Simon Trace is an independent consultant and writer on international development and technology. His book Rethink, Retool, Reboot: Technology As If People and Planet Mattered was published by Practical Action Publishing in July 2016.
A chartered engineer with an M.A. in anthropology, Trace has 35 years of experience working in the international development sector on access to basic services (water, sanitation, and energy), sustainable food production, and natural resource management. He was CEO of the international NGO Practical Action from 2005 to 2015 during a period of strong growth and rising international recognition for its work, particularly in the area of the environment and energy, for which Practical Action won a number of international awards. Prior to 2015 he was the international director of the UK NGO WaterAid.
Trace is a trustee of the European Environment Foundation and has served on a number of international panels, including the Steering Group for the Global Tracking Framework of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative and the external advisory panel for the World Bank’s Readiness for Investment in Sustainable Energy index. He is currently a member of the Strategic Advisory Group for the UK Government’s £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund.
Simon Trace’s career has principally been in community development, specifically the fields of soil and water conservation as well as water and sanitation. He has spent time with a number of agencies, including periods of temporary transfer to CARE and Unicef. He also spent a total of 10 years in Zambia and Nepal prior to moving to London to take up a series of positions with the NGO WaterAid, including Asia Regional Manager, Strategic Development Director, and Head of International Operations.