Jim Cust is the Acting Director of the Natural Resource Charter and a member of the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies (Oxcarre) at University of Oxford. His academic research focuses on the economic effects, positive and negative, of resource extraction in developing countries. His work investigates the economic geography and the economic interactions between governance and economic performance, focusing on sub-Saharan Africa and Indonesia.

As part of his work with the Natural Resource Charter, Jim leads the international secretariat based in London, UK. The Natural Resource Charter is a practical manual for governments and citizens designed to assist them to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by resource wealth. It provides a step-by-step guide to how countries have successfully avoided the resource curse, and draws on cutting edge research and expert knowledge to provide governments with the best, and most institutionally appropriate, policy tools, in a variety of contexts. The Charter is not a prescriptive recipe for countries to follow, but instead provides some of the proven ingredients successful countries have used – in different combinations – to harness resource wealth for prosperity.

The work of the Natural Resource Charter includes coordinating expert inputs to the Charter document and supporting knowledge bank. Additionally the NRC provides country assistance work which supports resource-rich countries to identify and assess key policy and governance challenges along the chain of critical decisions. The objective of these exercises is to help government prioritise policy actions to better harness natural resource wealth for transformative development.