Following an early career in branch banking Rob joined the Rural Development Commission (formerly CoSIRA), working in Devon and Cornwall prior to a move to Cumbria as the Commission's North Regional Manager, where management of the Commission's work in the North of England was combined with a national development and co-ordination role for the Rural Challenge initiative, a competitive programme designed to encourage collaboration, stimulate partnership working and build local capacity.
On establishment of the Regional Development Agencies Rob returned to the South West region to lead the SWRDA's rural team. The team's early work focussed on development of the Market and Coastal Towns Initiative and Rural Renaissance - both drawing heavily on earlier partnership based approaches to rural regeneration - prior to SWRDA assuming responsibility for development and delivery of the socio-economic elements of the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) in the South West. This major EU/Defra funded programme, which incorporated LEADER activity, provided financial support for agricultural and wider rural businesses and development funding for community facilities. Joining Defra in 2011 as SW Area Lead for Rural Development, Rob managed the transition of the regional RDPE programme into a nationally consistent delivery model prior to the programme's completion in 2014.
Rob is married with three grown up children. He lives in Rattery in the South Hams where he is a keen sailor and enjoys walking the SW Coast Path when time and weather permit.