Robert McDowell is a development professional and former diplomat with significant executive experience in project management, strategic planning, cross-cultural communications, international trade, finance, and linguistics. He has worked extensively with partners in large international programmes and projects in China (international trade, finance and business) and South East Asia (health sector capacity development in Vietnam, HIV/health policy reform and governance in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam).
As well, Mr McDowell has worked with both the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in South East Asia. He has also worked with the Economist Intelligence Unit in Bangkok covering the region.
As a diplomat, Mr McDowell opened and managed the first official Canadian presence in Southern Vietnam after the Vietnam War, and was also based in Beijing and Guangzhou, with responsibility for the trade programme in these posts. Mr McDowell has obtained his MBA from INSEEC in Paris, France, post-graduate diploma from Capilano University, and his B.A. from the University of Victoria. He speaks several languages, including Mandarin, Thai and Vietnamese.