Richard is the founder and editor-in-chief of the academic journal Climate and Development, which first appeared in 2009. He is also a member of the editorial board of the new journal Climate Services. He has been an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author since 1994, and co-director and chief scientist of the Nordic Centre of Excellence for Strategic Adaptation Research (NORD-STAR) since 2011. Until late 2015 he was a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA). Richard led the global SEI theme Reducing Climate Risk.

Before joining SEI in 2006, Richard spent almost eight years at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He began his career at the Institute for Environmental Studies of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam in 1992. He has a PhD in geography from the University of Kiel (Germany), and Master’s degrees from the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands).