Dr Simon Longstaff is a philosopher whose focus is in the field of applied ethics encompassing the wider community beyond academe. He has been Executive Director of St James Ethics Centre since 1991. Established in 1989, St James Ethics Centre is an independent not-for-profit organisation serving as a catalyst and enabler for society to think, debate and act in good conscience, particularly in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity. One of the Executive Director’s roles is to encourage the process of integrating ethical considerations into the strategic thinking of the management community and those who advise and regulate them
Longstaff’s distinguished career includes being named as one of the AFR Boss True Leaders for the first decade of the 21st century with Carol Schwartz noting ‘I don’t know one CEO or chairman in corporate Australia who has not worked with Simon Longstaff.’ Prior to becoming the inaugural Executive Director of St James Ethics Centre, he lectured at Cambridge University and consulted to the Cambridge Commonwealth and Overseas Trusts.
Longstaff was inaugural President of The Australian Association for Professional Applied Ethics and is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum. He is Chairman of Woolworths Limited Corporate Responsibility Panel, AMP Capital Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Committee, Defence Science and Technology Organisation Probity Board and the International Advisory Board of the Genographic Project. Longstaff serves on the Australian Institute of Company Directors Corporate Governance Committee, BHP Billiton Forum on Corporate Responsibility, CSIRO Niche Manufacturing Flagship Advisory Committee and Nestle Oceania Creating Shared Value Advisory Board.
A dynamic speaker at events, Longstaff encourages and contributes to the active discussion of ethical questions amongst the relevant to audiences.
Longstaff has a PhD in Philosophy from Cambridge and his doctoral research centred on related questions arising in the areas of political philosophy, ethics and the philosophy of education. His book, Hard Cases, Tough Choices was published in 1997 and numerous articles have been published over the years.