UQ People

Upper Quartile's partners are all experienced business professionals with backgrounds at senior level in both the public and private sectors at home and abroad.

David Crichton


David Crichton

David joined Upper Quartile as a Partner in 2007, since when the business has tripled its turnover. Upper Quartile generates over 90% of its income from international work in conflict and fragile states with approximately 40% coming from working directly with private multi-nationals investing in fragile states.  

David’s work has spanned the public and private sectors within the UK and internationally, with a common thread of economic development leadership and consulting. He began his career in the University of Aberdeen, researching the emerging oil and gas sector in the UK. He then joined the Scottish Development Agency, planning and designing projects to assist the restructuring of the Scottish Economy. In 1989 he established his own consulting business, managing and delivering research projects across the UK and overseas before joining Scottish Enterprise in 1989 once again involved in economic development planning and project implementation. By the time he left Scottish Enterprise in 2003 he had spent five years as Chief Executive of the development agency for Edinburgh and the surrounding region. 

David then became involved in international development, working in Croatia, Macedonia and other emerging economies. He spent two years as CEO of the UK’s principal trade association for the commercial timber industry before joining the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2007. There he was global Director of Country and Economic Research, managing a team of economists and analysts working from offices in London, New York, Vienna, Delhi, Hong Kong and Singapore delivering custom research projects for multinational businesses and multilateral organisations including the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and the Gates Foundation. Since joining Upper Quartile he has worked exclusively on fragile and conflict-affected economies, primarily in Afghanistan as well as in Tanzania, Serbia and Montserrat. Clients have included international donor agencies, for which he has led programme design and evaluation assignments and also the NATO coalition where he has been involved in stabilisation and campaign planning.  

David therefore has over 30 years senior management experience in designing, managing and evaluating economic development programmes. He now specialises in fragile and conflict-affected economies, specialising in programme design, management and evaluation with additional experience in stabilisation planning.   He has been working at the sharp end of stabilisation and development planning and has a clear understanding of the relationship, often a difficult one, between the two. He also has direct experience of working within both the donor and military communities, again developing an understanding of the challenging relationship between them. He has extensive research management experience and as a senior Partner in Upper Quartile is responsible for identifying and managing project teams and for ensuring positive relationships with clients.  He is a deployable expert with the UK Stabilisation Unit, has SC security clearance and has current HEAT training.

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