Board of Directors
Ian Smillie (Chairman)
Ian Smillie was a founder of the Canadian NGO, Inter Pares in 1975, and was Executive Director of CUSO from 1979 to 1983. He has worked on projects with the Humanitarianism and War Project at Tufts University (now the Feinstein International Center) since 1997 and was an adjunct professor at Tulane University from 1998 to 2001. As a development consultant he has worked for many Canadian, American and European organizations. His latest books are The Charity of Nations: Humanitarian Action in a Calculating World (with Larry Minear, 2005), Freedom From Want: The Remarkable Story of BRAC (2009) and Blood on the Stone: Greed, Corruption and War in the Global Diamond Trade (2010). Ian Smillie was a founder-participant in the 50-member ‘Kimberley Process’ (representing more than 75 governments) which has developed and is managing a global certification system to halt the traffic in ‘conflict diamonds’. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2003.
Rory More O'Ferrall (Honorary Vice Chairman)
In 2007, Rory More O’Ferrall retired from the De Beers Group of Companies, where he served as Director of External Affairs. During his 36 years with De Beers, More O’Ferrall helped build and develop important changes in the diamond industry. He advised the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on implementation of the Patriot Act in regard to the diamond industry and the US Senate on the drafting of the Clean Diamonds Act. He was instrumental in establishing the World Diamond Council (WDC) and, as a director of the WDC, he was closely involved in the creation and development of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). He was also a prime mover in the discussions that led to the creation of DDI and he served on the organization’s first Board of Directors in 2006. Early in his career with De Beers Rory worked in both the DRC and Sierra Leone as a Diamond Buyer. He was then seconded to Belgium and Israel and later spent time in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, India and Thailand, becoming familiar with all aspects of the business. He is an Honorary Life Member of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), the London Diamond Bourse & Club and is a member of The Pilgrims. Presently , More O’Ferrall is a private consultant specializing in international and governmental relations, public-private partnerships, conflict prevention and resolution and corporate social responsibility. He resides on Ibiza in the Balearic Islands.
Stéphane Fischler (Vice Chairman)
Stéphane Fischler is a third generation diamantaire and began work at Fischler Diamonds in 1979 which was founded in 1953 by Aby and Cappi Fischler and the late Bram Fischler (former President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse and of the HRD). Stéphane is a partner in the company.Since 1994, Stéphane has served as Vice-President of SBD (the Belgian Manufacturers Association). In 1998, he was elected as IDMA’s Secretary-General and Treasurer. In 2008, after 10 years in the position of Secretary-General, he resigned and remains IDMA treasurer to this day. He is a founding member of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and in 2012 was elected to serve as vice-chairman for the second time He was a member of the WDC Steering Committee until 2008. He is also President of the ECDM (European Council of Diamond Manufacturers). Stéphane was elected chairman of the the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) in June 2012. Earlier, he served as a AWDC board member, the former HRD. He served as the organization’s Treasurer from March 2005, and was elected Vice-President and chairman of its Task Force in 2006.He was re-elected as vice president of the AWDC board in 2010. He is a former chairman of the board of HRD Research, i.e. the Centre for the Scientific and Technical Research for Diamond Manufacturing and Trade (WTOCD). Endorsed by the IDMA and the WFDB, Stéphane Fischler was appointed chairman of the International Diamond Council (IDC) at the 2007 Presidents Meeting. He currently serves as vice chairman of the board of directors of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and as an active board member of the Diamond and Jewellery Management Institute of Antwerp (DJMI).
Matthew Runci (Secretary)
Matthew A. Runci is President and CEO of Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for retail jewelers. Since joining the association in 1995, his primary mission has been to enhance members’ business reputations and preserve consumers’ confidence in the purchase of jewelry. Under Runci’s leadership, JA has developed comprehensive professional skills standards for retail jewellers. Runci has also guided the development of a variety of responsible business practice initiatives for use by JA’s 11,000 member stores. Runci was centrally involved in the establishment of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the Clean Diamond Trade Act, and the World Diamond Council’s System of Warranties, to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds. In 2005, he led JA to become a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), a mine-to-retail supply chain initiative working to institute a variety of ethical, social and environmental practices for its members. Runci currently serves as Chairman of the RJC Board of Directors and is a member of the Board of Directors of DDI. During his earlier career, Runci taught international relations at the university level. He holds a PhD from the University of Virginia and a BA from Boston College.
John Lowden (Treasurer)
John Lowden is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a former Partner of a major international accounting firm. He has more than 30 years experience dealing with financial and tax planning issues involving a wide variety of assignments including major corporate reorganizations and international engagements for large companies. He has written and lectured widely on taxation and accounting matters with articles published by The Canadian Tax Journal, the Canadian Petroleum Journal and the Canadian Tax Foundation. He has lectured on accounting, auditing and taxation in both the Management and Chartered Accountant Programs at McGill University in Montreal. John acts as a Judge for The John Molson School Of Business International MBA Case Study Competition at Concordia University. In his community, he is a Board Member and Treasurer of Fairbairn House, a regional interpretive heritage centre.
Stephen D’Esposito is President of RESOLVE. RESOLVE builds strong, enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges: www.resolv.org. From 1997 through September 2008, Steve was President and CEO of EARTHWORKS. Steve built EARTHWORKS into a leading, independent policy and advocacy NGO on mining, oil and gas issues. From 1986 through 1992 Steve was instrumental in building Greenpeace USA into one of the largest environmental groups in the country. From 1993 through 1995 Steve was Deputy Director and then head of the Executive Committee of Greenpeace International, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he helped strengthen a number of national offices and programs, reform internal governance and integrate markets strategies into advocacy campaigns. During his tenure, Greenpeace International led the Brent Spar campaign, which helped redefine thinking about advocacy in the corporate sector.Steve began in career with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) where he worked on environmental, energy and consumer issues and built the organizations field program. Steve received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1982. Steve currently serves as a Council Member for the World Economic Forum, on the boards of the Diamond Development Initiative, 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. He is based In Melbourne, Australia. An attorney with extensive experience in government at Federal and State levels, John served six years as a Ministerial Chief of Staff. He has also worked in the NGO sector in development programmes supporting the rule of law. John was previously General Manager External Affairs for the Rio Tinto Group and Rio Tinto Diamonds. In this role he was responsible for key relationships with external 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 also served on the Boards of the World Diamond Council, CIBJO, and as a founding Board Member of the Responsible Jewellery Council. He is currently a Board member of the Diamond Development Initiative, and has supported product stewardship and sustainable development initiatives in the mining industry for many years. He believes strongly in the need for collaboration between business, government and civil society, seeking common ground for sustainable outcomes.
Dr. Gavin Hilson
Gavin Hilson is 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 over 150 journal articles, book chapters and reports on the subject, drawing mainly on research conducted in West Africa and the Guianas, and has consulted on the subject 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. Professor Hilson received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Toronto, and his Ph.D. from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine.
Marie-Chantal Kaninda is Chief Advisor External Affairs Africa at Rio Tinto. She has a long mining career in Africa, where she started with Ashanti Goldfields in the administration department, then joined AngloGold Ashanti, after Ashanti Goldfields and Anglo Gold merged. She then took on the role of Administration and External Affairs Manager in De Beers DRC. Later, she became the Business Manager in the DRC coupled with the position of Community Manager for the exploration team, covering the DRC, Angola, Botswana, and India. She has been working with teams from several African countries. She is also Chairman of an Anti Corruption Working Group in the DRC for the Private Sector. With her team, they have published a Code of Conduct for the private sector, which 20 companies have signed up to. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Liege, Belgium.
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 University of Lubumbashi in the DRC from 1976 to 1979 and the University of Nairobi in Kenya from 1979 to 1983. From 1983 to 1993, he was Director of Publications at the African Centre for Monetary Studies in Dakar, Senegal. He then worked for international non-governmental organizations, including Amnesty International (as Director of International Development, from 1994 to 2002) and Transparency International (as Regional Director for Africa & the Middle East, from 2002 to 2005). He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Africa Programme of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) where he coordinates the British Congo Forum and 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 based in Johannesburg. She has a longstanding interest in artisanal mining, and participated in DDI’s founding meeting, held in Accra in 2005.