Robert is Deputy Director of the Middle East Centre. He joined the Centre when it opened in 2010. Robert is responsible for running the Centre's operations, research activities, fundraising and development. He oversees the events and publications programmes, research projects and public outreach. His main research interest is Kurdish politics, with particular focus on the Kurdish movement in Syria. Robert is also the Executive Director of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES).
Robert was Manager and Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House from 2001–2010. He held a Research Fellowship from The Leverhulme Trust from 2008 to 2010 and was an Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, from 2008 to 2010.