Simon Upton is chairman and founder of the Round Table on Sustainable Development, established by the OECD Secretary-General in 1998.
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. He is a member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment & Development.
Since 2010, Mr. Upton has also served as the OECD's Environment Director.
The Environment Directorate is responsible for Environmental Performance Reviews of Member Countries, the economic analysis of policy instruments used to improve environmental outcomes and a wide range of work related to water, biodiversity, climate and chemicals.
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. He has been a prolific contributor of papers and articles on a wide variety of science and environment topics and was the first non-scientist to be elected a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand Society.