Emma Wilson

Institute Associate Profile

Emma has 20 years’ experience of working on community relations and corporate responsibility in the energy sector, including social impact assessment, social audit, stakeholder engagement and the analysis of international standards. She speaks fluent Russian and has worked in Russia, Central Asia, Norway, Greenland and several African countries. She is an Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) at Cambridge University.

In the early 1990s, after graduating in modern languages from Cambridge, she taught English in Japan for two years before working with Friends of the Earth in Russia. Based in Vladivostok and Sakhalin Island she worked on community engagement and environmental protection in the forestry and oil sectors. She set up the NGO Sakhalin Environment Watch together with local environmentalist Dmitry Lisitsyn, who subsequently received the Goldman Environmental Prize.

Emma’s PhD research focused on local participation in decision-making relating to Sakhalin’s oil and gas development. Following that, she worked as a consultant for Shell on Sakhalin, helping to implement their social impact assessment and indigenous peoples’ development plan. She has also worked on oil and gas projects in Qatar, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

From 2007-2015, Emma was a senior researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), leading the Energy Team. She developed a body of work promoting community energy access in Africa, while continuing to work on public consultation, transparency and accountability in the extractive industries in Russia and Central Asia. She also spent a month in Greenland, looking at mining, oil and community engagement.

Since leaving IIED, Emma continues working on oil and gas projects in Central Asia and recently completed two research projects on international standards for corporate responsibility, indigenous peoples and the extractive industries in Norway and Russia.

In her spare time, Emma likes to holiday in the UK (especially Norfolk and the New Forest), practice yoga and play the violin. She is also a passionate gardener.

Emma hopes to help TCI develop its work with the private sector and internationally.

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