Robert D. Lamb

Robert lamb
ICONS Director and Associate Research Scientist
University of Maryland

Bob Lamb is the Director of ICONS and an Associate Research Scientist at START. Through a career spanning nearly three decades, Bob has worked as an adviser, consultant, policy research director, business and finance journalist, defense strategist, and field researcher. He is co-founder and CEO of the systems-transformation nonprofit Foundation for Inclusion and formerly a strategist at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the conflict director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a visiting research professor at the Army War College.

His policy and research interests focus on helping decision makers navigate complexity in volatile situations and overcome the internal barriers to effective policy and strategy implementation. He has led dozens of policy-research studies on conflict, fragility, development, governance, democracy, methodology, and impact, leading to more than 60 publication credits and more than a hundred speaking engagements in about 20 countries. His work has helped global and national coalitions address norm change in international development and nuclear security, investor incentives around labor trafficking, resistance to reform within government agencies, and the complexity of making food and agriculture systems self-sustaining. During his career he has also developed new approaches to assessing stakeholder relations in global banking, the dynamics of legitimacy in highly contested situations, the quality of governance in non-governmental institutions, and the dynamics of organizational change in institutions and coalitions.

An award-winning journalist covering technology, business, and finance, he changed careers after 9/11, earning a Ph.D. in policy studies in an interdisciplinary program combining international security, international development, economics, and ethics, with a thesis focused on strategies to reduce complex violence. He lives just outside of Washington, DC, with his wife and two daughters.