Richard Lewis' career, first in industry and later in the European Commission has always had a strong international outlook. It has reflected his commitment to European integration and trans-Atlantic relations. He is married to an American citizen and his two sons live in the United States.
In addition Richard Lewis has had a strong dedication to human rights and conflict prevention. This arose especially after his three year's of work dealing with former Yugoslavia and then Roma issues. Later this led to six years of experience working with refugee and immigration related questions. In his subsequent academic work he has linked the two issues since conflict frequently leads to mass migration. In addition his subjects of interest and research include the integration of migrants into their host societies, ethnic conflict resolution and urban studies relating to migration. In a career spanning nearly thirty years in the European civil service, Richard Lewis served in a variety of functions but notably in the Directorates General for External Relations, where he was involved in South Asian affairs, and Justice Freedom and Security. In both departments he travelled and worked on trade and development in eastern and central Europe (especially the Balkans) the Middle and Far East (especially in the Indian Sub-Continent), the Gulf States and Afghanistan and more recently in a number of east and west African countries. He has worked with or done consultative work for a number of international organisations, notably, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the International Organisation for Migration. In the Autumn of 2008, Richard renewed his contacts with India and, during a Belgian State Visit by King Albert II, was instrumental in the signature of Memoranda of Understanding between IES, Jawaharlal Mehru University and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. In 1996-7 he was European Union Fellow at Duke University and he is visiting Fellow at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex. He has been a guest speaker at a number of European and American universities and institutions on foreign affairs and more recently migration related issues. He now concentrates his academic work on migration and in particular, the integration of immigrants into European society. He is also a qualified mediator and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Richard Lewis has published on foreign policy and migration and has most recently contributed a chapter to a book on the European Commission.
He holds a diploma in Public Administration from the Université Catholique de Louvain and an MSc in Policy Studies from the University of Bristol.