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Chris West

Partner, Sumerian Partners


Chris has a background in business and development. He is a co-founder of Sumerian Partners, and was the former Director of the Shell Foundation. Chris has a track record in applying an “enterprise-based” approach to philanthropy, being an early pioneer of “impact investing”. Through his leadership of Shell Foundation he supported the creation and scale-up of a portfolio of leading global social enterprises. He is the author of various reports including Shell Foundation’s Enterprise Solutions to Poverty (2005), Enterprise Solutions to Scale (2010) and Accelerating Access to Energy (2014). He received the World CSR award for “Social Innovation” in 2013.

Chris completed his Doctorate in Ecology at Oxford University and then set up a business in the environmental services sector. He then acted as senior environment adviser at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). He has worked with a variety of donors, governments, NGO’s and businesses in over 100 low and middle income countries and has lived in both West and East Africa.