Simon Conway is a former British Army officer and international aid worker. He has cleared landmines and the other debris of war across the world.
As Co-Chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition he successfully campaigned to achieve an international ban on cluster bombs.
He is currently working as Director of Capability for The HALO Trust.
He lives in Edinburgh with his wife the journalist and broadcaster Sarah Smith. He has two daughters.
Simon Conway was born in Sacramento, California in 1967. His father is an agricultural ecologist and former President of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Royal Geographical Society. His mother is an artist and academic, who specialises in South East Asia. He went to school in England but lived in Lebanon and Thailand as a child.
Simon studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh and subsequently served as an infantry officer in the British Army, seeing active duty with The Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforths and Camerons) in West Belfast.
After leaving the military, Simon spent four years living and working in the Peak District and then the island of Islay in the Hebrides and completed his first novel Damaged, which was published by Canongate. The Literary Review described it as “the debut of a roaring and prodigal talent”.
In 1998, Simon joined The HALO Trust. He cleared landmines and explosive remnants of war on the K5 mine-belt in Cambodia and was subsequently involved in immediate post-conflict survey and clearance in Kosovo, Eritrea and Sri Lanka. He managed the clearance of the east bank of the Gumista River in the Abkhazia, a breakaway region of the Caucasus, destroying more than 5,000 mines in twelve months.
In 2004, Simon joined Landmine Action, later renamed Action On Armed Violence, and established explosive ordnance disposal projects in Western Sahara, Guinea Bissau and Liberia. In 2006, he was made one of three co-Chairs of the global Cluster Munition Coalition and successfully campaigned for the 2008 international treaty that banned cluster bombs. His 2006 report on the use of more than 4 million cluster sub-munitions in Southern Lebanon helped highlight the indiscriminate effects of the weapon.
In 2014 Simon re-joined HALO and has been at the forefront of establishing new methods and means of working, including remote management in Syria and Yemen and urban rubble clearance in Iraq and Libya. He now works as the Director of Capability for HALO.
He is a board member of Article 36, a not-for-profit organisation working to prevent the unintended, unnecessary or unacceptable harm caused by weapons, including lethal autonomous weapons.
Simon has had five novels published including A Loyal Spy, winner of the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. His publishers are Hodder & Stoughton in the UK and Arcade in the USA. His novel Rock Creek Park is under development as a TV series by ITV Studios USA.
Simon is currently living in Scotland with his wife the BBC broadcaster Sarah Smith. He has two daughters by his first marriage.