Mr. Simon Upton

Director, Environment Directorate, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and former Parliamentarian and Minister in New Zealand

Mr.Simon Upton was appointed to lead the Environment Directorate in April 2010.
In doing so, he furthered an engagement with the OECD that dates back to 1998 when he became Chairman of the Round Table on Sustainable Development – a role he continues to play. Mr Upton is a former New Zealand Parliamentarian whose political career, between 1981 and 2000, included nine years as a Minister.  His portfolios included Environment, Research, Biosecurity, Health and State Services. As Environment Minister he chaired the 7th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and the 1998 meeting of OECD Environment Ministers.

After retiring from political life in 2000, he assumed the chairmanship of the Round Table on Sustainable Development at the OECD on a full time basis until 2005.  Thereafter, he continued this role part-time, returning to New Zealand where he worked in a variety of private sector roles as well as being a Visiting Fellow at Otago University. He is a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand Society and a member of the board of the Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University.

Mr Upton is a Rhodes Scholar with degrees in English literature, music and law from the University of Auckland and an MLitt in political philosophy from Oxford University.