Board of Directors
Dr. David F. Strong, PhD, DSc, LLD, FRSC, KSJ, – Chairman of the Board
A leading Canadian research scientist and mineral deposits expert. Dr. Strong has a distinguished career in the business, academic and public service fields for which he has received numerous national honors and awards. His distinctions include Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Honorary Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada, Canadian Institute of Mining Distinguished Service Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Science Degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from St. Francis Xavier University.
As an entrepreneur from 2003 to 2008 Dr. Strong was the founding President and Vice-Chancellor of University Canada West, Canada’s first private for-profit university. Throughout his career he has been a consultant to the mining industry on the geological controls of all types of mineral deposits. He established the technology-transfer companies at both Memorial University, (now the Genesis Centre), and the University of Victoria, BC (the Innovation and Development Corporation), and wrote the original proposal for the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Park.
As an academic, from 1990 to 2000 Dr. Strong was President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Victoria, and professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences. From 1970 to 1990 he held positions as professor of geology, University Research Professor, and Vice-President Academic at Memorial University of Newfoundland, during which time he was a leading researcher in metallogeny and ore genesis, publishing more than 200 scientific papers and consulting reports, and was recognized by numerous industry and academic awards.
In the public service sector Dr. Strong has filled many roles which include serving six years each on the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, twelve years on the Research Council of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research, and also fulfilling terms on the Standing Advisory Committee on University Research of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and the Advisory Councils on Science and Technology for the Premiers of both Newfoundland and British Columbia.
In February 2009 the National Research Council (NRC) announced the results of a strategic review of its programs conducted by the Federal Government of Canada. It was decided that the journals and services of NRC Research Press would be transferred to the private sector. In November 2010 Dr. David Strong was appointed as Chair of the Board of Canadian Science Publishing. David Strong, with his extensive senior management experience in academic, research, and business communities, brought great understanding of the challenges and provided strong direction to the new not-for-profit. The newly developed private organization is carrying out the same original NRC mission and mandate to serve the scientific community.
Dr. Strong also sits on several other boards which are relative to the AGC. For example, he has accepted appointment to the Board of Directors of Puddle Pond Resources Inc. (PPR), a junior gold exploration company in Canada and so brings familiarity with organisations that are often the ones making first contact with Artisanal Gold Miners. Dr. Strong’s extensive background and expert knowledge of the mining industry, his international network, and his senior management experience in academic, research, and business communities serve the AGC well.
Susan Egan Keane, MSc.
Ms. Keane is a senior scientist and Deputy Director of the Health and Environment Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington DC. She is a public health specialist with over 25 years of experience working on domestic and international environmental health issues. In the US, her work experience has covered a range of topics, including toxic emissions reporting, air pollution regulation, pesticides management, and water quality standards and criteria. Internationally, she has worked with local, regional, and national-level stakeholders, and with the international donor community, to evaluate priority environmental health issues and to recommend appropriate solutions, from community- based programs to new national polices. Her work has included projects in Russia, the Caspian Sea Region, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, and Yemen. She has also visited Jamaica, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to investigate water- related issues in those countries with local NGOs, government officials and international institutions. At NRDC, Susan’s main responsibilities are international advocacy for global mercury supply and demand and reductions, and collaboration with the US-based retailers to reduce the environmental impacts of their supply chains and to eliminate the sale of toxic chemicals in their stores. Ms. Keane has been working in partnership capacity with the Artisanal Gold Council since its founding in 2008, she holds a Masters degree in environmental health management from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dru Narwani, B.Com, CPA, CMA, FEA
Dru is an international banking executive with 25 years of banking experience in Bay Street Toronto, Wall Street, Glasgow, London England, Mumbai India, and Bangkok Thailand. He is currently a board director for two companies, a Family Enterprise Advisor and executive coach. Dru began his banking career with CIBC in Toronto and later joined the British banking groups, Barclays and Standard Chartered. As President & CEO and Deputy Chairman of the Standard Chartered Bank in Bangkok, he had the rare opportunity during the Asian crisis of 1997 to spearhead the acquisition of a large Thai bank for US $ 314 million and merge it with the parent British bank, a process that spanned 24 months from due diligence and negotiations to post-merger integration. Currently Dru serves as Chairman of the board of a Vancouver based private company, engaged in manufacturing steel poles for highway lighting, electrical and telecommunication applications. As a qualified FEA (Family Enterprise Advisor) he is also an independent board member, Senior Advisor and Executive/Life Coach for a Vancouver based family enterprise. Additionally, he consults with two other private businesses in Vancouver engaged in real estate development, hotel & hospitality and organic farming.
Over the past decade Dru has held numerous and diverse board and senior executive positions: He was a Director for three public companies, involved in garment manufacturing, wireless products and women’s apparel. He was President of an airline pilot training division of a Toronto based public aerospace company. He led the establishment of a captive private bank and insurance company in Barbados for a Toronto based family enterprise. He was also an executive coach for the Managing Director of a Victoria based BC Crown Corporation. Dru is an executive mentor for MBA students at the University of Victoria. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). In 2013 he received his FEA designation (Family Enterprise Advisor) after completing a one year academic program at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. Aviation is his passion with 40 years of flying experience, having flown his Cessna around the world with his family.
Dr. Paul Schure, PhD
Paul Schure is a Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Victoria where he has been since 2000. He spent a year as a Postdoc student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1999-2000) and four months as a consultant at the European Investment Bank in 1998. He has held visiting positions at the Robert Schuman Centre of the European Investment Institute (2002 and 2005), the University of Bonn (2003), Utrecht University (2008), and the University of Amsterdam (2009). Dr. Schure’s research is on Financial Intermediation, Industrial Organization, and European Integration. His work has appeared in various international Economics and Finance journals. He has been Secretary/ Treasurer of the European Community Studies Association- Canada (ECSA-C) since 2004. He was co-organizer of of the ECSA-C biennial conferences of 2008 and 2010 and organizer of the 2010 Financial Institutions Summer School, that was held at the University of Victoria. He was guest co-editor of the 2008 special issue of the Canadian Journal of Agriculture Economics. Dr. Schure has been a board member of the Artisanal Gold Council since 2010.
Hugh L. Stephens, MA
Mr. Stephens has more than 35 years of government and business experience in the Asia-Pacific region. Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, he is currently Vice Chair of the Canadian Committee on Pacific Economic Cooperation (CANCPEC), Senior Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Executive Fellow at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, and an associate faculty member in the School of Business at Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC. Before returning to Canada in December 2009, he was Senior Vice President (Public Policy) for Asia-Pacific for Time Warner for almost a decade, located at the company’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong. In this capacity he managed Time Warner’s public policy program in Asia Pacific for Turner Broadcasting, HBO, Warner Bros, Time Inc. and AOL.
Mr. Stephens has been an active leader in a number of regional business organizations in Asia. He served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the US National Center for APEC and is a past Executive Committee Board member of the US-Korea Business Council. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the US-ASEAN Business Council, Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Vice Chair of the Quality Brands Protection Committee, a coalition of more than 180 multinational companies engaged in strengthening IPR protection in China.
In recent years, he has written and commented extensively on Canada’s engagement with the Asia Pacific region and has testified before the Foreign Affairs and International Trade committee of the Canadian Senate.
Prior to joining Time Warner in 2000, Mr. Stephens spent 30 years in the Canadian Foreign Service with the Department of External Affairs, later the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). His last Ottawa assignment was as Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy and Communications in DFAIT. He also served abroad as Canadian Representative in Taiwan (Head of Mission-Canadian Trade Office in Taipei), Counsellor and Charge d’affaires at the Canadian Embassies in Seoul, Korea and Islamabad, Pakistan, among a number other overseas and headquarters assignments, including service at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing and Mandarin language training in Hong Kong.
Mr. Stephens was educated at the University of British Columbia (UBC), University of Toronto and Duke University, and has a Certificate in Mandarin from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Staff and Associates
Dr. Kevin Telmer, PhD. – Executive Director
Kevin received his PhD from the University of Ottawa in Geochemistry and held a tenured Professorship at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria from 1999 until 2011 before taking the lead position at the Artisanal Gold Council he started his work in artisanal mining in 1995 in the Brazilian Amazon and in the following 20 years has worked in numerous countries across three continents. He has extensive experience in technical, policy, and business capacities in the field with miners, governments, international institutions, and industry. He has become a world renowned expert and a voice on the international stage with numerous publications on the issue, including authoring the global estimate on mercury use in artisanal gold mining used to negotiate the Minimata Convention.
Creating sustainable business opportunities for investors and the bullion and jewelry markets while improving the economics, health and environment of miners and their communities in collaboration with governments is a direction that Dr. Telmer brings to the council. A primary goal is to increase responsible artisanal gold production to volumes that are significant relative to the size of the burgeoning sector.
Mike Williamson, MBA, PMP – VP Operations
Mike is the VP Operations for the AGC, and brings several decades experience in project management, technical and executive leadership and business operations. He has a BSc in Math and Physics (St. Mary’s), an MBA (U Ottawa) and is a graduate of the NSSC in Toronto.
Mike served with the Canadian Navy for 27 years, retiring as a Naval Captain from the role of Commander of the west coast Naval Base in Esquimalt. His career had him serve in a variety of seagoing and shore based positions in Canada and abroad, in management, engineering and training roles, both with ships and submarines. After retiring from the Navy, he was active in the oil and gas, marine shipbuilding and repair, and high tech sectors. He has an active interest in private, post-secondary and high school, education.
Combining the AGC’s deep field experience and broad artisanal gold sector exposure, with market demands for responsible artisanal gold, is a major focus of Mike’s, with the intent to continue to improve outcomes for artisanal gold miners and their communities.
Dr. Arnaldo Sanchez, M.D. – Health Expert (AGC) and Project Director (Peru)
Arnaldo is a medical doctor with post graduate training in epidemiology of occupational diseases and public health. He has experience acting as a health consultant to various private and public institutions in Peru and British Columbia. He holds an adjunct professorship at the University of British Columbia. Arnaldo joined the AGC as health advisor and is currently functioning as Program Director for the MEJORO Project: Improving & Enhancing ASGM in Peru.
Richard Gutierrez, JD., Ll.M. – Project Manager (Indonesia) and Minamata Expert
Richard brings over a decade of experience in project management on ASGM specific projects as well as policy and development expertise in the field of chemicals and wastes. Richard received his Masters of Law from Columbia University, NY, and Juris Doctor from the Ateneo School of Law in Manila. He has an AB in Political Science and BSC in Management from De La Salle University in Manila.
Richard has been working on the issues of international chemicals and waste policy since 2000, and has worked specifically on the global mercury issue since 2001. Richard has participated in the call for a mercury treaty since 2002 and has since participated in the development of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which was adopted in 2013.
Prior to joining AGC Richard established and led a Southeast Asian non-profit environmental organization in the Philippines focused on environmental justice and sustainable development. His work in the Philippines has helped transform government policies on mercury and artisanal and small-scale gold mining. He helped the country develop its 1st National Strategic Plan on the Phase-out of Mercury in ASGM, which has since become a template for other countries to follow. Richard is fluent in Filipino and English and has extensive experience in Southeast Asia.
Cathy Sturgeon, MA – Communications & Program Manager
Cathy has an entrepreneurial spirit and loves exploring new ideas and making things happen. She has a keen interest in sustainable development, social innovation, social enterprising, and social finance. Her work and education has taken her to various parts of the world and she is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.
Cathy oversees AGC’s strategic engagement efforts and assists the organization with its management of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) projects in Africa, South America, and Asia. She is excited to be working with a team of passionate and dedicated experts working to improve the opportunities, environment, and health of the millions of people involved in this sector in the developing world.
She brings experience working with public, private, and not-for-profit organizations both domestically and internationally in the areas of business operations, organizational and leadership development, communications and program management. She has a BComm (International Trade) and a BA (Spanish Literature) from the University of Ottawa and has a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University with a focus on developing high performing teams.
Ricardo Rossin, MSc. – Technical Director, Senior Geochemist and Technologist
Ricardo is the AGC’s chief technical expert on environmental science and geochemical analysis and also assists the ED in managing operations. He has worked in North and South America, South East Asia and West Africa, and is fluent in English, French and Portuguese. Ricardo has installed state of the art atmospheric monitoring systems for mercury and meteorological data in the field in gold mining communities, trained local operators, and created training manuals. He is an expert in the design of field sampling surveys and has designed, installed and operated gravimetric gold recovery systems in ASGM communities targeting mercury reduction and its elimination. Ricardo has extensive experience with geochemical analysis of rocks, soils, water, and air and has operated and maintained numerous analytical instruments including ICPMS, AA, CVAFS, IC, and many more, for trace element, carbon, gold, and high precision, custom, mercury analysis, as well as simple through to complex mercury abatement systems.
Sixto Humberto Aguero, MSc. – Mineral Processing Engineer
Sixto completed his MASc Mining Engineering at University of British Columbia (UBC) with focus on grinding and energy efficiency and another MASc in Energy Management at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) with focus on alternative energy, he also holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked on ASGM in Ecuador, Colombia and Honduras helping improve recovery and energy efficiency on the gravimetric circuits. He also worked two years as teaching assistant on Introduction to Mineral Processing at Coal and Mineral Processing Laboratory at Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining at UBC. He has over of 20 previous years experience on Industry in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela on improving energy use, air pollution emission monitoring and control. Sixto has been an active member of Mesoamerican Development Institute working on the introduction of renewable energy systems for sustainable coffee drying in Central America, for this contribution he was awarded from US Forest International Cooperation an appreciation certificate on the “Wings Across the Americas 2009 International edition” He is fluent in Spanish and English.
Eric Negulic, MSc. – Artisanal Gold Mining Specialist / Project Management
Eric is a geoscientist with a broad range of experience in geology, geophysics and field operations. He holds an MSc degree in Earth Sciences from Dalhousie University, and has worked in research, mining, mineral exploration and oil and gas. Eric speaks English, French and Spanish. His field experience spans North America, South America and West Africa.
His geological expertise is applied to the ASGM sector to improve gold recovery while reducing mercury usage. Eric is involved with the design, installation and operation of mercury free gold processing systems.
Tyler Palov, MSc. – Environmental Manager
Tyler is an environment and development professional with a M.Sc in Water Resource Management from McGill University. He has carried out technical and analytical watershed assessments and has assisted in the development of ecosystem monitoring and management plans. On projects in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador he has worked to improve stakeholder engagement and technical capacity in rural and remote communities. He has developed conceptual guides on groundwater and resource conservation in order to educate and assist stakeholders and decision makers, and work towards greater participatory and transparent approaches in resource management.
He speaks English, French and Spanish. At the AGC, Tyler works in collaboration with partners to develop and establish Environmental Management Systems for our projects within the ASGM sector.
Peter Rosenbluth, MSc. – Manager of Program Planning and Development
Peter is a results based management specialist as well as an environment and development specialist with over a decade of experience working for non-profit organizations in Canada and Southeast Asia. Peter has been a consultant to academic institutions, environmental organizations and Aboriginal governments and has worked on issues ranging from mercury toxicity in fish to the creation of transnational environmental management institutions.
With an interdisciplinary background in geology, economics, environmental sciences and international development, Peter helps to ensure that the AGC develops crosscutting solutions to the multifaceted challenges of the artisanal gold sector. He holds a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences and Economics from McGill University and a Master of Environmental Studies from York University.
Milene Pacheco, MSc. – Minamata Project Manager
Milene holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Development from Paris Dauphine University, France, and University of Vienna, Austria. Prior to joining AGC, she worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) developing and implementing projects with focus on mercury reduction and elimination in Africa and Latin America. She is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Milene is responsible for managing projects that support countries to meet the requirements of the Minamata Convention on mercury, especially in the ASGM sector.
Jennifer O’Neill, MSc. – Remote Sensing Scientist and Technical Writer
Adele Ashby, CGA – Director of Finance & Administration
Adele is the Senior Administrator for the AGC, and brings several years of experience as a senior manager. She recently moved to Victoria from Ottawa, Ontario were she was the Finance Manager for the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. Adele is a CGA and has worked with Not for Profit organisations for many years. She is fluent in English and French.
Adele looks forward to helping the executive team in their quest to improve the ASGM sector.
Rachel Deloughery, BSc. – Executive Assistant
Rachel provides administrative support for all facets of the AGC’s operations from the office in Victoria.
Originally from Ottawa, she is pleased to be joining the diverse team at AGC. With years of administrative experience in a variety of sectors, and a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Dalhousie University, Rachel brings a well-tailored set of skills to this organization.
Claudia Eguiguren – Bookkeeper
Claudia is our in-house bookkeeper, originally from Mexico City. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Claudia deals with the day to day accounting tasks, supporting the AGC team.
Shawn Blore – Artisanal Gold Supply Chain Expert, Visiting Expert and Associate
Tracking and certifying artisanal gold along supply chains; design and implemention of technical assistance programs to artisanal gold miners in return for legal gold sales through recognized channels; design of Conflict Minerals Certification Systems in Central Africa; Researcher and Policy Analyst for artisanal mining in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela; Post Graduate Fellow – Massey College, University of Toronto; Journalist and Broadcaster; Radio documentaries for CBC and NPR; Investigative stories for the Globe and Mail (Toronto), San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, The Independent (London), and others. 1992-1998 Journalist, Globe and Mail Newspaper, Vancouver, Canada
Languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, English.
Armando de la Flor Olavide, MA – Social Responsibility and Community Engagement Specialist
Armando has a MA in Development Practice Adv. (The University of Queensland, Australia), a BA in Law & Human Science (PUCP, Peru) and specialisations in Conflict Resolutions (CARC-PUCP, Peru) and Community Investment (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico). He was a registered/qualified lawyer in Peru before shifting his focus to social development. Armando brings with him 10+ years of experience in corporate social responsibility which includes 6+ years in the extractive sector working in Peru and Australia on social responsibility and community engagement in development and mining projects.
As AGC’s former Country Manager – Peru and Project Manager of the MEJORO Project, Armando is now AGC’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Engagement Specialist. He will spearhead stakeholder engagement plans and relations with artisanal gold miners and their communities across a range of AGC projects globally. He is currently based in Australia, contributing the expansion of AGC’s presence in the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions.
Claudia Benavides Allain – Project Director (Peru)
Photograph and bio arriving soon!
Supriyanto – Assistant Project Manager (Indonesia)
With a Bachelors degree in Agriculture from Lampung University, Pak Supriyanto worked for seven years in oil palm plantation before moving on to non-governmental organizations. Supriyanto has almost ten years of experience working in international non-governmental organization and managing complex projects in Indonesia. Supriyanto has managed programs in the field of disaster risk reduction, emergency response, climate change and agriculture. Capacity building, community development, project management and environmental management are some of his main skills.
With his passion for community development and environment, Supriyanto will be managing our Indonesia project.
Victor Kangela – Expert Sur le Secteur Artisanal de l’Or (Orpaillage) – Assistant de Projet
République Démocratique du Congo, Kisingani, Provence Orientale
Victor est un récente addition à l’équipe de l’AGC. Il coordonne le soutien opérationnel et logistique, ainsi que les stratégies de réplication et d’expansion du projet en RDC.
Chérif Sow – Expert Sur le Secteur Artisanal de l’Or (Orpaillage) – Assistant de Projet
Cherif a de nombreuses années d’expérience de travail en développement communautaire et rural, ainsi qu`en recherche du droit minier au Sénégal et en Afrique. Il coordonne la plupart des activités de l’AGC au Sénégal, y compris les sélections de sites, la logistique et la communication avec le gouvernement local et national.
Luc Lepage, MSc, PGeo – Gold Processing and Geology
Field geologist since 1998, he has been involved in mapping and mineral exploration projects in remote areas of Canada and West Africa. As a front line geologist, he worked mainly with local labourers from nearby communities, sharing knowledge and experience to progress and make new discoveries. Luc uses his broad experience and technical skills to teach better practices to the miners and workers of the ASGM communities. He is fluent in French and English.
Luc conducts the field installation of the mercury-free gold processing plants and trains local miners from AGSM communities in installing, maintaining, and monitoring the efficiency of the systems. He has a BSc in Earth Sciences/Sciences de la Terre from the University of Ottawa and an applied Masters in Geology from the University of Western Ontario.