Karl Simpson – CEO

Karl is CEO of Liftstream, a company he founded in 2004 to deliver executive search and board services to the life sciences sector. He has led Liftstream to become a trusted partner in the life sciences sector in Europe and the US market and a recognised leader in championing diversity, equity and inclusion.

Karl has 30 years of experience advising investors, boards and executive management on leadership and human capital strategies in high-innovation markets in Europe and the US, and has worked in pharma and life sciences since first being involved with the industry in 1999.

Karl is the founder of Bioscience & Investor Inclusion Group, now Ignite VC, which was a collaborative industry coalition to actively address the DE&I challenges in life sciences venture capital and innovator companies. He continues to serve as an advisory board member. Karl is also the founder of BioDirector, the largest diverse international community of board directors serving innovative healthcare companies.

Karl served as Chairman of the Association of Executive Recruiters from 2017-2020, and on the board from 2013.

He served on the board of the Women’s Business Council – MACA (UK Government Equalities Office) from 2015-2020 and acts as an advisor to a range of organisations on issues of corporate governance, leadership and diversity. Karl was named on the UK’s 2018 Men As Change Agents Power List to recognise his commitment to gender equality.

Karl was co-founder and executive director of Bioinsource from 2001-2003, a company that provided recruiting services in life sciences which merged with James Harvard (Hays Plc). He was formerly involved in creating a leading international technology recruiting firm that was acquired by a UK public company in 1999.