Robert P. Beschel Jr. is currently a nonresident senior fellow with the Brookings Doha Center, where his research interests concentrate on governance and public sector reform throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. He is helping to oversee the Center’s work on the policy and institutional responses to Covid-19.
Previously Beschel served as Chair of the World Bank’s Center of Government (COG) Practice and Lead Public Sector Management Specialist within the Bank’s Middle East and North Africa region. He has written and worked extensively on economic and public sector reform issues in a diverse number of countries in the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. In 2010, he was recruited by the Office of Tony Blair and the Government of Kuwait and served as the Director for Policy in the newly created Technical and Advisory Office (TAO) of the Prime Minister.
In addition to his work on the center of government, Beschel has managed the Governance Systems Unit and headed the Governance & Public Accountability group within the Bank’s Public Sector Anchor, which was responsible for supporting the Bank’s global practice on issues of governance, anticorruption, civil service reform, political economy analysis, revenue mobilization and expenditure rationalization, and transparency and right to information among other topics. He headed the Secretariat for the Governance and Anticorruption (GAC) Council—the body that oversaw the World Bank’s practice on issues of governance, integrity and anticorruption. He led the World Bank’s work on governance and public sector management throughout the Middle East and North Africa region from 2004-2010 and helped lead the Bank’s governance work in South Asia from 1999 to 2004. He served as the principal author for the Asian Development Bank’s Anticorruption Strategy in 1998 and a vice-chair for the ADB staff association.
Beschel has a Masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Masters and Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard’s Government Department. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington with a joint degree in Economics and English. He has worked on public sector reform in over fifty countries and authored numerous books, reports, articles and other publications on issues of governance, public financial management, civil service and administrative reform and anticorruption. Recent publications that he has authored or edited include: Public Sector Reform in the Middle East and North Africa: Lessons of Reform for a Region in Transition (Brookings Press, forthcoming); Improving Public Sector Performance Through Innovation and Inter-Agency Coordination (World Bank, 2018); Public Financial Management Reform in the Middle East and North Africa (World Bank, 2012); and Bringing Government into the 21st Century: The Korean e-Government Experience (World Bank, 2016).