Ambassador John Simon
Former Ambassador to the African Union, Executive Vice President at OPIC, and Senior Director at the National Security Council
Prior to starting TOTAL (formerly known as Total Impact Advisors), Ambassador Simon was a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he co-authored More than Money, a report on impact investing as a development tool. Previously, he held a variety of posts in the US federal government, including serving most recently as the United States 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 large scale 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 Senior Director for Relief, Stabilization, and Development for the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House, the first to hold this post. 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. Earlier in his career, he served as Director of Business Finance and Strategic Planning at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Executive Office for Administration and Finance in several capacities, including Deputy Director for Research and Development.
Ambassador Simon received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University.