Rob Palfrey
Rob Palfrey
Director, Human Rights at Sea International (Trading Company)

Rob is the founder and managing director of Minerva SRM, which provides bespoke social risk management services to client companies working in the most challenging social, political and conflict-affected settings.  He brings to the team leadership, management and problem-solving skills gained over twenty years of Regular and Reserve service in the British Army.

While a British Army officer, Rob commanded his company on deployment in Afghanistan and Kenya.  In Helmand province, Afghanistan, he pioneered a successful approach to mentoring and training an Afghan National Army battalion engaged in regular combat operations.  Later, as part of the political-military team at NATO HQ in Kabul he helped shape the success of security transition from NATO to Afghan government control. Earlier in his career he served on operations in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Iraq.

Rob’s UK-based assignments include managing a joint UK/US counter-narcotics research unit to inform strategic, operational and tactical decision-making; and later overseeing the re-development of the British Army’s counterinsurgency concept and doctrine, drawing on lessons learnt in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Since the conclusion of his regular Army service, the British Government’s Stabilisation Unit has retained Rob as a civilian expert specializing as a Conflict Practitioner.

Recent assignments by Minerva SRM include: assisting on work to eliminate child labour in the tobacco industry by providing a social risk assessment to map the complex drivers of this issue, and subsequently informing the design of a multi-stakeholder mechanism to co-ordinate holistic interventions; facilitating clients in their strategy development through analysis and workshops; training of African security forces in the planning and delivery of peace-support operations, focusing upon engagement with local communities.

Rob holds a Masters degree in Social and Global Justice, a Certificate in Conflict Resolution, and a Diploma in Management. He currently serves on both the Board of Governors, and the Foundation, at Wellington School, Somerset. He has been engaged with the charity’s non-profit trading company, Human Rights at Sea International (HRASi) Ltd since August 2019 as Director.