Board of Directors
Ian Smillie (Chair)
Ian Smillie is a development professional and foreign aid critic with an extensive history of involvement with the artisanal mining sector. He was founder and/or Executive Director of Inter-Parès, CUSO, and the Diamond Development Initiative. He currently works as a development consultant and author. His latest books are Diamonds (2014) and Blood on the Stone: Greed, Corruption and War in the Global Diamond Trade (2010. Ian Smillie was a founder-participant in the Kimberley Process, a global certification system to halt the traffic in conflict diamonds. He is President of the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID). Ian Smillie was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2003.
Stéphane Fischler (Vice Chair)
Stéphane Fischler is a third generation diamantaire and a partner in Fischler Diamonds. He has served or is serving as Vice-President of SBD (the Belgian Manufacturers Association, Vice-Chair of the World Diamond Council (WDC), President of the ECDM (European Council of Diamond Manufacturers), Chair of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), and Chair of the International Diamond Council (IDC). He is also currently an active board member of the Diamond and Jewellery Management Institute of Antwerp (DJMI).
Matthew Runci (Secretary)
Matthew A. Runci has held several senior non-profit management positions in the jewelry sector, including CEO of Jewelers of America and CEO of the Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America. He served as the founding board chair of the Responsible Jewellery Council, a global not-for-profit that establishes standards for social, ethical and environmental responsibility to apply to businesses at every level of the precious metals and diamond supply chains from mine to retail. He was also involved in the establishment of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the Clean Diamond Trade Act. He currently operates a management consultancy in corporate social responsibility as well as writing and guest lecturing.
John Lowden (Treasurer)
John Lowden is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a former partner of a major international accounting firm. He brings more than 30 years of experience dealing with financial and tax planning issues involving a wide variety of assignments including major corporate reorganizations and international engagements for large companies. John Lowden acts as a judge for The John Molson School of Business International MBA Case Study Competition at Concordia University.
Stephen D’Esposito is President of RESOLVE, an organization that seeks to build enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges. Formerly President and CEO of Earthworks, he built the organization into a leading, independent policy and advocacy NGO on mining, oil and gas issues. He also held senior positions in Greenpeace USA and Greenpeace International. Stephen D’Esposito currently serves as a Council Member for the World Economic Forum, and is also on the boards of Resource Media and the Center for Science in Public Participation.
John Hall is Chief Executive of Corporate Reputation Strategy, a consultancy focused on responsible sourcing, reputation management and corporate external affairs. An attorney with extensive experience in government, John Hall served six years as a Ministerial Chief of Staff. He was previously General Manager External Affairs for the Rio Tinto Group and Rio Tinto Diamonds, responsible for relationships with key stakeholders including government, NGOs and industry bodies, as well as corporate responsibility programs such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Kimberley Process. John Hall also served on the boards of the World Diamond Council, CIBJO, and as a founding Board Member of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
Dr. Gavin Hilson
Gavin Hilson is a professor and Chair of Sustainability in Business at the University of Surrey Business School, UK. His main research interests are the environmental and interrelated socioeconomic impacts of small-scale mining in developing countries. He has authored more than 150 journal articles, book chapters and reports on the subject and has consulted for a number of organizations, including the World Bank, UK Department for International Development, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, the Royal Institute for International Affairs, the Alliance for Responsible Mining, Newmont and Gold Fields.
Marie-Chantal Kaninda is Chief Advisor External Affairs Africa at Rio Tinto. She has had a long mining career in Africa, where she started with what is now AngloGold Ashanti. From the role of Administration and External Affairs Manager for De Beers, DRC, she later became the Business manager and Community Manager for the exploration team, covering the DRC, Angola, Botswana, and India. Marie-Chantal Kaninda is also currently Chair of an Anti-Corruption Working Group in the DRC for the Private Sector. Her team has published a Code of Conduct which has been adopted by 20 companies.
Dr. Muzong Kodi
Muzong Kodi holds a PhD in African History from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA. He started his professional career as an academic and taught at the Universities of Lubumbashi in the DRC and Nairobi in Kenya. He has worked for international non-governmental organizations, including as Director of International Development for Amnesty International and as Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East with Transparency International. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Africa Programme of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) where he focuses his research and consultancy work on governance, anti-corruption, human rights and civil society organizations in Africa.
Nerys John is Community Relations Manager for the De Beers group of companies. She is currently based in Johannesburg but also worked for several years in Tanzania. Previous positions include experience in external affairs, social performance and community relations for DeBeers, Barrick Gold and Xstrata Nickel. Nerys John has a longstanding interest in artisanal mining, and participated in DDI’s founding meeting, held in Accra in 2005.
Dorothée Gizenga (Executive Director)
Dorothée Gizenga, who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a Canadian who holds degrees in chemistry and economics. She has worked with provincial and federal governments, as well as community organizations in Canada and Africa. Her experience includes policy development, international negotiation, evaluation, project design, management and coordination, and working with disadvantaged and marginalized groups.
In her former work, she was responsible for supporting the implementation of projects related to the Kimberley Process, the International Conference for Peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and the prevention of violence against women in conflict zones. She also took part in the creation and development of the Diamond Development Initiative.