Charles Cadwell is director of the Center on International Development and Governance at the Urban Institute. A lawyer with 30 years' experience in economic reform, deregulation, research oversight, and nonprofit leadership in the United States and developing countries, Cadwell joined Urban in 2007. As director of the center, he coordinates the research and technical assistance efforts of Urban staff and partners on projects around the globe. His own work targets governance reform, aid effectiveness, and integrating research and policy reform. Current projects include support for think tank capacity building in Indonesia, collaboration with colleagues supporting public sector system strengthening in Tanzania, developing new multicountry data on the structure and operation of the local public sector and service delivery, and addressing political economy barriers to implementation of poverty-reducing reforms.
Cadwell has also worked in the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, the Office of Advocacy at the US Small Business Administration, in private law practice, and—in the pre-Internet era—in the export information business. From 1990 to 2006, Cadwell was director of the IRIS Center in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland. IRIS conducted research on economic development and reform in developing countries, working with reform leaders in 70 countries to understand and improve governance and economic policies.
Cadwell is a graduate of Yale College and the National Law Center at George Washington University. He is an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.