Simon Harford

CEO of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet
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Prior to joining the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet in 2022 as the CEO, Simon has been since 2006 with Actis, the US$15 billion specialist emerging markets growth investor that he joined originally as Head of West Africa based in Lagos. He then moved to Johannesburg to become Operating Partner for Africa, responsible for post-investment value-creation in the African portfolio spanning 15 countries. He was subsequently appointed co-Head of the Africa private equity business and joined the firm’s global Executive Committee. After 10 years living in Africa, Simon moved to the UK as Senior Adviser focused on the firm’s energy infrastructure sector.

Simon has also served as Investment Committee Chair for Novastar Ventures, the pioneering venture-capital firm investing in commercial social enterprises in sub-Sahara, and as Senior Adviser to The Larry Ellison Foundation, the impact investment office for the founder of Oracle.

Simon has for 20 years also served in non-executive capacities including numerous corporate boards; the National Empowerment Fund of South Africa (the South African government’s social investment fund for black-owned SMEs); the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business; the African Leadership Group of education social enterprises; and the President of Nigeria’s Investment Advisory Council.

In his earlier career Simon created and led a series of entrepreneurial new businesses in Europe, including as founder of two successful low-cost airlines in the UK and Germany. He held senior management roles with British Airways and started his career in investment banking (SG Warburg) and strategy consulting (Boston Consulting Group) in the UK and Canada. He holds a BA from Oxford University (in Politics, Philosophy and Economics) and an MBA from INSEAD.