Ex-European Bank interim chief to head AfDB compliance unit
A former Interim Head of the Project Complaint Mechanism at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), David J. Simpson has been appointed as the Director, Compliance Review and Mediation Unit of the African Development Bank (AfDB) effective 1st September 2020.
David, a Canadian national, brings to the Bank over twenty-five years of broad-based experience in accountability innovations, collaborative governance, grievance mechanisms, sustainability standards, stakeholder engagement and social compliance auditing & assurance – working with public, private and civil society sector organizations.
In a statement, the continental lender said Simpson was also an adviser to the Independent Accountability Mechanism (IAM) Network, on behalf of the World Bank Inspection Panel, the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), MICI, the independent consultation and investigation mechanism of the IDB, and the Complaints Mechanism of the European Investment Bank. David helped lay the foundation for a series of ‘good practice’ guidelines for complaint-handling and dispute resolution functions within international financial institutions.
He is the former Director of Sustainability Standards at the international non-profit think-tank accountability, where he oversaw the development of the AA1000 stakeholder engagement standard. David has been an active contributor to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and Social Value International where he was Chair of the Social Impact Assurance Committee. He was also an expert member of the International Working Group that published the ISO 26000 Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility and the ISO 37001 Certification Standard on Anti-Bribery Management Systems.
He has led seminars with the United Nations and lectured at the University of Toronto, McMaster University, York University, as well as at Oxford’s Saïd Business School and the University of Cambridge’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership. He has also delivered numerous seminars and workshops promoting environmental, social and governance safeguards around the world including in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia.
A former Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Ethics & Corporate Policy, David has previously served as an advisor to the Canadian Government on Ethics and Values in the Public Sector and helped to establish the Office of Canada’s CSR Counselor for the Extractives Sector – developing rules of procedure for dispute resolution mechanisms.
More recently, he advised the Government of Mozambique on developing a national CSR framework that set out the terms of engagement between the government, civil society and extractives sector companies. He has also carried out projects with Transparency International, the German development agency GIZ, and the UN Principles for Responsible Investment on implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
“The African Development Bank has made significant progress in solidifying its place as a trusted partner for development among its regional member countries and has helped significantly to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in Africa in recent years. President Adesina and the Board of Directors have set out an exciting and bold vision for the Bank’s future, and I look forward to contributing towards this vision, and reflecting the principle of citizen-driven accountability in all that we do to ensure citizens and communities have a voice in their own development”, said Mr. Simpson on his appointment.
He holds a Master’s degree in International Social and Economic Development from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. He speaks English, French, and Spanish.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB said: “David is an innovative, versatile and results-oriented professional with broad-based experience in sustainable development, stakeholder engagement and ethics and accountability. His experience and skills will help to further strengthen the Independent Review Mechanism and the Bank’s own accountability framework as we ramp up our engagements across Africa and globally”.