Made up of a multidisciplinary team with extensive experience in the public and private sector, the CONNEX Secretariat facilitates the negotiation support activities. For further information on individual members, please click below.
Head of Secretariat
Brigitte Klein heads the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat. Prior to that Brigitte was at the head of the Emerging Markets Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD) Programme at GIZ. Previously she involved in setting up the Global Initiative for Access to Insurance (A2ii) and was responsible for establishing the A2ii’s Secretariat, which GIZ hosts. In this role, she was responsible for advising BMZ in the broad field of inclusive insurance and representing BMZ in different global fora. During her more than 25-year tenure with GIZ, Brigitte was also based in India for six years leading the NABARD-GIZ Rural Finance Programme, contribution in the areas of self-help group linkage banking and the revitalization of rural cooperative banks. She was also seconded as GIZ young professional to the FAO, Rome in the field of agricultural finance. Before joining GIZ, she was lecturer and research associate at Humboldt University of Berlin on agricultural market development and freelance consultant in the field of Rural und Microfinance. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from the Free University in Berlin, conducting empirical research on rural financial markets in Colombia. She also holds a diploma degree in economics from the Free University of Berlin.
Diara Diallo joined the CONNEX Support Unit as an Operations Officer in March 2020. She has previously been engaged in the study of rural development in Western Africa, with a focus on food security. She has been mainly working with NGO’s in the area of secondary education in the past where she could gather experience in communication and marketing. She holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in African Studies from the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
Richard Dion joined the Connex Support Unit in early 2021, bringing significant business development, communications and fundraising experience and expertise to the team. Richard started his career at UNDP in Kazakhstan, managing the international response to the Soviet nuclear legacy’s impact on local communities. Subsequently he joined Royal Dutch/Shell plc for over a decade, initially working with the new business development team in Central Asia and then managing the company’s human rights and revenue transparency policies. Dion further consulted for the public sector, private firms and foundations and equally led a non-profit focusing on bridges. An American citizen, he is a UCLA graduate and completed Masters studies in Urban Management and Governance and Russian politics.
John Hauert joined the CONNEX Support Unit in August 2021 as part-time Advisor and has since been responsible for the secretariat’s strategic expansion to the infrastructure sector. He further leads the work on Sustainable Infrastructure at GIZ’s Emerging Markets Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD). From 2014 and 2017, he worked at the OECD’s Investment Division in Paris. John studied law, politics and economics at Sciences Po, the University of Edinburgh, and Columbia University. He holds a doctorate from the University of Cologne on the legal and policy framework for investments in the extractive industries in West Africa.
Mediha Inan joined the CONNEX Support Unit as an Intern in November 2021. Previously, she gained practical insights at the European Parliament’s Committees for the Single Market and International Trade as well as the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs. At CONNEX, Mediha’s work includes the CONNEX Investment Contracts Dialogues, a gender analysis for the extractive sector, and a country support process. Mediha studied politics and economics with a focus on Global Risks at Sciences Po and King’s College London, holding a Dual Master’s Degree from both universities.
Sun-Min Kim joined the CONNEX Support Unit in 2020 as specialist for negotiation support. Previously, she worked for GIZ’s Extractives for Development Sector Program, where she advised the BMZ on questions of responsible sourcing and in its role as supporting member of the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Prior to that, Sun-Min worked in Guinea for the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), focusing on EITI implementation and contract monitoring. Sun-Min holds an MA in International Security from Sciences Po Paris.
Alex Mamontov joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in May 2020 and is responsible for financial processes and budget monitoring. He studied business administration at the University of Cologne and received the academic degree “Diplom-Kaufmann” in 2005. Prior to that, he worked for 9 years in the administration of the BMWi manager training programme at GIZ or its predecessor organisation InWEnt and for about 3 years in the finance department of GIZ.
Dr. Leopold von Carlowitz
As senior adviser, Leo deals with issues of CONNEX’s institutional sustainability and strategy. He is a trained lawyer (FU Berlin) and holds a M.Phil degree in International Relations (University of Cambridge). His doctoral thesis is on the progressive development on international property rights law (Goethe University Frankfurt). During 25 years of project work in international peacekeeping, peace research and development cooperation, Leo has acquired profound expertise on resource-related governance, dispute settlement and human rights. The fair distribution of resources stood at the heart of his assignment as senior advisor and deputy head of the GIZ Sector Programme ‘Extractives for Development’ (2016-2020) where he headed the workstream on responsible mineral supply chains.
Other postings included service as adviser and component head for the GIZ land reform project in Namibia, as rule of law project leader with the Berlin Center of International Peace Operations (ZIF) and as head of the Property Verification and Claims Unit of the UN Interim Administration in Kosovo. He is a certified mediator and also works as process adviser and facilitator.
Jan Bollmann is currently an intern at the CONNEX Support Unit. He is simultaneously enrolled in two degree programmes – International Relations and Development Policy (M.A.) and Theory and Comparative Studies of Political Systems in Transition (M.A.), both at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Jan completed his Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and Law at the University of Erfurt. Before beginning his studies, he volunteered for one-year in Cape Town, South Africa. Internships took him to the German Embassy in Washington D.C. and to the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Zambia. He has also worked as a research assistant at various university institutions, most recently at the Institute for Peace and Development in Duisburg, Germany where he contributed to a research project on jihadist violence in sub-Saharan Africa.
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