Simon is from Tūhoe and Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana. He is an Indigenous geographer and currently holds the position of Chief Science Advisor (Māori) at the Ministry for the Environment in Aotearoa New Zealand. Previously, Simon was an Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. His research has focused on how Indigenous communities are impacted by disasters and emergencies, and how they can better position themselves to enact effective “disaster risk reduction” (DRR). This approach is also important in biosecurity as Māori and other Indigenous Peoples seek to protect their biological heritages that have a fundamental role in Indigenous cultures, food security, and wider planetary sustainability.