A Seasoned Leader in Sustainability Becomes Chair of the Inspection Panel
The World Bank Inspection Panel welcomes Mark Goldsmith as its new Chairperson. Mark Goldsmith, a United Kingdom citizen, who has served as an Inspection Panel Member since November 17, 2019 and has led Inspection Panel cases over the past four years. He officially assumed the role on December 16, 2023, succeeding Ramanie Kunanayagam.
Mark Goldsmith is an accomplished expert on environmental and social issues, with an impressive career spanning over 25 years. He has managed intricate projects and led teams across diverse sectors, including Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and strategy consulting, financial services, international development, and renewable energy. Mark has also worked in both the private and public sectors, where he has demonstrated his ability to navigate complex challenges, manage multi-stakeholder dynamics, and spearhead the implementation of innovative, industry-wide solutions.
Prior to founding his sustainability consultancy in 2015, Mark Goldsmith served as Director, Responsible Investment for Actis, for over a decade. In this capacity, he emerged as a thought leader in ESG within emerging markets across Africa, South Asia and Latin America. His influence played a pivotal role in developing and advocating for world-class standards in sustainability, business integrity, health and safety, social considerations, environmental stewardship, and climate change across diverse investment areas and companies. Notably, from 2014 to 2019, Mark served as a Non-Executive Director of ENEO, the power company of Cameroon, where he chaired the board subcommittee on ESG for several years.
Mark Goldsmith's leadership extends beyond corporate realms, as evidenced by his work on environmental and social coaching and training for British International Investments (Formerly CDC Group), the UK's development finance institution. He has also served as a strategic advisor to several sustainable and ESG-focused funds and their portfolio companies including Archipelago, an impact-led investment firm specializing in the reduction of negative environmental and social impacts of plastic and waste.
Mark expressed his enthusiasm and gratitude for the opportunity to lead the Inspection Panel, which has just celebrated its 30th anniversary. “I am honored to be entrusted with this major responsibility at a critical juncture,” he said. He recognized the significance of his new duties, observing that “the Inspection Panel plays a vital role in ensuring that the World Bank is accountable to its stakeholders and delivers on its mission of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity on a livable planet”.
He also shared his vision for the future, stating that “the Inspection Panel will need to evolve to meet the challenges confronted by the World Bank as it responds to member country needs at a volatile and complex time of great change especially in relation to climate”. Mark added that “with the review of the Accountability Mechanism commencing, the Bank starting to implement its evolution roadmap and some complex compliance cases being considered, it is likely to be a very busy 2024 for the Inspection Panel”.
Mark Goldsmith has been married to his wife Jane for over 25 years and has two children. He holds a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering from the University of Nottingham and a master’s degree in environmental pollution control, with distinction, from the University of Leeds. Interestingly, like their father thirty years ago, both of his children are currently studying for Honors degrees at the University of Nottingham. His term as Chair is set to run through November 16, 2024.