Ramaswamy R Iyer was an honorary research professor at CPR. As an officer of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Mr Iyer served as secretary of water resources in the Government of India, in which capacity he was the initiator and principal draftsman of India's first National Water Policy in 1987. Since his retirement from government, he has worked on water-related issues, and in particular on cooperation on river waters by India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
Mr Iyer has served on many high-level government committees on environmental and water-related issues, as well as consulting for international organisations, including the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
In 2014, Mr Iyer was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour in India.