European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights at the Delegation of the European Commission in Moscow, and subsequently for more than 10 years as human rights programme officer for the Russian Federation with the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (2003-2010; 2012-2016). He has a PhD in Russian history from UCL-School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London (1997). Simon has also worked as a researcher for Amnesty International. Earlier in his career he trained as a high school teacher, working in schools in London and rural Zimbabwe. He is the author of Russian Nationalism and the Politics of Soviet Literature: the Case of Nash Sovremennik 1981-91 (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke & New York, 2004) and among his recent publications are ‘Optimism of the will: defending human rights in Russia,’ (openDemocracy, 10 December 2010) and ‘Perspective: Twenty Years Later, Russians’ Rights Are Still Imperilled’ (Current History: A Journal of Contemporary World Affairs, October 2011).