Dr. Richard Wilcox is the United Nations World Food Programme's Director of Development Risk Solutions. Based in Rome, Italy, the UN WFP is the world's largest humanitarian aid agency providing over $3 billion annually in emergency assistance to victims of natural and man-made disasters in developing countries. Richard directs a WFP-Rockefeller Foundation partnership to develop contingency funding against a global disaster risk portfolio to help vulnerable populations cope with increased extreme events driven by climate change.
An expert in natural and man-made disasters, Richard recently returned to the UN WFP from assignments as Political Director for the United Nations in Iraq in 2007 and as envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Serbia in 2008 where he negotiated the Secretary-General’s Kosovo package.
Richard Wilcox joined the UN WFP in 2001 as chief of interagency coordination. As WFP's Director of the Business Planning Division in 2005-2006, he created and managed a $250 million financial facility to finance emergency aid in advance of donor contributions and pioneered drought insurance as an international risk transfer to protect poor populations vulnerable to natural disasters.
Prior to joining the UN WFP, Richard was director of United Nations political affairs on the U.S. National Security Council staff at the White House under President Clinton. Richard has been working in the emergency assistance field since 1995 in a number of positions in the United Nations including political advisor to the international police commissioner in Bosnia, senior UN liaison in Iraq in 2003 and political advisor to the Secretary General's Special Representative for Iraq in 2004.
A former U.S Army officer, Richard holds B.A. from The Citadel, a Master degree from Georgetown University, a PhD from MIT and has studied political philosophy at Harvard as well as finance at INSEAD. He has also taught graduate courses in the development and security program at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Bologna campus in Italy.
Born in Wurzburg, Germany, Richard lives in Rome.