DDI envisions a world in which artisanal and small-scale miners have ac­cess to the opportunities, information and tools they need to work with dignity within flourishing, self-sustaining communities, as valued actors in the formal economy and as contributors to their country’s develop­ment.


The Diamond Development Initiative works to effect systemic change within the artisanal and small-scale mining sector by convening all interested parties in processes and projects that help turn precious stones and minerals into a source of sustainable community development. DDI’s work complements regulatory efforts to favour positive socioeconomic outcomes for miners and their families in developing countries. 


The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) began in 2005 at a meeting of representatives from the United Nations, national governments, US and UK international development aid agencies, NGOs and the diamond industry.
DDI was governed through a Coordinating Group until June 2007, when a Board of Directors and an Advisory Group took over. In January 2008, DDI appointed its first Executive Director. DDI was created to address the social and economic issues faced by the millions of artisanal diamond diggers in Africa and South America who live in poverty outside the formal economy, vulnerable to exploitation, health and safety risks, and human rights abuses. This will be achieved through the formalization of the ASM sector.DDI parallels and complements the regulatory instruments of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) whose goal is to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds, defined as  “rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments …” 
As a regulatory system, the KP does not address issues of poverty and exploitation. DDI seeks to fill this gap and respond to development problems with development solutions.DDI’s international Board of Directors includes representatives of the diamond industry, governments, academia and civil society, residing in Belgium, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.


DDI International is registered in the United States as a Nonprofit 501 (c)3 Organization (EIN/tax ID number: 51-0616171) DDI Canada, an affiliate of DDI International, is registered in Canada as a non-profit charitable organization with registration number 84188 3606 RR0001.


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Ian Smillie (Chair)

Ian Smillie is a development professional and foreign aid critic with an extensive history of involvement in the artisanal mining sector. A founder of Inter Pares and past Executive Director of CUSO, he has lived and worked in Africa and Asia. He is currently a development consultant and is the author of several books, two about diamonds: 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, the global certification system to halt the traffic in conflict diamonds. He serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2003.

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Stéphane Fischler (Vice Chair)

Stéphane Fischler is a third generation diamantaire and a partner in Fischler Diamonds. He is currently serving as President of the World Diamond Council (WDC), Vice-President of SBD (the Belgian Manufacturers Association) as well as treasurer of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association-IDMA. He is also the former Chairman of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).

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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.

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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.

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Dr. Saleem H. Ali

Saleem H. Ali is Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware. Professor Ali also holds Adjunct Professor status for both the Global Change Institute, and the Sustainable Minerals Institute at The University of Queensland in Australia. He previously served as Chair in Sustainable Resource Development and professor of sustainability science and policy, also at The University of Queensland. Previous to that, he was professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Natural Resources, and founding director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security. His books include “Treasures of the Earth: Need Greed and a Sustainable Future” (Yale University Press) and with Larry Susskind “Environmental Diplomacy” (Oxford University Press). He has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a “Young Global Leader” and is a member of the United Nations International Resource Panel.

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Brandee Dallow

Brandee Dallow, Founder/President of ‎Fine Girl Luxury Brand Building & Communications, is an award-winning, marketing, branding, and communications consultant specializing in the luxury goods and fine jewelry sectors. She was previously the Director, North America Representative Office – Diamonds Sales and Marketing for Rio Tinto. Prior to joining Rio Tinto, Dallow was Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Julius Klein Group, a world-renowned diamond manufacturer, where she held the distinction of being that company’s first female executive. She entered the international jewelry industry in 1999 when she joined the public relations group at J Walter Thompson which serviced De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company. Dallow is the immediate past president of the international board of the Women’s Jewelry Association, from which she received the Award for Excellence in Marketing & Communications (2009), and is a member of the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York.

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Stephen D’Esposito

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.

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John Hall

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.

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Ted Jackson

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.

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Andrew Keili

Andrew Keili has 40 years of experience in Engineering and Management Executive with positions of increasing responsibility in private industry, parastatals and consultancy work. He currently has responsibility for directing projects of a mining, technical services and environmental nature at Cemmats Group Ltd., a major multidisciplinary Engineering and Environmental consultancy. He’s also been engaged in the formulation and review of various government policies in the mining, environmental and infrastructure areas and in technical feasibility studies and technical training. He was a member of the consultancy team that formulated the Operational and environmental regulations for the mining sector, as well as the panel of experts on the Sierra Leone Extractive Sector benchmarking process. He has been considerably involved with several projects dealing with Sierra Leone deriving benefits from the mining sector and in transparency and accountability issues in the sector including smuggling issues related to artisanal diamonds and gold, appraising the efficacy of several international initiatives related to these.

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Nellie Mutemeri

Nellie Mutemeri is an Associate Professor of the School of Mining Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Nellie holds a BSc (Hons) and PhD in Geology. She is an experienced development consultant in the mining sector with significant research experience in sustainability, focusing on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). Other areas of specialization include CSR, social impacts; mining policy & governance, legislation and strategy, responsible supply chains and ethical audits. She has worked (in fulltime employment and consulting role) for AngloGold Ashanti, Mintek, the UK, Department for International Development (DFID), USAID, World Bank, University of Witwatersrand, University of Zimbabwe, German Federal Institute of Geosciences (BGR), Cardno Emerging Markets and IBI International. Her country experience includes Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Nellie is also a member of the UNESCO Council for International Geosciences Council Programme and in the Convener of the AMDC ASM in Africa Community of Practice. She led a team from Cardno Emerging Markets Ltd., which implemented the DFID-funded “Sustainable Development of Mining in Rwanda Programme”.

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Ian Rowe (Executive Director)

Ian Rowe brings two decades of experience in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean where he has worked with civil society organizations and United Nations agencies in the areas of development, socio-economic recovery and conflict prevention. He has held senior UN management positions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti, and has worked in a variety of staff and consulting positions in Kenya, Somalia, Burundi and Bolivia. In 2008 he served on a UN Panel of Experts on the Sudan, investigating violations of the arms embargo on Darfur. Prior to joining DDI, he served as Director of the Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, reintegration and Resettlement Division within the UN Stabilisation Mission in Congo (MONUSCO). Based out of Goma he held responsibility for managing 14 regional offices in support of the government-led disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process. Ian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University in French and Spanish, and a Master's degree in international conflict analysis from the University of Kent.


Ian Rowe

(613) 565 0507 ext: 103

Dorothée Gizenga

(613) 565 0507

Sharon Singh
(613) 565 0507 ext: 107

Mouktar Abdillahi
(613) 565 0507 ext: 105

Steven Bockarie Sannoh

Joseph Sylvanus Mboka

Anthony Thomas Mansaray

Sahr James Jimisa

Alidor Mwamba Ilunga


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