IGD Team


George Varughese has over 25 years of international development experience in conflict-affected and disrupted contexts; working on transitional political processes and constitutional development; capacity-building initiatives in the centre of government; federalism and subnational governance; conflict-transformation and peace building; women's advancement and security; and public education and discourse on democratic political processes and rule of law.

Prior to joining UNSW Sydney, George held the Kabul-based positions of Principal Advisor to the Deputy Special Representative (Development) of the United Nations Secretary-General for Afghanistan and the position of Chief of Service – Sustainable Development, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

In addition to Afghanistan, George has provided senior executive leadership and technical assistance in Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Timor Leste, on development program design and management, public policy analysis, and substantive research for The Asia Foundation, United Nations, and development thinktanks.

George remains interested and involved in the institutional design of partnerships between local communities, private sector, and government officials for conflict resolution, local governance, co-production of public services in emerging urban areas, participatory management of natural resources, the delivery of social services, and philanthropy. He founded and has advised since 2010, the Niti Foundation, a Nepali non-profit organisation that accompanies public policy reform and federalism in Nepal.

George holds a joint PhD in Political Science and Public Administration from Indiana University, Bloomington.


Lucy has worked in both the private sector for multinational organisations in the UK and Australia and the higher education sector, working at Oxford House College London before commencing with UNSW almost 10 years ago.

She has been working for various researchers, including many distinguished Chief Investigators, in the faculties of Engineering, Science, and Art, Design & Architecture.

Lucy brings to the IGD extensive experience in operational analysis and strategic planning, with a focus on operation modelling and management.

Senior Project Officer

Iain joined the IGD with five years' experience working in public policy and legal development in South Asia, where he developed a particular focus on Nepal's experience of post-conflict constitutional transition. In 2015 he was awarded an Australian Government New Columbo Plan Fellowship, which supported him to complete his law honours thesis in Nepal, examining the country's new federal arrangement. In 2016, his research in India on urban development policy was supported by Monash University's Asian Experience Travel Scholarship.

Iain brings to the IGD experience in strategic program development and management.

Academic Leads

Academic Co-Lead - Pacific

Professor Robinson has a background in environmental science, environmental law and human geography. Daniel’s research interests include protecting and promoting Indigenous knowledge and rights in relation to the environment. He is a Research Fellow with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), and he is Pacific Regional Project Manager of the Access and Benefit Sharing Capacity Development Initiative. He is currently the project lead on a 5-year ARC Discovery on Indigenous knowledge futures in Australia and the Pacific.

To date, the Academic Co-Leads for the Pacific have been building institutional and community relationships across the Pacific focusing on identifying key issues for communities and how UNSW expertise can contribute.