Steve Owen joins AECOM as leader of the international social practice within the Global Development Team. He brings over 20 years’ consultancy experience and specialism in social performance, resettlement action plans (RAP), livelihood restoration plans (LRP), international ESIA and E&S due diligence for major oil & gas, mining, development and transport infrastructure projects.
Steve has spent much of his time working within client teams and engaging with local communities in remote project locations in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.
Steve commented: “It’s exciting that international projects and funders increasingly recognise that managing a project’s social risks is as important as managing technical risks. Issues such as land access and resettlement frequently lie on the critical path for project development, so getting it right is essential….and that means getting it right from the perspective of the project, the funders and the affected communities.
“As well as avoiding and minimising impacts on local communities, it’s also about promoting distributed benefits, fair resettlement, improving livelihoods, developing local content and sustainable supply chains, protecting culture and supporting community development. In practice this can be challenging, and relies on good people, clear guiding principles, systematic approaches and lots of transparent communication and engagement with communities.
“I’m very excited to be joining the AECOM team, with its great breadth of skills, geographic profile and opportunities to help clients deliver internationally important projects. It’s a privilege to work in amazing places, with amazing communities, on amazing projects, and I look forward to working with colleagues to help AECOM clients deliver their social and community objectives”.
Prior to joining AECOM, Steve was an independent consultant and other previous positions include Technical Director & Partner at ERM Ltd and consultant at PWC. He is based in the UK and works internationally.