countries, and together craft a future direction that builds on the excellent work to date. At this time of increasing polarization and adversity, consensus-based mechanisms to address challenges of good governance have never been more important.”