Chris West

Chris West

Partner in Sumerian

Chris completed his Doctorate in Ecology at the University of Oxford in 1984.  During his doctorate he started his own business in the environmental services sector.  Following the successful UK and international growth of this company, he sold the company in 1992 and took on the position of senior environment adviser at the UK Department for International Development.  As an adviser to UK Ministers he worked with a wide variety of donors, governments, NGO’s and businesses in over 60 developing countries and emerging economies. 

Chris joined the Shell Foundation ( in 2001 as Deputy Director to reinforce the mission of developing, scaling up and promoting enterprise-based solutions to the challenges arising from the impact of energy and globalisation on poverty and the environment.  Drawing on his own business and development experience, Chris led the design, implementation and scale-up of several core SF programmes – including the successful Aspire programme that integrates the provision of business development assistance and appropriate finance to start-up and early stage growth small end medium sized enterprises (SME’s) in Africa.  He was appointed SF Director in 2008.

Aged 49 and married with three sons, Chris lives in Kent, England.  He has in the past lived for periods in both East and West Africa.

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