Main Policy Areas: tax, customs, transport, environmental sustainability, innovation
An evaluation expert and experienced team leader, Bradford has been in the field of policy research since 2005. Most of his work has entailed designing and leading evaluations and impact assessment studies for the European Commission. If Bradford has a professional passion, it is for collecting and presenting evidence that can be used to make the EU work better. In practice, this means helping clients to navigate the Commission’s system for “Better Regulation”, ensuring not only that requirements are satisfied but that actual learning takes place. He excels in figuring out what mix of research methods and sources can best be applied to answer complex policy questions, mobilising the teams needed to do the work, and synthesising the results in a concise, cogent manner.
Bradford’s focus on evaluation and impact assessment has exposed him to many policy areas. To give a few examples, he recently evaluated the Union Customs Code, i.e., the legislation underpinning the EU Customs Union. This was particularly enjoyable, both because of the challenge of assessing how the EU can keep itself safe and promote trade at the same time, and because the breadth of issues and interests at stake seemed like a microcosm of the whole EU. He also led impact assessment studies in the field of VAT, from angles including financial and insurance services, the need to minimise VAT registration obligations for cross-border traders and passenger transport, all with an emphasis on quantifying economic impacts. Other recent assignments have involved EU transport policy, funding for research and innovation and sustainable finance, while outside the EU arena Bradford has conducted evaluations across Africa and in Central and South Asia.
Bradford’s academic background is in political science and economics. He began his studies at Georgetown University in his native United States, then embarked on an exchange in Europe and never looked back, obtaining a BSc from the Institut d’Etudes Poliques in Strasbourg, France, and an MA in EU studies from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. Aside from his research assignments, he regularly leads courses on and contributes to conferences on evaluation.