Director General of the Institute of Directors
Simon Walker became Director General of the Institute of Directors in October 2011. As the public face of the IoD, and the most senior representative of the membership, Simon debates regularly in the media and engages with senior figures from across government, politics and Whitehall. He is Chairman of the Global Network of Directors’ Institute, the international umbrella group for business and governance organisations.
He previously served as Chief Executive of the BVCA, the organisation that represents British private equity and venture capital, from October 2007 to March 2011.
Between 2003 and 2007 Simon worked at Reuters as Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing. He was Communications Secretary to HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace from 2000 to 2003 and earlier served as Director of Corporate Affairs at British Airways. From 1996-1997 Simon worked as a special adviser in the Prime Minister's Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street.
Simon was previously a partner at Brunswick, the public relations group, and Director of European Public Affairs for Hill & Knowlton in Brussels. He has been a member of the Better Regulation Commission, a Trustee of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Trust and the New Zealand-UK Link Association. He is an independent governor of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and a council member of the International Integrated Reporting Council. He is also a council member of the European Policy Forum and a former member of the Parliamentary Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Public Engagement. In 2015, GQ magazine listed Simon among the 100 best connected men in the country.
Simon was born in South Africa, and has worked as a journalist and consultant in New Zealand, Belgium and the UK. He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. He is married with two children.
He will be stepping down from the IoD at the end of this year. He was appointed lead non-executive director at the Department for International Trade in November 2016.