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Former CEO Simon Trace awarded CBE in New Year's Honours

News   •   Jan 08, 2016 15:30 GMT

Practical Action is delighted to announce that Simon Trace, its former Chief Executive Officer, has been awarded a CBE by the Queen.

Simon worked for Practical Action for ten years before taking the decision to step down, as planned, in October last year.

He will collect the CBE for services to international development in recognition for his contribution over many years which has enabled millions of poor people to lift themselves out of poverty.

Chair of Trustees, Helena Molyneux said: “I am delighted that Simon has been recognised.During his time as CEO his passion, know-how, innovation and drive enabled the organisation to grow to the point where it now helps just over a million people a year change their lives for the better.

“He also led huge growth in the reach of Practical Action’s free technical information service, Practical Answers, which is now used in almost every developing country in the world.

“Simon also expanded the organisation’s programme in all four areas of its work: access to clean energy; agro-ecological approaches to food production; access to clean water, sanitation and waste management services for the urban poor and reducing the vulnerability of communities to natural disasters.

“But what makes Simon stand out goes beyond stimulating the organisation to deliver more on the ground. He instigated an increase in Practical Action’s influence on international development policy by recognising that making a difference on global poverty requires policy change internationally, regionally and at the country level.”

Simon, is now writing a book entitled “Rethink, Retool, Reboot – Technology innovation as if people and the planet mattered.” And has a key role in a number of international bodies pushing for change in development.

Simon said: “I feel personally very honoured to have been nominated for this award.I hope that it will be seen more broadly as recognition of the impact and strength of the fantastic work Practical Action and all my former colleagues carried out over recent years.”

Simon, who lives in Tooting, south London, sat on the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, which the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon put in place until leaving Practical Action, and he remains one of eight members of the World Bank’s External Advisory Group for Energy Access.

Paul Smith-Lomas took over from Simon as CEO of Practical Action after working as International Director for the charity for five years.

He said: “I am over the moon that Simon’s contribution to making positive change happen, both on the ground and at the highest policy level, has been recognised.

As head of Practical Action he has been responsible for helping millions of people change their lives for the better. But he has helped many millions more by successfully arguing the case for policy change and spending priorities in his own distinctive way – as a tremendously well-informed individual who identifies and influences people who make change happen.

“He demonstrates that an individual can have a huge influence for the good and I am sure his example will inspire Practical Action staff in the UK and in offices across the globe.”

Simon plans to continue influencing international development by publishing a book on Technology Justice and working as an independent consultant. He will pick up his CBE at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace later this year.

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