Dr. Nils Simon
Senior Advisor

Nils Simon is a Senior Advisor at adelphi. He is leading projects on enhancing international sustainability governance. As political scientist, Nils is developing concepts that aim to advance sustainable development, particularly in the area of chemicals and waste management. In this regard, the focus of his work is on strengthening institutions and including relevant stakeholders in the process. Nils further aims to increase the potential of multi-sector cooperation and bring together governments and non-state actors.

Since commencing his position at adelphi in 2015, Nils has worked on international chemical safety on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the German Environment Agency. In this capacity, he develops proposals that aim to strengthen relevant institutions beyond 2020. He places particular emphasis on the “Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management” (SAICM), a voluntary, multi-stakeholder platform. SAICM aims to achieve the sound management of chemicals by 2020. However, the platform must be re-conceptualised if meaningful steps towards eradicating chemical pollution are to be taken. Nils is contributing to this reform process through lending academic support, planning and moderating events, and providing advisory support to the German Environment Agency and the Federal Environment Ministry.

Furthermore, Nils developed a proposal for a separate and binding international agreement for the eradication of plastic waste. This agreement aimed to mitigate environmental pollution through plastic and introduced supporting measures, which could be integrated by developing nations at a national level to work towards a sustainable plastic industry. Nils further consolidated this proposal and introduced it to the international negotiations through completing various studies for the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the WWF.

Prior to his work at adelphi, Nils was employed as a post-doctoral researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). He researched multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development within the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 700 "Governance in areas of limited statehood". Prior to that, he conducted research at SWP from 2009 to 2010 as part of a BMU-supported project on the reform of international environmental governance with a focus on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Nils completed his PhD at the Freie Universität Berlin, writing his doctoral dissertation on the management of institutional complexity in international chemicals governance. Prior to that, he completed a Diplom in Political Science (eq. MA) at the Freie Universität Berlin. He wrote his thesis on the diffusion of urban climate action strategies. He also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Sussex, UK. During his studies, Nils was supported by scholarships from the Hans Böckler Foundation and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Selected Projects

Selected publications