Diamond Development Initiative Canada

DDI Canada is the Canadian arm of the Diamond Development Initiative International, whose secretariat is based in Ottawa. 

As an affiliate organization, DDI Canada shares the aims and objectives of DDI International, to transform the artisanal diamond mining sector into a source of sustainable socio-economic development for miners and their communities. DDI’s programs address issues such as workers’ and human rights, child labour, health and safety, and environmental impact.

We believe that Canadians care about the source of their jewelry, including the impact on the people and the environment where diamonds are mined. And as a diamond-producing country, Canada has a special interest in ensuring that the global industry lives up to the reputation of its product as a symbol of beauty and love.

DDI Canada works to raise public awareness about the conditions and importance of artisanal diamond mining, provide educational programs and materials, and offer opportunities for Canadians to support the mission of DDI International.

DDI Canada is registered as a non-profit charitable organization with Canada Revenue Agency registration number 84188 3606 RR0001.

Board of Directors

The members of the Board of Directors of DDI (Canada) are drawn from the fields of international development and finance:

Barbara Brown, President

Barbara Brown is a retired Canadian government executive who held senior positions in the Canadian International Development Agency. In her last position she was the Director General for West and Central Africa, responsible for Canada’s bilateral aid programs in Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroun, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. A specialist in corporate cultural change, results-based management, gender equality and human rights, she has worked and traveled extensively in Africa and Asia. In addition to her volunteer work with DDI, Ms. Brown is a travel and fiction writer. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Ottawa Friends of Tibet.

Edward Jackson

Edward Jackson, Member

Edward Jackson is a management consultant, university professor and author. His areas of specialization include innovative finance and impact investing, youth development, gender equality, governance, higher and basic education, program evaluation and project management. A Canadian national, he is President of E. T. Jackson and Associates, Senior Research Fellow at Carleton University and Honorary Associate with the Institute of Development Studies, and has advised foundations, development agencies, governments and civil society organizations in more than 50 countries. He has earned recognition for his leadership in community development, development management, graduate teaching, program evaluation and university partnerships.

Ian Smillie

Ian Smillie, Member

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-Pares, 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.

John Lowden, Member

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.

Dorothée Gizenga, Ex Officio Member

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.