People

Jamil Simon

Founder and President, Spectrum Media

Jamil Simon

Jamil is an award-winning producer/director of documentaries and educational videos with more than 40 years of experience including nearly 25 years working in the field of development communications. Jamil brings to every project his dogged, on-the-ground approach to solving communications problems and a talent for telling powerful stories on film. He has worked in over 20 countries on issues ranging from sustainable agriculture, healthcare and environmental conservation, to conflict resolution, land tenure/property rights, gender equality, and governance.

Jamil spent much of last year in Haiti. Working for USAID as an advisor to the Haitian government, he developed and implemented critical communication strategies and multimedia tools to accelerate post-earthquake recovery efforts. Pre-production work is also underway on a documentary about the peace-building process in Burundi in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Prior to that, Jamil designed public awareness programs to support democratization in Mali, water conservation in Tunisia, conflict resolution education in Jordan and property rights in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The CAR work, completed in 2009, produced films on property rights for artisanal diamond miners that were translated into three languages and widely distributed among international development professionals, government officials, and diplomats.

In addition, Jamil has produced and directed documentaries on topics ranging from science education and early childhood development to environmental and energy conservation. Many of his films on teaching and learning have been produced for organizations such as Harvard, MIT, WGBH TV and Children’s Television Workshop.

Jamil has continually championed the use of multimedia tools to advance conflict resolution education around the world, and has produced several projects to promote peace building and reconciliation. Working with a team of curriculum developers and media producers, he has developed the Peace Teaching Project [download 800KB pdf] to make multilingual, video-based conflict resolution training materials accessible to educators everywhere.

As an expert in Development Communications, Jamil has given talks on innovative ways to reach audiences in developing countries at a variety of institutions, including Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, BU's School of Public Health, USAID, and development firms such as, DAI, ARD, MSH, and Chemonics.

More than a journalistic documentarian and development consultant, Jamil is also a visual artist—an accomplished still photographer—whose work has been exhibited in galleries and published in books and magazines.