Verra hires operations chief to ‘enhance transparency and trust’

The appointment of Judith Simon as company president comes a month after allegations that Verra certified ‘phantom credits’.

Judith Simon, president, Verra
Judith Simon joins Verra after two years with Seattle-based tech real-estate marketplace Zillow. She brings 30 years' experience in senior operations roles to the carbon projects certifier. Image: Verra

Verra, a voluntary carbon markets certifier, has appointed Judith Simon as president.

Simon brings over 30 years of operations experience to the role, and joins as Verra works to improve its certification process and “enhance transparency and trust across all operations,” a company statement said. 

The appointment emerges a month after reports in the international press alleged that some Verra-certified carbon removal projects had been ineffective. The report cast doubt over a market projected to grow five-fold by 2030 and raised questions among corporations that rely on offsets to meet decarbonisation goals. Verra, which certifies roughly three-quarters of all voluntary credits, denied the allegations

In the newly created role, Simon will run the operations side of functions including policy, innovation, operations, technology, and finance, and be based at Verra’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

Verra chief executive David Antonioli said Simon’s hire “helps ensure that we both meet the demands of the present and build an organisation for the future.”

“Our work is core to achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement and ensuring sustainable development around the world, and we need to make sure that Verra can support markets seeking to address these important challenges,” he said in a press release.

Simon joins after two years with Seattle-based tech real-estate marketplace Zillow. She has previously worked in senior operations roles for residential real-estate firm Redfin and used-vehicle retailer CarMax.

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