Since 1977, Rob Lichtman has undertaken activities to base economic development on the
sustainable use of resources, both at the project and policy levels.
Mr. Lichtman's staff and consulting assignments include: the World Bank, UNDP, the Swedish International Development Agency,
the Netherlands Economic Development Agency, the Netherlands Environment Ministry (VROM), USAID, ILO, UNCTAD, GTZ,
the cantonal government of Geneva, and the Rockefeller Foundation. With an MBA from Harvard Business School and an economics and government background, Mr. Lichtman's consulting has ranged from development strategy, project finance, appraisal, and technology assessment, to organization development.
Mr. Lichtman has spent several years working in India with technical groups and village organizations developing biogas-electricity systems, the basis of several published works. Mr. Lichtman participated in joint World Bank/USAID Missions to develop strategies to manage household fuels, in several African countries. He wrote several discussion papers for the UN Earth Summit, and has published studies of energy, wastewater treatment, agricultural technologies, and international trade, finance, and technology transfer issues.
Mr. Lichtman has conducted numerous negotiations between businesses, governments, and international development agencies. He has participated in the senior management of two consulting firms, and he has helped organizations incorporate financial and economic methodologies, and concepts of strategic planning into their operations. Mr. Lichtman was a partner in a real estate group near New York City, and a construction site manager of a $5 million housing project.
Since 1998, Mr. Lichtman has been the Director of E-Systems, a foundation based in Amsterdam. E-Systems provides working capital and technical support to large urban regions to make their energy, waste, and water systems more sustainable. Funding is provided by Cordaid, UNDP, Danida, the Moore Foundation and several private donors. E-Systems has a long-term effort underway in Cape Town, South Africa, working with a range of government, business, consulting firms, universities, and local citizen’s groups building an integrated approach to link sustainable resource use to local economic growth. This ranges from helping develop large scale eco-design mixed income-mixed use properties, economic and energy modeling support to the City, to the first public-private partnership effort involving utilities and small energy services companies to finance and implement energy and water efficiency in large downtown commercial and government buildings. A portion of savings generated will flow back to support low income housing efforts. E-Systems hopes to expand soon to a region in China and an OECD country.
Mr. Lichtman also currently advises the "Zero Emissions Cities" Project at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, in Geneva, focussing on long-term strategy, financial modeling, and management issues.