Simon Hardern

Advisory Board

Simon joined the Royal Navy in September 1984 directly from school. His first years were spent at sea in Her Majesty’s Ships CATTISTOCK, NOTTINGHAM, LINDISFARNE and ALACRITY. Whilst on the latter, the Ship, when on deployment to the West Indies, provided humanitarian support to Hurricane-Hugo devastated island of Montserrat.

Having completed a ten-month tour as the Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland patrol vessel HMS CUXTON, he joined the staff of Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland as the Flag Lieutenant in May 1991. Returning to sea for a short tour as the Navigating Officer of the Type 23 frigate HMS LANCASTER, he qualified as a Warfare Officer in December 1995. He assumed Command of the Sandown class mine-hunter HMS WALNEY. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in November 1996, his final year with the Ship was spent deployed with NATO’s Standing Naval Force Channel.

Following a short period as the Operations Officer of the Type 22 frigate HMS BEAVER, he attended the Joint Services Command and Staff College in September 1998. Graduating from the Advanced Command and Staff Course with an MA in Defence Studies, he joined the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic based in Norfolk, Virginia as the Military Assistant to the US 4* Commander. He received the US Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his services before, and after, the tragic events of 9/11.

He returned to the UK in October 2001 and led, for a short period, the Royal Naval Presentation Team. Assuming command of the frigate HMS KENT in April 2002, his time included a nine-month deployment to the north Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf as part of the UK’s effort with the Global War on Terrorism. Joining the Ministry of Defence in early 2004, he first had responsibilities for the planning and programming of all major logistics-related equipment procurement programmes and then, in 2007, as the Military Assistant to Chief of the Defence Staff for Personnel.

Promoted to Captain in September 2008, he became Secretary to the three Single-Service Chiefs of Staff and Ministerial Team. His final 8 years were spent working at NATO as: the Chief Staff Officer to Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Secretary to the Military Committee and Chief of Staff for the International Military Staff; and, finally, as a Rear Admiral, Deputy Chief of Staff Plans, Exercises and Partnerships.

In June 2018, Simon joined a large Crisis and Disaster Management company as CEO. With dedicated full-time resources spread across the world, he ensured the provision of personnel and equipment as well as the incident response, particularly those involving major loss of life. This included directly supporting two aviation disasters in the USA and the southern Pacific Ocean.

Simon joined the UK Hydrographic Office in April 2020 as the Head of Partnering and Engagement; based in Washington DC, he has a roving brief covering all the Americas.

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Steven Sims

Advisory Board

Location: Americas

Steven Sims served as Vice President for Programs and Field Operations for the National Minority Supplier Development Council. He was responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of programs, projects and technical assistance which supports the National Office as well as its affiliated Regional Councils. He also represented NMSDC as its government relations representative, a position he originally established in 1991. He served as the NMSDC representative on several association groups including the Small Business Administration Procurement Roundtable, MED Week National Conference Planning Committee, the Minority Delegate’s Caucus of the White House Conference on Small Business and the Federal Government’s OSDBU’s Directors Group.

Mr. Sims has career experience in senior management positions in the non-profit and public policy sectors. He has significant expertise in administration and system management. He most recently served, a two year term, on the board of the Institute for Supply Management where among other activities; he assisted them in developing a minority supplier utilization strategy and a corporate responsibility doctrine. Mr. Sims also worked to create the first international sister organization of NMSDC, in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1999.

He has been Deputy Commissioner of Public Health for the District of Columbia, responsible for the day to day operation of the Commission and the improvement of public health care delivery systems in the nation’s capitol. Mr. Sims has also served as Vice President for Programs and Operations for the New York Urban League, responsible for the program operations of the largest minority human services organization in New York City.

His government-related experience includes serving as Management Team Leader at the U.S. Department of Education; Special Assistant for Management/Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor and Special Assistant to the President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

A person who believes in the importance of giving back to the community and volunteering, Mr. Sims is Chairman Emeritus of the Boys Choir of Harlem; former Advisory Board Co-Chair of the Living Stage Theater Company; and has in the past volunteered with the D.C. Special Olympics, D.C. Hotline and the Washington Urban League.

A member of SACHEMS, the Senior Honor Society of Columbia College, Mr. Sims has been a member of Trans Africa, World Future Society, Urban League and the National Forum of Black Public Administrators.

Mr. Sims received his BA and MS from Columbia University.

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Mark Dombroff

Advisory Board

Location: Americas

Mark concentrates his practice on the aviation and transportation industries, including litigation, regulatory administrative and enforcement matters, investigations, airport and aircraft security and employment issues.

Mark has handled numerous safety, enforcement and regulatory matters before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other administrative agencies, whether arising from an accident or incident or other material compliance matter, including issues involving the Departments of State, Justice, the Treasury and Homeland Security, and the Transportation Security Administration.

Over the course of a career spanning more than four decades, Mark has tried dozens of jury and non-jury cases, ranging in length from one day to several months, and argued before state and federal appellate courts at all levels. He represented Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in the landmark Supreme Court case Boyle v. United Technologies, which established the government contractor defense, and in Mounsey v. Allied-Signal, a “friendly fire” litigation, winning the manufacturer’s dismissal from the case after the government invoked the state secrets doctrine to avoid responding to third-party subpoenas.

Mark has counseled and represented numerous airlines, including:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Arrow Air
  • Colgan Air
  • Empire Airlines
  • Mesa Airlines
  • National Airlines
  • SkyWest Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Trans State Airlines
  • US Airways
  • Virgin America

He also advises and represents aviation service providers, including airports, fuelers, ground handlers, fixed base operators, maintenance and overhaul companies, catering companies, security companies, and airframe and other aerospace manufacturers.

Mark is outside general counsel to the Aviation Emergency Response Organization (AERO), which focuses on informing, educating, sharing and providing a forum for emergency response professionals from all aspects of the aviation industry worldwide, as well as the UAS Insurance Association, comprised of the leading aviation insurers providing insurance coverage to the rapidly growing drone industry.

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John Bailey

Senior Vice President

Location: UK & EU

John Bailey has spent more than 25 years helping companies around the world to prepare for, and respond to, reputation challenges and crises. He is the author of the Best Practice Guidelines on Crisis Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age, published by the International Air Transport Association. This is the definitive guide for the global aviation industry on adapting crisis response plans to meet the challenge of an “always on” media environment.

John offers an unrivalled breadth of international experience, having worked with more than 100 clients in over 50 countries, including more than 60 airlines. He has also worked with several major hotel groups, including Accor, Hilton, IHG, Kempinski and Minor Hotels and more broadly with clients across the travel industry.

Before he moved back to Europe and joined GoCrisis, John built the largest independently-owned Public Relations agency in Singapore, which was acquired by Ketchum in November 2013. John previously worked in Geneva, Switzerland, where he created the successful IATA Crisis Communications consultancy service.

He has been involved in the response to numerous crisis situations, including several airline accidents and the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. More recently, he was part of the team advising the senior management of Malaysia Airlines on their response to the disappearance of flight MH370, a crisis unprecedented in aviation history. He also worked extensively with AirAsia Group, before and after the loss of flight QZ8501 in December 2014.

John is a regular speaker at conferences around the world and has been a guest lecturer at various universities in Asia and Europe and at the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia.

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