Photo of David Plumb

David Plumb

Director, Latin America Practice and Senior Mediator

David Plumb is a mediator, facilitator, trainer, and researcher with experience managing complex development and public policy issues in a variety of environments, including Nigeria’s Niger Delta, northern Chile, and urban United States. David is CBI’s Director for Latin America and also co-leads the organization’s Corporate Community Engagement practice. Prior to CBI, he directed the Sustainable Business Practice at Search for Common Ground. He also spent eight years working as a financial journalist and correspondent, mostly for Bloomberg News.  

Areas of Focus

A primary focus of David’s work is assisting communities, companies, and authorities to interact more constructively and engage in productive dialogue. He designs and facilitates multi-stakeholder processes that can provide a credible space for addressing historical grievances and mistrust, as well as exploring creative solutions for the future.  David also designs and implements participatory processes that give citizens and key stakeholders an active voice in making smarter policy decisions, assisting governments to develop new public policies with wider public support. He has particular expertise in energy, environment, and international development issues. In addition, David has assisted NGOs and industry groups to negotiate environmental and social standards for key commodities such as farmed fish. As a trainer, David has worked with community-based organizations to strengthen their capacity to engage in dialogue, with government regulators who need assistance in managing complex public participation processes, and with multinational corporations that need to improve globally their community relations and social performance.  

Exemplary Projects

  • Energia 2050: Developing Chile’s new long-term energy policy
  • Chile’s new Voluntary Pre-Investment Agreements: Creating a standard for community-company interaction on investment projects
  • Valhalla: Building a long-term relationship between a fishing community and a renewable energy initiative
  • Aquaculture Dialogues: Negotiating environmental and social standards for salmon and other farmed fish
  • Chevron Niger Delta Participatory Evaluation: Working with communities and an oil company to jointly evaluate and re-negotiate key community agreements 


The following is a partial list of clients:

International Organizations

  • International Finance Corp.
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • UN Development Programme
  • DEG

Chilean Government

  • Environment Ministry of Chile, Environmental Review Agency
  • Energy Ministry of Chile
  • National Development Corporation of Chile
  • Sustainability and Climate Change Agency of Chile

US Government

  • US Environmental Protection Agency


  • Shell
  • Chevron
  • Valhalla Energy
  • Pfizer
  • Colbun
  • BHP Billiton

Nonprofit Organizations

  • WWF
  • Aquaculture Stewardship Council
  • World Resources Institute
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Flora Family Foundation 

Education and Affiliations

David Plumb holds an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Politics and Latin American Studies. He also studied at Chile’s Catholic University with a Fulbright Scholarship.