Robert E. Looney is Distinguished Professor of National Security Affairs Department at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Davis. He has been a senior economist at the Stanford Research Institute as well as a faculty member at the University of California at Davis, and the University of Santa Clara. His major interests are economic development, stabilization and reconstruction in post-conflict settings, economic intelligence, and economic planning/policymaking/forecasting of national economies.

He has written twenty one books on various aspects of economic development including: Handbook of Emerging Economies (Routledge 2014), Handbook of Oil Politics (Routledge, 2012), Handbook of U.S.-Middle East Relations (Routledge, 2009), The Economics of Third World Defense Expenditures (JAI Press, 1995) and Manpower Policies and Development in the Persian Gulf Region (Praeger Publishers, 1994), and The Pakistani Economy (Praeger Publishers, 1997). In addition he has published over 250 articles in the professional journals. He is currently editing the Routledge Handbook of Transitions to Energy and Climate Security (2016).

His technical assistance to governments has focused on economic planning and budgeting issues through the use of advanced statistical methods and data base development. He has been an advisor on macroeconomic planning and forecasting to the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Jamaica, and Mexico, as well as the IMF, World Bank, Rand, ILO, and the Inter-American Development Bank.