Mark Pyman is an experienced anti-corruption professional. From 2015 through 2017, he was one of three International Committee Members on the Afghanistan independent Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee. Established by the President of Afghanistan, the Committee – known as the ‘MEC’ – comprises 6 people, three well-respected Afghans and three internationally known anti-corruption experts, supported by a supporting secretariat of 25 professionals in Kabul. They monitor what is going right and wrong in anti-corruption efforts in the country, carry out detailed analyses of the corruption issues, and press for change. Mark was astonished at how some of the most imaginative anti-corruption solutions – impressive even by developed world standards – were emerging out of this unpromising Afghan soil. But at the same time he was horrified to discover that the world’s anti-corruption knowledge in almost every sector – from education to telecommunications – was poorly organised and, where it even existed, difficult to access. Worse, he found that many international sector specialists avoided the subject of corruption, perhaps because of the risk that they would lose funding.More detail can be found here.
From 2004 to 2015, he founded and then led the global Defence and Security programme at the NGO Transparency International. This large, ground-breaking programme works on tackling the ways that corruption undermines security and military forces in countries. He led the team’s field work in over 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, UK and the USA; and pioneered detailed, comparative analyses of the defence corruption risks of some 130 countries.
His work was instrumental in shaping the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (2013), in influencing NATO policy and operations in respect of counter-corruption, in shaping the military doctrine of several countries, and in policy forums such as the Munich Security Conference.
Working with militaries and Defence Ministries in country after country from 2004 to 2015, Mark was struck how senior officials and senior officers were open about their participation in corrupt or questionable practice. They knew very well the political constraints on what they could do, but many were nonetheless taking small actions to reduce the corruption. They knew how deeply corruption went against the ethos of military leadership, and many were ashamed. Their question – almost every time – was ‘What do you suggest I could best do, and where do I find the necessary knowledge?’ For many, finding that defence-specific anti-corruption knowledge existed was like finding water in the desert.
From 1985 to 2003, he was a senior executive at Shell International. He was Chief Financial Officer of Shell companies in West Africa (Gabon), China, Taiwan and South Korea. Other senior roles included Director of major change programmes for Shell across Europe, leading a transformation team of 700, and manager of Shell’s investor relations with the City of London.Mark developed a detailed understanding of how the corporate community more broadly can do to be more honest and more engaged.
From 1981-1985, he was one of the founders of the market-leading technical risk consultancy ‘Technica’.
He holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia, an MSc from Bath University and a first-class honours degree from Birmingham University. He has authored or supervised many blogs and publications on tackling corruption.