Research Fellow

Peter Nicholls

Across 17 years in the mining and infrastructure sectors (mainly at Rio Tinto), Peter has operated at the forefront of strategy, commercial and new projects; living and working in Australia, Canada, Brazil, London, France, Mongolia & China. Until 2013 Peter was a Board Director at the +$10 billion Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia (30% of the GDP). In addition to being a signatory to China’s first ever electricity export contract and securing the largest ever non OECD project finance commitment; Peter lead pioneering work that sought to maximise the positive impact of the mining project on the economic development of Mongolia (shared value).
Peter was then headhunted to be the CEO of Walk Free GBA, an anti-slavery NGO that included 8 million activists, partnerships with the Pope and other religious leaders and working with very large corporates (Tesco, Caterpillar, World Bank). 
Peter thrives at the apex of business, government and civil society and has a strong interest in the socio-economic constraints and opportunities facing developing countries. In late 2015 Peter was the conceptual advisor to a new public private extractives aid program for the Australian government. He has a passion for geopolitics, has travelled to more than 65 countries and is currently a research fellow at the PerthUSAsia centre and a visiting distinguished scholar at Brookings India.

Peter relocated to Delhi in mid-2016, is an investor in Indian startups and is the India Country Director for Mining Innovation – State of Play.  Peter is a leading thinker on economic development and likes to take on challenging tasks that seek to make ordinary human livelihoods better.