Media Name: cadwell-charles.jpg
Charles Cadwell
Institute Fellow
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • Charles Cadwell is an Institute fellow in Executive Office of Research at the Urban Institute. From 2007 to 2019, he led Urban’s Center on International Development and Governance.

    An international development expert and lawyer with 30 years’ experience in economic reform, research oversight, and nonprofit leadership, Cadwell’s work focuses on governance reform, aid effectiveness, and the production and application of policy research to real-world development problems. At Urban, this focus has been applied to local government effectiveness and inclusiveness. Current projects address reform of intergovernmental fiscal and administrative systems in Moldova and Kenya. He has worked recently on smart cities in Asia, analysis of constitution implementation in Nepal, and health reform in Ukraine. Cadwell is also a founding board member of the Local Public Sector Alliance (a global community of practice) and the Center for Values in International Development (ethics in development). 

    Earlier, Cadwell worked in the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, in the Office of Advocacy at the US Small Business Administration, in private law practice, and 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.

    Cadwell is a graduate of Yale College and the National Law Center at the George Washington University. He has been an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

    Research Areas
    Global issues
    Nonprofits and philanthropy
    Wealth and financial well-being
    Evidence-based policy capacity
    International development and governance

    Outside Affiliations
    Local Public Sector Alliance
    Board member
    Center for Values in International Development
    Board member
    Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G District of Columbia

    Urban experts are permitted and empowered to work and affiliate with outside organizations, whether serving on boards, volunteering their time, or providing advice and counsel. And Urban welcomes visiting scholars, nonresident or affiliated fellows who work for other organizations. These outside affiliations enrich our perspectives and our learning environment. We also require all paid and unpaid experts to disclose their affiliations to Urban leadership and follow rules governing their engagement to ensure transparency for audiences and independence of experts.