Title: Director of Communications
Role: (Currently on leave of absence)
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Robert Watt is SEI's Director of Communications, with responsibility for SEI’s global communications, both internal and external. He is currently on a leave of absence. During his leave of absence, please contact Ylva Rylander, Acting Director of Communications.
Rob joined SEI in 2008. Day-to-day, he and his talented team of communications experts works closely with SEI researchers to bridge science to policy and raise the profile of SEI. In addition, Rob is in demand as a public speaker on the science and policy of environment and development for large conferences (e.g. Nationella Vindkraftskonferens), businesses and business leaders (e.g. Ruter Dam, Folksam) and the public sector (e.g. Region Gotland, Miljödepartementet and EU decision makers).
In 2011, he was part of the team that organized the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability and subsequent high level round table at the UN climate summit in Durban. His focus was on the short and long term impact of the event on decision makers and the media. More information about the event is available from globalsymposium2011.org
Rob is not only a practitioner; he is also interested in understanding the science of science communication. In particular, the tension of timescales (the urgency of policy making, the time lag of implementation and the slow variables of environmental and social change), creating the policy/science interface, and the role of storytelling.
From September 2004 until April 2008, Rob was environment attaché at the United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels (the UK’s embassy to the institutions of the European Union). As the UK negotiator on EU environment policies, he led teams in multiple simultaneous negotiations covering topics from climate change to bathing water. He represented the UK in formal meetings of the European Council, to the European Parliament and with the media, NGOs and other stakeholders. In the second half of 2005, as part of the UK Presidency of the Council of Ministers, he chaired the environment working group.
Before moving to Brussels, Rob worked as an EU policy advisor in the Cabinet Office (the Prime Minister’s department).
Rob holds undergraduate and masters degrees from the University of London. His mother tongue is English and he speaks French and Swedish fluently.
Keywords: communication, information, media, policy, decision makers, English, French, Swedish
SEI Annual Report 2011 (Annual report - 2012)
A Copenhagen Prognosis: Towards a safe climate future (Report - 2009)