Saying “Au Revoir” to a Road Safety Champion: Soames Job

Saying “Au Revoir” to a Road Safety Champion: Soames Job

After 6 years of inspired road safety leadership as Head of GRSF and Road Safety Global Lead, Soames Job has retired from the World Bank. Although we will deeply miss Soames' inspirational spirit, he leaves the GRSF as a more powerful initiative for saving lives on the road.

Soames Job has dedicated the past six years to leading the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF). His strong passion for road safety, commitment, perseverance, and depth of knowledge have undoubtedly motivated experts globally to do more and better on the road safety agenda.

Under his leadership and thanks to our Donors, the GRSF expanded its global knowledge sharing, activities, outreach, and recognition, culminating in the winning of an unprecedented three Prince Michael Awards in 2020, and mobilizing new donors to support the Facility. He championed the development of a GRSF Research Program; the expansion of the Grant Program with support from UK Aid; the development of African countries capacity to manage road safety data with support from Total Energies Foundation; and advancements in understanding the importance of vehicle safety in several countries in the world thanks to support from International Motor Vehicle Inspection Committee (CITA). Global cooperation with key road safety partners was also strengthened, in particular with the UN Road Safety Collaboration led by WHO, Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) Working Group on Road Safety, and a partnership with the UN Road Safety Fund.

Soames also spearheaded road safety in World Bank operations, helped with the development of crucial documents, such as the Good Practice Note for Road Safety under the revised World Bank Environmental and Social Framework, making the World Bank the first MDB to include road safety as a mandatory safeguard in all their funded or co-funded projects. He contributed substantively to various World Bank-financed projects, including joining operational missions and actively advising on safety solutions to national and local authorities of numerous developing countries.

He has been an inspiration for World Bank colleagues, leading, for example, the Road Safety Audit in Nepal through the Bank-financed project, which led to crash barriers being added to mountainous roads and resulted in preventing the loss of thousands of lives in road crashes.

But the time to say ”au-revoir” has come as July 31st, 2021, was Soames’ last day in office, retiring from his position as Global Lead for Road Safety and Head of GRSF at the World Bank. During his World Bank farewell virtual party, Soames received overwhelming appreciation messages and great acknowledgements from World Bank staff and management, but also received heartfelt wishes from GRSF Board Members and key international partners in his farewell card, with some highlighted below:

Message from Binyam Reja, World Bank Transport Practice Manager, and Acting Global Director

Ben WBIt has been a great pleasure to work with you over the last several years. Thank you for your strong leadership in putting road safety as a key development agenda in the Bank and globally. Under your leadership, the road safety work in the Bank has been mainstreamed and operationalized in Bank lending and analytical work. You are leaving a great legacy in the Bank, which the Transport GP and GRSF team will carry forward for many years to come.

Message from Kelly Larson, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Initiative for Global Road Safety and Chair of the GRSF Board

Kelly BPCongratulations on an amazing career! Your contributions to global road safety are so significant and will last a lifetime. Hopefully, you won't fully retire as we need your energy, expertise, and wisdom. Thank you for being such a collaborative partner and colleague. We'll miss your leadership and will call on you to continue strengthening road safety around the world.

The GRSF team is grateful for Soames’ guidance and leadership, and we look forward to seeing his continuing life work in road safety. GRSF is committed to follow Soames’ passion for road safety and leverage his achievements to further mobilize the global road safety community to fight this ongoing silent pandemic. Click here to read more about Soames’ work during his time at the World Bank.

The World Bank and GRSF will make a separate announcement shortly about the new Global Road Safety Lead and Head of GRSF.