DDI Welcomes Nerys John at Ottawa AGM

The Diamond Development Initiative’s Board of Directors welcomed Nerys John as its newest member during its 2015 AGM, held in Ottawa on April 24, 2015. Nerys is Community Relations Manager for the De Beers Group of Companies, and is based in Johannesburg.

She has a longstanding interest in artisanal mining, and participated in DDI’s founding meeting, held in Accra in 2005. “I’m glad to be back,” she said. “I’m impressed by how much DDI has accomplished and I’m looking forward to a very productive relationship.”

Nerys joins the multi-stakeholder initiative as her colleague Andy Bone steps down. Andy is leaving De Beers after 38 years, most recently serving as Group Head of Government & Industry Relations. He was instrumental in the creation of DDI and has served on its board for several years.

Ian Smillie, Chair of the DDI Board of Directors, said: “We’re sorry to be saying farewell to Andy. He has been a stalwart and dedicated friend and ally. We’re glad to be welcoming Nerys back to DDI, however, and we know that she brings the kind of experience and drive that DDI needs.”

At a farewell dinner, Andy said it has been a pleasure and a privilege being part of what he called DDI’s “winning team”. He will now join DDI’s Advisory Group.

The Board reviewed DDI’s ongoing miner registration and support program in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and its new mobile school initiative, which takes schools to children in order to get them out of mining operations. The Board also reviewed DDI’s emergency work on the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone’s diamond areas and is cautiously optimistic that development operations there can begin again soon.

To learn more about DDI and its work, visit www.ddiglobal.org.

Marika Escaravage, Communications Manager
The Diamond Development Initiative