Senior Adviser (Non-resident), Project on Prosperity and Development
Expertise: Africa, Governance and Rule of Law, International Development, Private Sector Development, U.S. Development Policy
Associated Programs: Project on Prosperity and DevelopmentJohn Simon is a founding partner at Total Impact Capital. Previously, Ambassador Simon was a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he coauthored More than Money, a report on impact investing as a development tool. Previously, he held a variety of posts in the U.S. government, including serving most recently as the ambassador to the African Union and the executive vice president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). At OPIC, Ambassador Simon championed the agency’s involvement in the social impact investment marketplace, spearheading efforts to finance housing in Africa, small and medium businesses in Liberia, and a largescale renewable power plant in Liberia. Ambassador Simon led the agency’s effort to develop a series of social development funds for Africa, which resulted in the creation of four private equity funds focused on achieving extraordinary social results as well as strong financial performance.
Ambassador Simon also served as special assistant to the president and was the first senior director for relief, stabilization, and development for the National Security Council (NSC). During his tenure at the NSC, Ambassador Simon oversaw the implementation of groundbreaking development initiatives, including the Millennium Challenge Account, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, and the President’s Malaria Initiative. He was also responsible for the U.S. government response to international humanitarian disasters, such as the 2005 South Asia Earthquake. From 2002 to 2003, Ambassador Simon was deputy assistant administrator at the United States Agency for International Development, overseeing the agency’s development information and evaluation units. Ambassador Simon received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.