David Ward has worked in road safety, sustainable transport, international development, and UK politics for over thirty-five years.
David is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Towards Zero Foundation, a UK registered charity working internationally for a world free from road fatalities and serious injuries by promoting safe and sustainable road transport. The Foundation provides a platform for global partnerships in road transport working for ambitious improvements in public health related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
David is also Secretary General of the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) which promotes independent consumer safety rating of motor vehicles and provides a platform for cooperation among all nine NCAP’s operating across the world. Global NCAP has helped establish new NCAPs in Latin America and South Seat Asia and is also supporting the development a similar programme in India. In 2016 Global NCAP won the HRH Prince Michael of Kent’s Premier International Road Safety Award in recognition of its “outstanding contribution” to automotive safety.
David also serves as the Chairman of the ‘Stop the Crash Partnership’, a public/private initiative, promoting crash avoidance technologies globally and particularly in rapidly motorising countries. He was previously President of the ‘eSafety Aware’ a pan-European initiative that successfully promoted early adoption of crash avoidance technologies such as electronic stability control.
From 2001 to 2013 David was the first Director General of the FIA Foundation which is a UK registered charity promoting road safety and sustainable transport worldwide. During his period as Director General (2001-2013) the Foundation disbursed over $100 million to a wide variety of projects around the world. In 2009 the FIA Foundation won the HRH Prince Michael of Kent’s Premier International Road Safety Award in recognition of its “outstanding contribution” to global road safety.
In 2006 David established the Commission for Global Road Safety, serving as its Executive Secretary under the Chairmanship of Lord Robertson of Port Ellen. The Commission called for the first ever global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, the establishment of a UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, and argued for the inclusion of road safety in the new framework of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Russian Federation hosted the first ever Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in November 2009; the UN Decade of Action was launched by the UN Secretary General in May 2011; and in September 2015, the SDGs were adopted with road safety included in the goals for Health and Cities. Having successfully achieved its objectives the Commission was wound up during the second Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety held in Brasilia in November 2015.
Whilst at the FIA Foundation David also served on the Executive Board of the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility (2006 to 2013) and as its Chairman from 2010 to 2012. The Facility acts as a forum for cooperation among major donors and the multilateral development banks. In 2009 he also led the creation of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, a partnership with the UN Environment Programme, the International Energy Agency, and the International Transport Forum aiming to halve passenger car fuel economy by 2050.
Prior to his role at the FIA Foundation, David was Director General (1994 to 2001) of the European Bureau of the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA), the international federation of automobile clubs, where he led campaigns for improved EU vehicle safety and emission standards. In 1995 he launched a successful campaign to radically improve vehicle crash test standards and in 1996 helped to establish the European New Car Assessment Programme serving on its Board for ten years. David also worked as Special Advisor to the President of the FIA, Max Mosley until the end of his term of office in 2009 and served as the elected Secretary General of the FIA’s International Court of Appeal (2003-2006).
Before working with the FIA and the FIA Foundation, David worked for the late Rt. Hon. John Smith QC MP (1988 to 1994) serving as his Head of Policy when Leader of the Opposition and adviser when Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was Campaigns Officer of the Parliamentary Labour Party in the run up to the 1987 General Election in which he was candidate for the central London seat of Chelsea.
In the mid early 1980s David worked as Head of Communications for the United Nations Children’s Fund-UK, and as Campaigns Officer for the World Development Movement, where he led advocacy initiatives in support of the recommendations of the Brandt Commission report and to meet the UN target for overseas aid. He also worked as a journalist reporting on Sub-Saharan Africa and was a volunteer assistant to the late Joan Lestor MP, then Vice President of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, of which David was an active member.
David is 62 years old, graduated from London University in 1979 with a BA in philosophy. He is married to Emma MacLennan, the Director of the Eastern Alliance of Safe & Sustainable Transport. They are both Directors of Maclennan Ward Research which provides support to the non-profit and charity sector. David and Emma have two grown up children Alex and Katy. They live in Tenterden, Kent, and partly in Chania on the island of Crete in Greece, which is where Emma’s maternal family come from.