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Who We Are

The Governing Board consists of all stakeholders that provide funding to the CONNEX Support Unit.

 

GERMANY

 

Germany has been represented on the Governing Board since the CONNEX Support Unit was established.

Günter Nooke

portrait_guenter_nooke

Günter Nooke was one of the initiators of the CONNEX concept even before it was discussed by G7 leaders in 2014.
He is the German Chancellor’s Personal Representative for Africa in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Before taking up his current post, Mr Nooke served as Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office. He was previously a member of the German Bundestag and a civil rights activist in the German Democratic Republic.

 

Günter Nooke studied Physics and Geophysics at Leipzig University and is also a trained bricklayer.

Sören Dengg

portrait_soeren_dengg

Dr. Sören Dengg has been a strong supporter of the CONNEX concept from the outset. He took up his current post as Head of the Energy, Infrastructure and Raw Materials Division at BMZ in 2016. Before joining BMZ in 2012, he served as Vice-President of Government Affairs at Deutsche Post DHL from 2001 to 2012 and was Head of the European Union Division at the German Federal Chancellery from 1999 to 2001. He was previously a diplomat in the German Foreign Office.

 

Sören Dengg holds an MA in History, Political Science and Philosophy and a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Cologne.

The Advisory Committee is the CONNEX Support Unit’s key advisory body. It provides high quality advice to the Secretariat and the Governing Board and helps to promote the CONNEX Support Unit.

 

The Advisory Committee currently consists of nine highly experienced individuals who work on a voluntary basis and serve in their personal capacity. They come from various professional backgrounds in the public and private sectors, non-governmental organizations and academia.

Karl P. Sauvant | Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Karl-Sauvant_FX

Karl P. Sauvant, PhD, is Resident Senior Fellow, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), Columbia University, Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School and Guest Professor at Nankai University, China. From 2005 to 2012, he was Founding Executive Director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, the predecessor of CCSI. Before that, he was Director of UNCTAD’s Investment Division and founded the prestigious annual World Investment Report, being its lead author until 2004. He is a leading advocate for a negotiations aid facility for developing countries.

 

Karl P. Sauvant was awarded his doctorate by the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

 

Website of Karl P. Sauvant

Natty B. Davis II | Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Natty_B_Davis_FX

Natty B. Davis II has more than 15 years of experience in distinguished public service at the highest level of the Liberian Government. He has served, inter alia, as Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Concession Committee, Minister of State without Portfolio and Head of the Liberia Reconstruction and Development Committee (LRDC), Founder and Lead of Liberia’s Philanthropy Secretariat, Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Acting Minister of Transport and Coordinator of Liberia’s Economic Financial Management Committee (EFMC). Since 2014, he has held the position of senior partner at Devin Corporation, which he co-founded in 1992. He took over as Managing Director of the firm in July 2016. He has also consulted extensively outside Liberia, for example in the United States and in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Jorge Chamot | Member of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Jorge_Chamot

Jorge Chamot is an energy executive advising governments on policy and business development. He served as Peru’s Minister of Energy and Mines from 1999 to 2000. He has worked for a state-owned company, a Texan independent energy conglomerate and a private European shipping and trading firm. His understanding of the intricacies of policy-making and implementation allows him to adopt a comprehensive approach to national and regional development programs.

 

Jorge Chamot holds Petroleum Engineering and MBA degrees with further studies in Oil Planning and International Development.

Peter Conze | Member of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Peter_Conze

Peter Conze is a co-founder and partner of the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform, where he advises on extractive industries and especially on negotiation support for developing countries. He worked for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH for 35 years, including four years in Somalia and five years in South Africa. Peter Conze was one of the founders of the anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI). He is a member of its Board of Directors and advises the international TI secretariat on its Africa activities. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Transparency International Germany.

 

Peter Conze studied Law and Political Science. After finishing his legal education in Germany, he continued his studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, graduating with an MA in International Relations.

Boris Dolgonos | Member of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Boris_Dolgonos

Boris Dolgonos has advised on a wide range of mining issues, investment and financing transactions, including initial public offerings, high-yield and investment-grade debt offerings, structured product offerings and privatizations. He has represented public and private corporations, investment banks and other financial institutions. His mining practice has focused on government representation and capacity development, including negotiating mining concessions, drafting model mining agreements and financing transactions. Boris Dolgonos also regularly participates in conferences on providing assistance to governments in negotiating large-scale investment agreements. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Senior Lawyers Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal services for human rights and economic development throughout the world.

 

Boris Dolgonos received a Law degree from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

Dr. Cielo Magno | Member of the Advisory Committee

Cielo Magno-230x230

Dr. Cielo Magno is an Assistant Professor in the University of the Philippines’ School of Economics. She represents the civil society in the international board of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). Prior to being a member of the international EITI board, she coordinated Publish What You Pay Philippines and was a founding member of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the Philippines. She sits as member of the board in a number of organizations including Bantay Kita-PWYP Philippines, Action for Economic Reforms and Center for Energy, Ecology and Development. She is also a member of the Executive Session on Extractives Industries of the Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI). She was a member of the Global Council of PWYP. Her publications include topics on mining taxation, natural resource governance, environmental regulation, and civic space. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics from the University of the Philippines. As a Fulbright scholar, she earned her PhD in Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University in Boston.

Herbert M’cleod | Member of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Herbert_Mcleod

Herbert M’cleod is the Country Director of the International Growth Centre for Sierra Leone and Liberia, a position he has held since 2013. He is also Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone. Prior to his current positions, he was an advisor in the Office of the President of Sierra Leone and currently headed the country’s negotiating team for mineral agreements.

 

His professional career includes positions as a development economist with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Resident Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eritrea and Cameroon. He was also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Fragile States and the GAC on the Future of Mining and Minerals. He has provided several African countries with consultancy services on mining policy, minerals negotiations and the African Mining Vision.

 

Website of Herbert M’cleod

Laura Morales | Member of the Advisory Committee

Laura_Morales-230x230-1

Laura Morales is an advisor to small family firms and investors. Until November 2016, she created and headed the Middle East Wholesale Banking efforts for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA). In 2010, she launched a Private Equity Research Center for INSEAD in Abu Dhabi. Previously, she was a Director at Merrill Lynch, where she led the Structured Products Origination and Distribution teams in Private Banking for Europe and the Middle East. Prior to that, she held various investment and wholesale banking roles at Barclays Capital in London and BankBoston and Banco Wiese in Perú. She holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance from Florida International University.

Helmut Nicolaus | Member of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Helmut_Nicolaus

Dr. Helmut Nicolaus has been a Berlin-based attorney specializing in Public and European Law since 1993. He opened his own law firm in 2017 and has authored various publications on aspects of public law, including environmental, mining and electoral law.

 

In 1989/90, he worked as an advisor to the French Minister for the Environment, focusing on Franco-German relations. In 1991/92, he served as Director of the Minister’s Office in the Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Women in the German state of Brandenburg.

 

Helmut Nicolaus studied Law and Philosophy at the University of Heidelberg, Clare College, Cambridge, Freie Universität Berlin and the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris. He holds an MA and PhD in Philosophy.

Louis T. Wells | Member of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Louis_T_Wells

Louis T. Wells is the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management (Emeritus) at Harvard Business School, where he taught courses and conducted research on international business, largely on investor-host government relations. He advised governments and international organizations on foreign investment policies and negotiations with foreign investors, particularly for mining. He served as an expert in 10 investor-state arbitration processes. Back in 1975, he and David N. Smith of Harvard Law School wrote Negotiating Third World Mineral Agreements: Promises as Prologue.

 

Harvard Business School Faculty page on Louis T. Wells

The CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat runs the Unit’s day-to-day activities and manages its service delivery.

Juliane Weymann

portrait_Juliane_Weymann

Juliane Weymann coordinates the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat, which she joined in January 2017. She previously worked as an advisor with the GIZ Resource Governance Program in West Africa, based in Monrovia, Liberia. She has a background in political science with a focus on governance and development politics and is a certified expert in organizational development.

Tim Schlösser

Tim_Schloesser-230x230

Tim Schlösser read American Studies, Political Science and International Law in Germany and the United States and completed a Master’s degree in 2009. In 2010, he started working for GIZ at the Academy for International Cooperation, where he managed training courses on climate change, the energy transition and extractive industries. In 2015, Tim moved to GIZ’s Extractives for Development Sector Program and headed the workstream on Mining and Climate Change & Renewable Energies. He was also tasked with providing policy advice on resource governance to BMZ. On 1 October 2019, Tim joined the CONNEX Support Unit as a negotiation support and policy development specialist.

Dr. Olumide Abimbola

portrait_Olumide_Abimbola

Dr. Olumide Abimbola is a business development specialist. Before joining the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in 2018, he worked as a trade and regional integration officer at the African Development Bank in Tunis and Abidjan. He also has experience of research coordination and business development at OpenOil, a Berlin-based open data and financial analysis firm working on extractive sector governance. He has an MA in Development Studies and a PhD in Economic Anthropology.

Dennis Rach

portrait_Dennis_Rach

Dennis Rach joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in March 2018. He previously worked for GIZ’s Extractives and Development Sector Program on issues at the nexus of climate and environment policy and the extractive sector, such as climate-smart mining and carbon emissions of ASM and LSM. He holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Security Studies.

Diara Diallo

Diara_Diallo-230x230

Diara Diallo joined the CONNEX Support Unit in March 2020. She has previously been engaged in the study of rural development in Western Africa, with a special focus on food security. She holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in African Studies from the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Baran Bettag

portrait_Baran_Igret

Baran Bettag has been responsible for the CONNEX Support Unit’s budget monitoring and financial administration since April 2018. She also advises the team on commercial issues. She previously worked for GIZ’s Extractives and Development Sector Program.

Sari-Luisa Jung

Sara-Luisa Jung-230x230

Sari-Luisa Jung joined the CONNEX Support Unit as an intern in February 2020. She recently completed a Double Master´s Degree in Chinese Law and Comparative Law at the Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany and the Nanjing University, China. With her previous international experiences within the UN and EU system and her knowledge in the field of international law and policy research, she is keen to help expand and consolidate the CONNEX Support Unit.

The Governing Board consists of all stakeholders that provide funding to the CONNEX Support Unit.

 

GERMANY

 

Germany has been represented on the Governing Board since the CONNEX Support Unit was established.

Günter Nooke

Günter Nooke was one of the initiators of the CONNEX concept even before it was discussed by G7 leaders in 2014.
He is the German Chancellor’s Personal Representative for Africa in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Before taking up his current post, Mr Nooke served as Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office. He was previously a member of the German Bundestag and a civil rights activist in the German Democratic Republic.

 

Günter Nooke studied Physics and Geophysics at Leipzig University and is also a trained bricklayer.

Sören Dengg

Dr. Sören Dengg has been a strong supporter of the CONNEX concept from the outset. He took up his current post as Head of the Energy, Infrastructure and Raw Materials Division at BMZ in 2016. Before joining BMZ in 2012, he served as Vice-President of Government Affairs at Deutsche Post DHL from 2001 to 2012 and was Head of the European Union Division at the German Federal Chancellery from 1999 to 2001. He was previously a diplomat in the German Foreign Office.

 

Sören Dengg holds an MA in History, Political Science and Philosophy and a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Cologne.

The Advisory Committee is the CONNEX Support Unit’s key advisory body. It provides high quality advice to the Secretariat and the Governing Board and helps to promote the CONNEX Support Unit.

 

The Advisory Committee currently consists of nine highly experienced individuals who work on a voluntary basis and serve in their personal capacity. They come from various professional backgrounds in the public and private sectors, non-governmental organizations and academia.

Karl P. Sauvant | Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee

Karl P. Sauvant, PhD, is Resident Senior Fellow, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), Columbia University, Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School and Guest Professor at Nankai University, China. From 2005 to 2012, he was Founding Executive Director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, the predecessor of CCSI. Before that, he was Director of UNCTAD’s Investment Division and founded the prestigious annual World Investment Report, being its lead author until 2004. He is a leading advocate for a negotiations aid facility for developing countries.

 

Karl P. Sauvant was awarded his doctorate by the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

 

Website of Karl P. Sauvant

Natty B. Davis II | Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee

Natty B. Davis II has more than 15 years of experience in distinguished public service at the highest level of the Liberian Government. He has served, inter alia, as Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Concession Committee, Minister of State without Portfolio and Head of the Liberia Reconstruction and Development Committee (LRDC), Founder and Lead of Liberia’s Philanthropy Secretariat, Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Acting Minister of Transport and Coordinator of Liberia’s Economic Financial Management Committee (EFMC). Since 2014, he has held the position of senior partner at Devin Corporation, which he co-founded in 1992. He took over as Managing Director of the firm in July 2016. He has also consulted extensively outside Liberia, for example in the United States and in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Jorge Chamot | Member of the Advisory Committee

Jorge Chamot is an energy executive advising governments on policy and business development. He served as Peru’s Minister of Energy and Mines from 1999 to 2000. He has worked for a state-owned company, a Texan independent energy conglomerate and a private European shipping and trading firm. His understanding of the intricacies of policy-making and implementation allows him to adopt a comprehensive approach to national and regional development programs.

 

Jorge Chamot holds Petroleum Engineering and MBA degrees with further studies in Oil Planning and International Development.

Peter Conze | Member of the Advisory Committee

Peter Conze is a co-founder and partner of the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform, where he advises on extractive industries and especially on negotiation support for developing countries. He worked for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH for 35 years, including four years in Somalia and five years in South Africa. Peter Conze was one of the founders of the anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI). He is a member of its Board of Directors and advises the international TI secretariat on its Africa activities. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Transparency International Germany.

 

Peter Conze studied Law and Political Science. After finishing his legal education in Germany, he continued his studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, graduating with an MA in International Relations.

Boris Dolgonos | Member of the Advisory Committee

Boris Dolgonos has advised on a wide range of mining issues, investment and financing transactions, including initial public offerings, high-yield and investment-grade debt offerings, structured product offerings and privatizations. He has represented public and private corporations, investment banks and other financial institutions. His mining practice has focused on government representation and capacity development, including negotiating mining concessions, drafting model mining agreements and financing transactions. Boris Dolgonos also regularly participates in conferences on providing assistance to governments in negotiating large-scale investment agreements. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Senior Lawyers Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal services for human rights and economic development throughout the world.

 

Boris Dolgonos received a Law degree from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

Dr. Cielo Magno | Member of the Advisory Committee

Dr. Cielo Magno is an Assistant Professor in the University of the Philippines’ School of Economics. She represents the civil society in the international board of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). Prior to being a member of the international EITI board, she coordinated Publish What You Pay Philippines and was a founding member of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the Philippines. She sits as member of the board in a number of organizations including Bantay Kita-PWYP Philippines, Action for Economic Reforms and Center for Energy, Ecology and Development. She is also a member of the Executive Session on Extractives Industries of the Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI). She was a member of the Global Council of PWYP. Her publications include topics on mining taxation, natural resource governance, environmental regulation, and civic space. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics from the University of the Philippines. As a Fulbright scholar, she earned her PhD in Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University in Boston.

Herbert M’cleod | Member of the Advisory Committee

Herbert M’cleod is the Country Director of the International Growth Centre for Sierra Leone and Liberia, a position he has held since 2013. He is also Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone. Prior to his current positions, he was an advisor in the Office of the President of Sierra Leone and currently headed the country’s negotiating team for mineral agreements.

 

His professional career includes positions as a development economist with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Resident Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eritrea and Cameroon. He was also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Fragile States and the GAC on the Future of Mining and Minerals. He has provided several African countries with consultancy services on mining policy, minerals negotiations and the African Mining Vision.

 

Website of Herbert M’cleod

Laura Morales | Member of the Advisory Committee

Laura_Morales-230x230-1

Laura Morales is an advisor to small family firms and investors. Until November 2016, she created and headed the Middle East Wholesale Banking efforts for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA). In 2010, she launched a Private Equity Research Center for INSEAD in Abu Dhabi. Previously, she was a Director at Merrill Lynch, where she led the Structured Products Origination and Distribution teams in Private Banking for Europe and the Middle East. Prior to that, she held various investment and wholesale banking roles at Barclays Capital in London and BankBoston and Banco Wiese in Perú. She holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance from Florida International University.

Helmut Nicolaus | Member of the Advisory Committee

Dr. Helmut Nicolaus has been a Berlin-based attorney specializing in Public and European Law since 1993. He opened his own law firm in 2017 and has authored various publications on aspects of public law, including environmental, mining and electoral law.

 

In 1989/90, he worked as an advisor to the French Minister for the Environment, focusing on Franco-German relations. In 1991/92, he served as Director of the Minister’s Office in the Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Women in the German state of Brandenburg.

 

Helmut Nicolaus studied Law and Philosophy at the University of Heidelberg, Clare College, Cambridge, Freie Universität Berlin and the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris. He holds an MA and PhD in Philosophy.

Louis T. Wells | Member of the Advisory Committee

Louis T. Wells is the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management (Emeritus) at Harvard Business School, where he taught courses and conducted research on international business, largely on investor-host government relations. He advised governments and international organizations on foreign investment policies and negotiations with foreign investors, particularly for mining. He served as an expert in 10 investor-state arbitration processes. Back in 1975, he and David N. Smith of Harvard Law School wrote Negotiating Third World Mineral Agreements: Promises as Prologue.

 

Harvard Business School Faculty page on Louis T. Wells

The CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat runs the Unit’s day-to-day activities and manages its service delivery.

Juliane Weymann

Juliane Weymann coordinates the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat, which she joined in January 2017. She previously worked as an advisor with the GIZ Resource Governance Program in West Africa, based in Monrovia, Liberia. She has a background in political science with a focus on governance and development politics and is a certified expert in organizational development.

Tim Schlösser

Tim Schlösser read American Studies, Political Science and International Law in Germany and the United States and completed a Master’s degree in 2009. In 2010, he started working for GIZ at the Academy for International Cooperation, where he managed training courses on climate change, the energy transition and extractive industries. In 2015, Tim moved to GIZ’s Extractives for Development Sector Program and headed the workstream on Mining and Climate Change & Renewable Energies. He was also tasked with providing policy advice on resource governance to BMZ. On 1 October 2019, Tim joined the CONNEX Support Unit as a negotiation support and policy development specialist.

Dr. Olumide Abimbola

Dr. Olumide Abimbola is a business development specialist. Before joining the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in 2018, he worked as a trade and regional integration officer at the African Development Bank in Tunis and Abidjan. He also has experience of research coordination and business development at OpenOil, a Berlin-based open data and financial analysis firm working on extractive sector governance. He has an MA in Development Studies and a PhD in Economic Anthropology.

Dennis Rach

Dennis Rach joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in March 2018. He previously worked for GIZ’s Extractives and Development Sector Program on issues at the nexus of climate and environment policy and the extractive sector, such as climate-smart mining and carbon emissions of ASM and LSM. He holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Security Studies.

Diara Diallo

Diara Diallo joined the CONNEX Support Unit in March 2020. She has previously been engaged in the study of rural development in Western Africa, with a special focus on food security. She holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in African Studies from the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Baran Bettag

Baran Bettag has been responsible for the CONNEX Support Unit’s budget monitoring and financial administration since April 2018. She also advises the team on commercial issues. She previously worked for GIZ’s Extractives and Development Sector Program.

Sari-Luisa Jung

Sari-Luisa Jung joined the CONNEX Support Unit as an intern in February 2020. She recently completed a Double Master´s Degree in Chinese Law and Comparative Law at the Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany and the Nanjing University, China. With her previous international experiences within the UN and EU system and her knowledge in the field of international law and policy research, she is keen to help expand and consolidate the CONNEX Support Unit.