Dr James Simpson


James brings experience and a wide-reaching skillset focussed on complex stakeholder environments, conflict resolution, and human rights risks and impacts, in business sectors including the extractives and renewables.

He has a DPhil from the University of Oxford Department of International Development, where he conducted extensive research on the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme – which unites industry, governments and civil society in reducing conflict diamond flows. His research examined Kimberley Process human rights monitoring capacities in sub-Saharan Africa and highlighted the growing importance of human rights due diligence in the management of responsible mineral supply chains.

His MA research investigated political violence that arose around a South African steel works plant, during the country’s transition to democracy. The research helped to map an array of stakeholders, both local and national; and make sense of the complex cycles of conflict in which they were caught.

James thrives when faced with complicated, politically fraught situations that can only be adequately understood with resolute impartiality, humane sensitivity, and strong attention to detail. His fieldwork, data gathering, analytic; and writing skills are well-merged through Synergy’s assessment, engagement, and due diligence work.