Our Board of Directors consists of a council of experts in areas of artisanal and small-scale gold mining, economics, sustainable development, social responsibility, human and environmental health, and gold.
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.
Nikki Macdonald, PhD
Dr. Nikki Macdonald has a distinguished career in public service and in the private sector, and has worked with leaders in industry, government, and academia. In 2018 she launched her own consulting practice focusing on strategic planning, policy and governance. Her recent clients include the Gordon Foundation, Council of Great Lakes, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and BC Health. She was previously the Executive Director of Government Relations for the University of Victoria, the Director of Federal Affairs for Schering Plough and served as a senior advisor to the Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien when he was Prime Minister. Dr. Macdonald is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria and continues to conduct research in the areas of governance, engagement and public policy. She is a Fellow of the Public Policy Forum. She sits on the Board of the Artisanal Gold Council and is Chair of the Mount Work Coalition.
John R. Morgan
John R Morgan is a retired mining executive with over 40 years of experience including managing both domestic and international mining operations and companies. His experience includes direction of public and privately owned organizations as well as an internationally owned joint venture. In mine operations he has successfully increased profitability through raising production levels and product quality, while reducing unit costs and also improving both safety performance and environmental compliance.
Mr. Morgan was President of Atlantic Gold Corporation until July of 2016 and was instrumental in the acquisition of the Moose River Consolidated assets in Nova Scotia. He was involved in the preparation of feasibility studies, financing through both debt and equity raises and the placement of a C$ 87 million fixed price EPC contract for the construction of the gold project prior to his retirement in July of 2016. The project was completed on time and on budget and was opened in the fall of 2017. Atlantic Gold Corporation announced in May of 2019 that it was being acquired by St. Barbra Ltd., an Australian company, for an implied enterprise value of C$ 802 million.
During his career, Mr. Morgan has worked in the gold and coal sectors including four years in western Venezuela operating Paso Diablo, a seven million tonne per year export coal operation. The project was a joint venture owned at that time by the national oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, Anglo American and RAG from Germany.
In 2011 Mr. Morgan was a member of the Special Committee of the Board which recommended the acceptance of an offer by Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Ltd. and Marubeni Corp. to acquire Grand Cache Coal Corp for approximately C$1 billion, representing a 70 percent premium over the pre-announcement share price.
Mr. Morgan also has experience in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Brazil and several other countries in Central and South America in exploration, site evaluations and mine development.
Following graduation with a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of British Columbia his early career was spent with Manalta Coal Ltd. which was part of the Mannix group of companies. Ultimately he was responsible for the operation of seven coal operations in Western Canada producing over 26 million tonnes per year. The company was sold in 1997 as an income trust generating C$ 870 million for the shareholders.
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.