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Who We Are

The Governing Board is the main decision making body. It consists of all stakeholders that provide funding to the CONNEX Support Unit. The Governing Board has the principle steering responsibility and appoints the members of the Advisory Committee.

 

GERMANY

 

Germany is the founding and first member of the Governing Board since the launch of the CONNEX Support Unit in January 2017. It is represented by Günter Nooke, Personal Representative of the German Chancellor for Africa in the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Dr. Sören Dengg, Division Head of Energy, Infrastructure, and Raw Materials at the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Günter Nooke

portrait_guenter_nooke

Günter Nooke has been strongly involved with the G7 CONNEX Initiative from the very early days. He is one of the founding fathers of the CONNEX idea even before it was discussed among G7 Heads of States and Governments. His engagement is driven by experiences and discussions he had during various travels in Africa and around the world. He is convinced that durable and fair contracts lay the foundation for long-term mutual beneficial relationships between governments and investors and are hence a crucial driver for development. Mr. Nooke was also crucial in Germany’s decision to provide the seed funding of 6.5 Mio Euro that kick-started the CONNEX Support Unit as the implementation body of the G7 CONNEX Initiative.

 

Before his current post, Mr. Nooke served as Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office. Previous to that, he was a member of the German Bundestag and a civil rights activist in the former German Democratic Republic. Mr. Nooke is a trained bricklayer and studied Physics and Geophysics at Leipzig University.

Sören Dengg

portrait_soeren_dengg

Dr. Sören Dengg heads the Division of Energy, Infrastructure, and Raw Materials at BMZ. He has been a strong supporter of the CONNEX idea from the very beginning and strongly supported the founding of the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat with German funding.

 

Besides CONNEX, his division is engaged in several relevant global processes and projects crucial for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. CONNEX highly benefits from those linkages.

 

Prior to his current post, Mr. Dengg worked for Deutsche Post DHL as Vice-president Government Affairs, with the Federal Chancellery of Germany on issues of European integration and bilateral relations to European States, and served as a diplomat in the Foreign Office of Germany and the political division in the German Embassy, London.

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

 

The Advisory Committee currently consists of eight highly experienced individuals who work on a voluntary base and serve in their personal capacity. For the composition of the Advisory Committee, attention was paid to ensuring that members come from multiple jurisdictions, and from different relevant professional backgrounds. The public and private sectors as well as non-governmental organizations and academia are represented.

 

The members of the Advisory Committee are generally appointed by the Governing Board and serve for an initial term of one year. More information on the current Advisory Committee can be found below.

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. Until February 2012, he was the Founding Executive Director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, the predecessor of CCSI. Until July 2005, he was Director of UNCTAD’s Investment Division. At the UN, he created the prestigious annual World Investment Report and was its lead author until 2004. At UNCTAD and then Columbia, he proposed and pursued the idea of a negotiations aid facility for developing countries. He has published extensively, see works.bepress.com/karl_sauvant.

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

portrait_Natty_B_Davis_FX

Natty B. Davis, II, acquired over fifteen years of experience in distinguished public service at the highest level of the Liberian Government where he served, inter alia, as Former 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, Acting Minister of Transport and Coordinator of Liberia’s Economic Financial Management Committee (EFMC). Since 2014, he has held the position as Sr. Partner of the Devin Corporation, which he co-founded in 1992. In July 2016, Mr. Davis reassumed the role of Managing Director of the firm. Mr. Davis has also consulted extensively outside of Liberia in the United States as well as Eastern and Southern Africa.

Jorge Chamot | Member of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Jorge_Chamot

Jorge Chamot is a former Minister of Energy and Mines of Peru, Business Policy university professor, international oil and gas executive and, nowadays, consultant. He holds Petroleum Engineering and MBA degrees with further studies in Oil Planning and International Development. He has worked for a State-owned company, a Texan independent energy conglomerate and a private European shipping and trading outfit. In Peru, before being appointed Minister, he established, organized and managed the new Energy and Mines Regulatory Agency, and was a member of the National Privatization Committee of infrastructure projects. His understanding of the intricacies of policy making and implementation allows him to use a comprehensive approach to national and regional development programs, with geopolitical and international issues in mind, customary in projects of large dimension and significance.

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 35 years for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) 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. He advises the international secretariat of TI in its Africa activities. He is also a member of the board of directors of Transparency International – Germany. Peter 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 M.A. 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. Boris’ mining practice has focused on government representations and capacity development. These projects have included the negotiation of mining concessions, drafting model mining agreements, financing transactions, and intensive workshops on topics such as foreign investment, fiscal regimes and mining law and policy. Boris also regularly participates in conferences on providing assistance to governments in negotiating large-scale investment agreements. Boris serves on the board of directors of the International Senior Lawyers Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing legal services for human rights and economic development throughout the world. Boris received a law degree from the University of Virginia and received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.

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 the Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone. Prior to his current positions, he was Adviser at the Office of the President of Sierra Leone, and is currently head of the country’s negotiating team for mineral agreements.
His professional career spans a period of several years as a development economist at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where he occupied senior level positions including Director of Operations Policies and Programmes, UN Resident Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eritrea, and Cameroon. He also was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council (GAC) on fragile states and the GAC on the future of Minerals. He has provided consultancy services to several African countries on mining policy, minerals negotiations, and on the African Mining Vision.

 

See Mr M’cleod’s website for further information and for his publications on the minerals sector: Sierraleonesignposts.com

Helmut Nicolaus | Member of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Helmut_Nicolaus

Dr. phil. Helmut Nicolaus, M.A., D.I.A.P. (ENA, Paris) was born 1961 in Hanover, Germany. Dr. Helmut Nicolaus studied law and philosophy at the Universities of Heidelberg, Cambridge UK (Clare College), FU Berlin and ENA in Paris. He holds an M.A. and PhD in philosophy.
In 1989/90, he worked as advisor of 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 Potsdam. Since 1993, Dr. Nicolaus has been an attorney with the Berlin bar specialized in Public and European Law. Until 2016, he was a partner at GÖRG Law firm before he opened his own firm in 2017. Over the years, he released various publications on public law, inter alia on environmental, mining and electoral law.

Louis T. Wells | Member of the Advisory Committee

portrait_Louis_T_Wells

Professor 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. His principal consulting activities have been for governments and international organizations on foreign investment policies and negotiations with foreign investors, particularly for mining. He has served as an expert in 10 investor-state arbitrations and written on the subject. In 1975, he and David N. Smith, of the Harvard Law School, wrote: Negotiating Third World Mineral Agreements: Promises as Prologue. For an overview of his books and articles see: www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=6573&facInfo=pub

The CONNEX Support Unit is operated by a Secretariat responsible for the Unit’s day to day activities and the implementation of support. If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Juliane Weymann

portrait_Juliane_Weymann

Juliane Weymann is the Coordinator of the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat. She joined the Secretariat in January 2017. Prior to this, she was based in Monrovia, Liberia, working as an advisor with the GIZ Resource Governance Programme in West Africa. Juliane has a background in political science with a focus on governance and development politics. She is a certified expert in organizational development and enjoys using her diverse experiences for the successful development of the CONNEX Support Unit.

Leon Riedel

portrait_leon_riedel

Leon Riedel came aboard the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in 2018. Prior to this, he took part in the German federal traineeship for development cooperation commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ). Combining a master’s degree in mining engineering with relevant experience in federal development cooperation, he adds great disciplinary diversity to the team. With that background, he appreciates being part of the successful implementation of the CONNEX Support Unit activities.

Dr. Olumide Abimbola

portrait_Olumide_Abimbola

Dr. Olumide Abimbola joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat as Specialist for Business Development in July 2018. Prior to joining the CONNEX Secretariat, he worked as Trade and Regional Integration Expert at the African Development Bank in Tunis and Abidjan, and on research coordination and business development at OpenOil, a Berlin-based open data and financial analysis firm working on extractive sector governance. Olumide has an MA in Development Studies and a PhD in Economic Anthropology. He is excited for the opportunity to bring his professional skills and experience to the successful implementation of the CONNEX Support Unit.

Dennis Rach

portrait_Dennis_Rach

Dennis Rach joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in March 2018. Prior to this, he worked at the Sectoral Program Extractives and Development 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 is excited to be part of CONNEX and looks forward to using his knowledge and experience to further support the successful implementation of the CONNEX Support Unit.

Baran Bettag

portrait_Baran_Igret

Baran Bettag joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in April 2018. Prior to this, she worked at the Sectoral Program Extractives and Development. Baran is responsible for budget monitoring and for completion of financing. She advises the team in commercial processes. She appreciates being part of the CONNEX Team and supporting the CONNEX Support Unit activities.

Paul Schütze

portrait_Paul_Schuetze-310x310

Paul Schütze joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat as intern in March 2019. He currently studies in the Master Program „Development Economics“ at the University of Göttingen, Germany. His area of focus in his studies are agricultural and regional economics. With experience in federal development cooperation, strategic planning and field stations in Serbia and Indonesia, he is eager to help consolidate and expand the CONNEX Support Unit.

The Governing Board is the main decision making body. It consists of all stakeholders that provide funding to the CONNEX Support Unit. The Governing Board has the principle steering responsibility and appoints the members of the Advisory Committee.

 

GERMANY

 

Germany is the founding and first member of the Governing Board since the launch of the CONNEX Support Unit in January 2017. It is represented by Günter Nooke, Personal Representative of the German Chancellor for Africa in the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Dr. Sören Dengg, Division Head of Energy, Infrastructure, and Raw Materials at the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Günter Nooke

Günter Nooke has been strongly involved with the G7 CONNEX Initiative from the very early days. He is one of the founding fathers of the CONNEX idea even before it was discussed among G7 Heads of States and Governments. His engagement is driven by experiences and discussions he had during various travels in Africa and around the world. He is convinced that durable and fair contracts lay the foundation for long-term mutual beneficial relationships between governments and investors and are hence a crucial driver for development. Mr. Nooke was also crucial in Germany’s decision to provide the seed funding of 6.5 Mio Euro that kick-started the CONNEX Support Unit as the implementation body of the G7 CONNEX Initiative.

 

Before his current post, Mr. Nooke served as Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office. Previous to that, he was a member of the German Bundestag and a civil rights activist in the former German Democratic Republic. Mr. Nooke is a trained bricklayer and studied Physics and Geophysics at Leipzig University.

Sören Dengg

Dr. Sören Dengg heads the Division of Energy, Infrastructure, and Raw Materials at BMZ. He has been a strong supporter of the CONNEX idea from the very beginning and strongly supported the founding of the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat with German funding.

 

Besides CONNEX, his division is engaged in several relevant global processes and projects crucial for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. CONNEX highly benefits from those linkages.

 

Prior to his current post, Mr. Dengg worked for Deutsche Post DHL as Vice-president Government Affairs, with the Federal Chancellery of Germany on issues of European integration and bilateral relations to European States, and served as a diplomat in the Foreign Office of Germany and the political division in the German Embassy, London.

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

 

The Advisory Committee currently consists of eight highly experienced individuals who work on a voluntary base and serve in their personal capacity. For the composition of the Advisory Committee, attention was paid to ensuring that members come from multiple jurisdictions, and from different relevant professional backgrounds. The public and private sectors as well as non-governmental organizations and academia are represented.

 

The members of the Advisory Committee are generally appointed by the Governing Board and serve for an initial term of one year. More information on the current Advisory Committee can be found below.

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. Until February 2012, he was the Founding Executive Director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, the predecessor of CCSI. Until July 2005, he was Director of UNCTAD’s Investment Division. At the UN, he created the prestigious annual World Investment Report and was its lead author until 2004. At UNCTAD and then Columbia, he proposed and pursued the idea of a negotiations aid facility for developing countries. He has published extensively, see works.bepress.com/karl_sauvant.

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

Natty B. Davis, II, acquired over fifteen years of experience in distinguished public service at the highest level of the Liberian Government where he served, inter alia, as Former 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, Acting Minister of Transport and Coordinator of Liberia’s Economic Financial Management Committee (EFMC). Since 2014, he has held the position as Sr. Partner of the Devin Corporation, which he co-founded in 1992. In July 2016, Mr. Davis reassumed the role of Managing Director of the firm. Mr. Davis has also consulted extensively outside of Liberia in the United States as well as Eastern and Southern Africa.

Jorge Chamot | Member of the Advisory Committee

Jorge Chamot is a former Minister of Energy and Mines of Peru, Business Policy university professor, international oil and gas executive and, nowadays, consultant. He holds Petroleum Engineering and MBA degrees with further studies in Oil Planning and International Development. He has worked for a State-owned company, a Texan independent energy conglomerate and a private European shipping and trading outfit. In Peru, before being appointed Minister, he established, organized and managed the new Energy and Mines Regulatory Agency, and was a member of the National Privatization Committee of infrastructure projects. His understanding of the intricacies of policy making and implementation allows him to use a comprehensive approach to national and regional development programs, with geopolitical and international issues in mind, customary in projects of large dimension and significance.

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 35 years for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) 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. He advises the international secretariat of TI in its Africa activities. He is also a member of the board of directors of Transparency International – Germany. Peter 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 M.A. 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. Boris’ mining practice has focused on government representations and capacity development. These projects have included the negotiation of mining concessions, drafting model mining agreements, financing transactions, and intensive workshops on topics such as foreign investment, fiscal regimes and mining law and policy. Boris also regularly participates in conferences on providing assistance to governments in negotiating large-scale investment agreements. Boris serves on the board of directors of the International Senior Lawyers Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing legal services for human rights and economic development throughout the world. Boris received a law degree from the University of Virginia and received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.

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 the Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone. Prior to his current positions, he was Adviser at the Office of the President of Sierra Leone, and is currently head of the country’s negotiating team for mineral agreements.
His professional career spans a period of several years as a development economist at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where he occupied senior level positions including Director of Operations Policies and Programmes, UN Resident Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eritrea, and Cameroon. He also was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council (GAC) on fragile states and the GAC on the future of Minerals. He has provided consultancy services to several African countries on mining policy, minerals negotiations, and on the African Mining Vision.

 

See Mr M’cleod’s website for further information and for his publications on the minerals sector: Sierraleonesignposts.com

Helmut Nicolaus | Member of the Advisory Committee

Dr. phil. Helmut Nicolaus, M.A., D.I.A.P. (ENA, Paris) was born 1961 in Hanover, Germany. Dr. Helmut Nicolaus studied law and philosophy at the Universities of Heidelberg, Cambridge UK (Clare College), FU Berlin and ENA in Paris. He holds an M.A. and PhD in philosophy.
In 1989/90, he worked as advisor of 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 Potsdam. Since 1993, Dr. Nicolaus has been an attorney with the Berlin bar specialized in Public and European Law. Until 2016, he was a partner at GÖRG Law firm before he opened his own firm in 2017. Over the years, he released various publications on public law, inter alia on environmental, mining and electoral law.

Louis T. Wells | Member of the Advisory Committee

Professor 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. His principal consulting activities have been for governments and international organizations on foreign investment policies and negotiations with foreign investors, particularly for mining. He has served as an expert in 10 investor-state arbitrations and written on the subject. In 1975, he and David N. Smith, of the Harvard Law School, wrote: Negotiating Third World Mineral Agreements: Promises as Prologue. For an overview of his books and articles see: www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=6573&facInfo=pub

The CONNEX Support Unit is operated by a Secretariat responsible for the Unit’s day to day activities and the implementation of support. If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Juliane Weymann

Juliane Weymann is the Coordinator of the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat. She joined the Secretariat in January 2017. Prior to this, she was based in Monrovia, Liberia, working as an advisor with the GIZ Resource Governance Programme in West Africa. Juliane has a background in political science with a focus on governance and development politics. She is a certified expert in organizational development and enjoys using her diverse experiences for the successful development of the CONNEX Support Unit.

Leon Riedel

Leon Riedel came aboard the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in 2018. Prior to this, he took part in the German federal traineeship for development cooperation commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ). Combining a master’s degree in mining engineering with relevant experience in federal development cooperation, he adds great disciplinary diversity to the team. With that background, he appreciates being part of the successful implementation of the CONNEX Support Unit activities.

Dr. Olumide Abimbola

Dr. Olumide Abimbola joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat as Specialist for Business Development in July 2018. Prior to joining the CONNEX Secretariat, he worked as Trade and Regional Integration Expert at the African Development Bank in Tunis and Abidjan, and on research coordination and business development at OpenOil, a Berlin-based open data and financial analysis firm working on extractive sector governance. Olumide has an MA in Development Studies and a PhD in Economic Anthropology. He is excited for the opportunity to bring his professional skills and experience to the successful implementation of the CONNEX Support Unit.

Dennis Rach

Dennis Rach joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in March 2018. Prior to this, he worked at the Sectoral Program Extractives and Development 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 is excited to be part of CONNEX and looks forward to using his knowledge and experience to further support the successful implementation of the CONNEX Support Unit.

Baran Bettag

Baran Bettag joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in April 2018. Prior to this, she worked at the Sectoral Program Extractives and Development. Baran is responsible for budget monitoring and for completion of financing. She advises the team in commercial processes. She appreciates being part of the CONNEX Team and supporting the CONNEX Support Unit activities.

Paul Schütze

Paul Schütze joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat as intern in March 2019. He currently studies in the Master Program „Development Economics“ at the University of Göttingen, Germany. His area of focus in his studies are agricultural and regional economics. With experience in federal development cooperation, strategic planning and field stations in Serbia and Indonesia, he is eager to help consolidate and expand the CONNEX Support Unit.