David Ward is the Executive President of the Towards Zero Foundation (TZF), a UK registered charity promoting safe and sustainable road transport worldwide. TZF has consultative status with the United Nations and supports implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals & the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2021-2030). David is also the Chair of the East Kent Group of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Major projects managed by TZF include:
- The Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) that promotes motor vehicle safety and independent consumer rating. With funding from the Bloomberg Philanthropies and the FIA Foundation, Global NCAP, serves as an international partnership for co-operation among NCAPs, supports vehicle rating projects in Africa, India, Latin America, and South East Asia, and has succeeded in raising levels of safety performance across the world.
- The Stop the Crash Partnership, which brings together a group of companies that are the world’s leading suppliers of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as electronic stability control and automatic emergency braking. Members include Continental, Bosch, Denso, and ZF. Since 2015 the Partnership has been organizing major ADAS advocacy and demonstration events worldwide which have helped to raise fitment levels of these life-saving technologies.
- The Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative which promotes the target to at least halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 in the 54 countries that are members of the Commonwealth.
Previously David was the founding Director General of the FIA Foundation from 2001 to 2013. This was established as an independent UK charity with an endowment of $300 million from the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and is one of the world’s largest philanthropies promoting safe and sustainable transport. He has also served in a wide range of related roles including:
- Secretary of the Commission for Global Road Safety (2006-2015), chaired by Lord Roberston of Port Ellen, which was instrumental in the establishment of the first United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020).
- President of eSafety Aware (2007-2009) a public-private partnership launched by the European Commission to promote crash avoidance systems in the European Union.
- Chairman of the Global Road Safety Facility (2010 to 2012) hosted by the World Bank which co-finances and co-ordinates road injury prevention activities of the multilateral development banks.
- Founding co-Chair in 2009 of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative in partnership with the UN Environment Programme, the International Energy Agency, and the International Transport Forum.
- Founding Board Member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (1996 to 2006) which initiated the first ever pan-European consumer vehicle safety rating partnership, and which has significantly contributed to the near halving of road traffic deaths across the European Union.
The positive impact of David’s work has been internationally recognized. The road safety organisations he has led have won the prestigious annual Prince Michael Premier International Road Safety Award on an unprecedented three separate occasions:
- The FIA Foundation in 2009 for the Make Roads Safe campaign which succeeded in securing the first ever Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety and a UN Decade of Action (2011-2020).
- The Global New Car Assessment Programme in 2016 for its #NoZeroStarCars campaign and consumer crash ratings that have raised vehicle safety standards worldwide.
- The Towards Zero Foundation in 2020 for the #50by30 Campaign which succeeded in securing a UN commitment to halve road deaths and injuries in a second Decade of Action (2021 to 2030).
His prior employment includes serving as:
- Director General of the European Union Bureau of the FIA based in Brussels, leading advocacy campaigns on vehicle safety and environmental issues (1994 to 2001).
- Chief Policy Adviser to the late Rt. Hon. John Smith QC MP, Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, playing a significant role in policy formulation of the Labour Party (1988 to 1994).
David also previously worked as Head of Communications for the United Nations Children’s Fund UK, as the Campaigns Officer for the Parliamentary Labour Party, for a development NGO, and as a freelance journalist. He graduated from London University in 1979 with a BA in philosophy and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
David is 65 years old and married to Emma Maclennan, the Director of the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport. They live in Kent in the UK, and have had two children, Alex and Katy. Alex Ward sadly died in 2020 from motor neurone disease. David is now serving as the Chair of the East Kent Group of the MND Association.