Robert Leigh left the UK after gaining a postgraduate degree in development economics from University College, London to serve in several Latin American countries with the UN Development Programme, before heading to Geneva as head of the research department of the UN Volunteers.
He was reassigned in 1996 to New York to open up a UNV office for North America. The move was delayed for a year while he battled against, and eventually overcame, a Hodgkin lymphoma.
He finished his UN career in 2007 as UNV’s policy head at its new Headquarters in Bonn, Germany, returning in 2011 as lead writer for the UN’s first State of the World’s Volunteerism Report, introduced to the UN General Assembly in New York.
Robert divides his time between the village of Grilly near Divonne in France and Verbier in the Swiss Alps. He writes on volunteer issues and continues to travel extensively, with his wife Dominique.