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Bangladesh Accord appoints its leadership team

18 October, 2013The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh today announced appointments to key roles that will allow the Accord to make significant steps and progress in its aims of delivering safer working environments for garment workers in Bangladesh.

Sean Ansett, the Accord’s Interim Executive Director, announced the appointments of Brad Loewen as Chief Safety Inspector, Alan Roberts as Executive Director of International Operations and Rob Wayss as Executive Director of Bangladesh Operations. All three appointees will start work within the next seven weeks.

Of the new appointments, Mr. Ansett said:

“The quality of candidates has meant that we have been able to bring an incredible depth of experience to these key roles. The appointments provide the Accord with strong leadership to move forward quickly on the vital work of factory inspections and remediation.”

Monika Kemperle of IndustriALL Global Union spoke of the major development of appointing a Chief Safety Inspector:

“Brad Loewen’s task is central to all that we want to achieve. Under his experienced leadership, the Accord will establish and apply safety standards to all factories that supply to Accord member brands. It is a mammoth task but one in which Brad will have the capacity and authority to make decisions that will make direct, positive impacts upon the safety of Bangladeshi garment workers.”

Lisa Fairclough of Debenhams welcomed the new Directors, citing the drive and vision that they will lend to the Accord’s goal of improving worker safety in Bangladesh:

“Given the scale and breadth of the Accord’s aims, we are pleased to be able to appoint two Executive Directors. Alan Roberts will take up an international role, setting up our head office, raising funds and enlisting new signatories and will be the first point of contact for the Accord. Rob Wayss will be in Bangladesh, where he will liaise closely with local actors, including the government and employers’ organisations, whose cooperation is essential to the Accord achieving its aims. Rob will train the Accord’s local teams, work closely with the Chief Safety Inspector and be a link to garment workers. Both of these executive directors will be instrumental in implementing the work of the Accord on the ground in Bangladesh and in raising the profile of the Accord and its work, to stakeholders and the public

Notes to editors

Brad Loewen joins the Accord as Chief Safety Inspector, from the City of Winnipeg where he is Administrator of Commercial Plan Examination and Inspections. He has previously worked in roles related to fire safety, workplace safety and health, mediation and conciliation, and engineering for organizations including the Canadian Government, the University of Winnipeg, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Province of Manitoba and Steinbach Fire Dept. He will take up his post on 1 November.

Rob Wayss joins the Accord as Executive Director of Bangladesh Operations, from the International Labour Organisation where he is Chief Technical Advisor in Bangladesh. He previously worked in several capacities for the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, an organisation with close ties to U.S. trade unions, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations, the United States Agency for International Development and the US Peace Corps. He will take up his new post on 15 November.

Alan Roberts joins the Accord as Executive Director of International Operations, from Sancroft International where he is Associate Director, Ethical Trade. He was the former Chair of the Ethical Trading Initiative and has worked in corporate social responsibility and supply chain roles across companies such as Apparel Group, Pentland Group, Speedo, Otto UK Ltd, Skillsmart Retail Ltd, Burberry and Littlewoods. He will take up his post on 2 December.

Sean Ansett was appointed Interim Executive Director of the Accord in August 2013, bringing considerable international experience in the field of ethical trade to the Accord’s organisation. He will play this role until a permanent Executive Director is on board.

- The Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was signed on 13 May 2013, in response to the Rana Plaza factory building collapse on 24 April 2013.

- The Accord’s website address is www.bangladeshaccord.org

- The Accord’s Twitter feed is @bangaccord