NRGI Staff Biographies

Daniel Kaufmann
President and Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Kaufmann is the president of the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), a policy institute and non-profit organization operating in more than a dozen countries. An economist, he is a pioneer in the field of governance and anti-corruption worldwide. He has held leadership positions in the field, and has, with his teams, devised innovative approaches to measure and analyze governance. He has deep practical experience in providing high-level policy advice and helping countries in all regions of the world to formulate and carry out governance reforms in areas such as anti-corruption, transparency and natural resources. He has also extensively researched other topics such as economic development, political economy, investment, privatization and urban and labor economics.

Dr. Kaufmann was previously a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he remains a non-resident fellow. Prior to that, he was a director at the World Bank Institute, leading work on governance and anti-corruption. He also held other World Bank senior management positions focused on anti-corruption, finance and regulatory reform, and was lead economist in the research department. He was the bank’s first chief of mission to Ukraine, and worked on capacity building in Latin America and on economic reforms in Africa.

He serves on various advisory boards and has also been a member of the Faculty and Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum (Davos). He is currently a full member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative international board. In major policy circles and the international media, he is associated with such innovations as the Worldwide Governance Indicators, the Resource Governance Index, and the study and analysis of “legal corruption” and state capture.

Dr. Kaufmann, a Chilean, received an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics at Harvard, and a B.A. in economics and statistics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He enjoys Twitter, opera, soccer and scuba.

Suneeta KaimalSuneeta Kaimal
Chief Operating Officer

Suneeta oversees NRGI’s strategic planning and implementation, driving a responsive, opportunistic, yet strategic approach to addressing new challenges and opportunities in resource governance. She ensures regional and country level engagements in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa, as well as the global work of the Capacity Development, Research and Data, Governance, and Legal and Economic program teams align with and further the organization’s mission. Under her leadership, NRGI has grown nearly four-fold in size and tripled in budget since she joined in 2009.

Suneeta is Civil Society co-Chair of the Open Government Partnership, a 65-country initiative in which governments and civil society work together to advance transparency, accountability and citizen participation. She is a member of the Global Council of Publish What You Pay, a civil society movement of more than 800 organizations working to improve natural resource governance. She serves on the Advisory Council of the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law, which seeks a legal environment that strengthens civil society, advances the freedoms of association and assembly, fosters philanthropy, and enables public participation around the world. Suneeta is also a founding board member of Roots of Health, a local NGO focused on improving the health of women and girls, and their communities, in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, in the Philippines.

Suneeta holds a Masters in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University, where she was a Hart Leadership Fellow.

Lucy Berkowitz Lucy Berkowitz
Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Lucy joined NRGI as CFO in November 2013. She previously held similar roles for E+Co/Persistent Energy Partners and the Near East Foundation. Before moving to the non-profit sector she spent many years with the Linde Group/BOC Group in a variety of financial and project roles across their gas, healthcare and electronics divisions.

Lucy is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. She holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Nadine Aboukhaled Nadine Aboukhaled
MENA Economic Analyst

Based in Beirut, Nadine is an economist with more than ten years of experience in government and international organizations. As a senior economic officer for the Lebanese Ministry of Finance, she advised a UNDP project on macroeconomic and fiscal policy and public debt management. She also contributed to the ministry’s publications and offered public financial management technical assistance. Prior to that, she served as an economist at the Central Administration of Statistics, where she dealt with complex national surveys and analyses of socio-economic statistics. More recently, she worked as a social policy specialist at UNICEF Lebanon and as a senior economic consultant to the Institute of Finance Basil Fuleihan, where she lead the capacity building project on municipal finance and contributed to research activities.

Nadine holds a D.E.S (Diplôme d’études supérieures) and a Maîtrise in Economics from Saint-Joseph University, in Beirut, where she also taught a public finance course.

Toyin Akinniyi Toyin Akinniyi
Media Capacity Development Associate

Based in Nigeria, Toyin supports NRGI’s goal of strengthening media oversight of the extractive sectors. She coordinates the implementation of the Media for Oil Reform (MFOR) program in Nigeria and supports broader capacity development activities for journalists and media in Africa and NRGI’s priority and limited engagement countries.

Prior to joining NRGI, Toyin worked with the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism in Lagos for more than six years as the program and research officer. She helped improve Nigeria’s investigative journalism landscape through the management of capacity development, advocacy and related professional development programs. She was instrumental in the formation of a network for investigative journalism in Nigeria.

Toyin previously also worked with the civil society arm of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission where she researched corruption, conflict and development in Nigeria, and was a facilitator for several civil society forums. She holds an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies and a B.A. in English, both from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. In addition, she has certificates in journalism, communication for development, e-facilitation, and project management. Toyin is passionate about social justice.

Yusser Al-Gayed Yusser Al-Gayed
MENA Deputy Director

Yusser is an experienced government reform consultant with a strong understanding of public sector systems, and has provided targeted support in difficult political environments. While working for Adam Smith International (ASI) for over eight years, Yusser managed both public administration reform and public financial management projects in Libya. As an ASI consultant, he played a key role in 2011 helping to implement the Temporary Financing Mechanism (TFM) of Libya, which was established to channel international financial contributions and Libya’s unfrozen assets into projects designed to deliver emergency assistance to the Libyan people. Yusser also led the Financial Management Agent (FMA) team based in Benghazi during the Libyan conflict. The FMA’s role was to handle funds of $1.6 billion and provide policy and financial oversight of the TFM. For the FMA, Yusser developed funding proposals and led the design and implementation of financial and operational controls to prevent misuse of funds.

Additionally, Yusser served as a strategic communications expert for an EU project in support of the prime minister’s office, and also produced a political economy analysis that would ultimately inform the EU’s Libya country strategy.

Yusser holds a PhD in public procurement policy and an MSc in purchasing and logistics.

Yulie Ardiyanti Yulie Ardiyanti
Asia Pacific Finance Associate

Before joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute's IKAT Project, Yulie served as finance director at PT Explorer Indonesia. She was previously a research assistant for JICA’s Jakarta Credit Scale Project, Executive Secretary for the local NGO the Telapak Foundation and research assistant at the Asian Japan Development Fund. Yulie has a degree in Finance. Yulie's administrative oversight can be determined, almost terrifying. But just offer her a traditional Sudanese dish, and she shall be beaming instantly.

Maw Htun Aung Maw Htun Aung
Myanmar Officer

Maw Htun Aung is the Myanmar officer for NRGI. Based in Yangon, he is responsible for program administration, coordination and research initiatives. He is also responsible for engagements with stakeholders including civil society groups, media, parliaments and government ministries.

He was previously program coordinator of Spectrum and carried out joint advocacy strategies with civil society organizations targeting the parliament, the government’s executive branch, the donor community and corporations to adopt budget, revenue and contract transparency frameworks. His work led to a declaration of intent from the Myanmar government to join EITI in 2014. Overseeing staff and programs, he also led the formation of Myanmar Transparency Coalition MC4T, which led to the creation of the Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability. This latter civil society network led to the formation of a multi-stakeholder group for EITI and the Myanmar Green Network. Earlier, Maw Htun was with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), World Vision and Myanmar Compassion Project.

He received his first masters degree in social policy and social development from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He also graduated from Cornell University with masters in public administration. He received a bachelors in computer science at Yangon’s University of Computer Studies.

Fidan Bagirova Fidan Bagirova
Eurasia Senior Officer

Before joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute in 2013, Fidan held several positions at the Open Society Institute in Azerbaijan. Beginning in 2006, these included national budget group coordinator, program director for transparency of oil revenues, public finance program director, and finally deputy director. In those roles she interacted with NRGI on several projects involving revenue transparency. Prior to joining the civil society sector Fidan worked at a private bank as an internal auditor.

In her current position, Fidan is involved in strategy development, project management, advocacy, and day-to-day contact with grantees in Azerbaijan.

Fidan holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and credit from State Economic University. She speaks English, Russian and Turkish.

Lee BaileyLee Bailey
Communications Director

Lee Bailey has previously worked in communications for the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti, and a public health technology company. Before working in international development, he was a business journalist with Condé Nast Publications in New York City and a management consultant with a Boston firm specializing in negotiation and alliance strategy.

A native of Texas, Lee holds a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania, and a MSc in development studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Andrew BauerAndrew Bauer
Senior Economic Analyst

Andrew is an economic analyst at the Natural Resource Governance Institute. Prior to joining, he served on Canada's G7/8 and G-20 teams as an international economist at the Department of Finance, where he provided economic policy advice and participated in the planning and execution of the G8 and G-20 Summits as well as preparatory finance ministerials during Canada's host year. He has held positions in government, nonprofits and the private sector, having worked for Debt Relief International, UNICEF-Canada, Transparency International-Kenya, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ-Ghana), among others.

At the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Andrew focuses on economic technical assistance and research to improve natural resource revenue management. His work includes advising governments and civil society on macroeconomic management, governance and accountability mechanisms, and local content in the extractives.

Andrew holds an M.Sc. in Economics for Development from Oxford University, where he won a thesis distinction for his work on the monetary transmission mechanism in Tanzania. He also received a B.A. in Economics and International Development Studies from McGill University. Never at rest, Andrew still likes to go home for a regular dose of Montreal bagels and to cheer on the Canadiens.

Samuel BekoeSamuel Bekoe
Africa Associate

Samuel is NRGI’s Anglophone Africa regional associate, serving as a joint member of the Governance and Africa teams. Based in Accra, he works to ensure that transparent information actually generates accountability and better governance across Anglophone Africa. He does this by coordinating NRGI’s EITI work in the region and by serving as a resource for report analysis and data utilization. He also leads the Ghana portion of NRGI’s CODEX project, which aims to increase the use of extractive industry data to improve linkages between extractive revenues and human development outcomes.

Before joining NRGI, Samuel was an Overseas Development Institute Fellow in Guyana, where as an environmental economist he supported the Project Management Office within the Office of the President, a unit responsible for overseeing and managing all projects under the Guyana Low Carbon Development Strategy. During his two years in Guyana, he worked on a wide range of environmental projects that gave him first-hand experience navigating politics and bureaucracies, engaging with host communities, and managing complex projects. Prior to his time in Guyana, he worked as an environmental analyst in a private company in the UK.

Samuel holds an MPhil in development studies from the University of Cambridge, an MSc in environment and development from the London School of Economics, and a BA in economics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.

Abby Boxer Abby Boxer
In House Attorney

Prior to joining NRGI, Abby was an associate in the banking and leveraged finance practice of Bingham McCutchen LLP, where she represented financial institutions in a broad range of commercial finance and restructuring transactions. Her pro bono work included incorporating non-profit organizations and assisting them in obtaining tax-exempt status. Abby holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in American studies from Amherst College and a J.D. from Boston College. Originally from Arizona, Abby lived and worked in Tokyo, Shanghai, London and Boston before making her way to New York City.

Max Brett
Communications Officer

Max previously worked as an investigative reporter and global sector head with an online news service, reporting on corporate strategy in the mining, oil and gas and renewable energy sectors.

He has also covered U.S.-Mexico border violence; visual art; wrongful convictions; Chicago policing; and immigration.

Max earned a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University. He also studied visual art. He is highly proficient in Spanish, and is based in NRGI’s New York City office.

Emanuel BriaEmanuel Bria
Asia Pacific Senior Officer

Before joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute Emanuel served as the Regional Program Manager on Governance for Southeast Asia with CAFOD, where he led the overall development and implementation of CAFOD’s regional governance program, ensuring that advocacy strategies fed into and were informed by global policy advancements, providing technical advice on regional and country strategies and identifying emerging policy issues and trends. His most recent former posts included a fellowship on global governance and climate policy at Freidrich Ebert Stiftung, Program Advisor and Coordinator for the European Commission Program of the Luta Hamutuk Institute in Timor Leste, where he provided technical advice, produced policy briefs and delivered trainings related to oil and gas revenues and budget transparency. His prior work experience with Habitat for Humanity in Indonesia and Timor Leste included specific work on planning, design, monitoring and evaluation. Before that he undertook socioeconomic impact assessments on communities affected by Asian Development Bank funded projects in Indonesia.

Emanuel joined NRGI in October 2013 to specifically oversee the development of our Asia pacific Regional Training Hub, our partnership with the Indonesia Parliamentary Center to support national advocacy and regional training to advance good governance in the extractives, and our partnership with the Institute for Essential Services Reform on our ASEAN regional advocacy.

Emanuel holds a bachelor’s degree from the Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta, Indonesia and has taken post graduate courses on leadership and strategic management at Cornell University. He is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia and Tetun, and also speaks Portuguese, Spanish and Khmer.

Femke BrouwerFemke Brouwer
Parliamentary Capacity Development Officer

In her role as parliamentary program officer, Femke will support the establishment and management of existing and new parliamentary capacity development projects, including the design and delivery of courses and other knowledge services to parliaments. Additionally, she will help NRGI regional offices expand and systematize NRGI's approach to building the capacity of parliaments.

Previously, Femke worked as program manager at the Association for European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA). She was responsible for the overall management of a parliamentary capacity building program aimed at strengthening African regional parliaments towards achieving the MDGs. She led capacity-building activities for MPs and parliamentary staff on issues such as poverty reduction, agriculture, natural resources and climate change. Prior to this, Femke was the reporting, monitoring and evaluation officer for American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), based in the Palestinian territories. She also worked as a policy officer at the European Parliament in Brussels, where she gained in-depth experience with legislative processes, budgetary oversight and political strategizing.

Femke holds a Master and Bachelor's degree in international and European law from the University of Groningen and a Postgraduate Diploma on Governance, Democratization and Public Policy from the International Institute for Social Studies in the Netherlands. She is a Dutch native speaker and also fluent in French. In her spare time, Femke enjoys yoga, sailing and tango dancing.

Giorgia Cecchinato Giorgia Cecchinato
Research and Data Associate

Based in London, Giorgia supports NRGI’s data and analysis team with the development and management of data sets as well as with statistical analysis. In addition, she works on NRGI’s Mining Governance Assessment Project and various open data initiatives.

Giorgia previously worked at the Overseas Development Institute researching the effect of property rights on investments and credit in sub-Saharan Africa. She has significant experience in quantitative analysis, modeling and data visualization. Before working in international development, she worked in data analysis and machine learning for a tech start-up.

Giorgia holds a first class MSc in economic history from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a native Italian, and is fluent in French, with reading skills in Spanish and Dutch. In her free time, Giorgia likes to code in R and she is currently learning Python.

Jim Cust Jim Cust
Director of Research and Data

Jim served as lead and founding staff member of the Natural Resource Charter, prior to its merger with the Revenue Watch Institute. Before joining NRGI he was based at the University of Oxford where he completed his doctorate and remains a Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies (OxCarre). Jim’s research investigates the interactions between natural resource investment, governance and economic performance in resource-rich developing countries. He has been published in various books and journals, including Energy Economics.

As Director of Research and Data, Jim oversees the Resource Governance Index and his team is responsible for the development of data tools, research and analysis to support the work of the organization.

Jim holds a DPhil and MSc in economics from the University of Oxford, and an MA in economics from the University of Cambridge.

Helen Dempsey Helen Dempsey
Capacity Development Associate

Helen’s work involves assisting in the development and coordination of NRGI’s capacity development programs, in particular the executive course at the Blavatnik School of Government and the advanced course at the Central European University.

She holds an M.A. in international development from the University of Manchester, and an M.A. in social science from the University of Glasgow.

Isabelle Edwards Isabelle Edwards
Research Assistant

Based in London, Isabelle works on the Resource Governance Index (RGI).

Prior to joining NRGI, Isabelle worked as an economist at Green Alliance, a U.K. environmental think tank, where she researched the application of financial risk management tools to resources policy. She also worked at Chatham House, primarily contributing trade data analysis to the Resources Futures theme.

She holds a B.A. in Economics and Politics from the University of Exeter. She has also studied in the France and the Czech Republic. Isabelle is fluent in French and English. She has a working knowledge of Spanish.

Galib EfendievGalib Efendiev
Eurasia Director

Before joining NRGI, Galib worked at the Open Society Institute - Assistance, as director of the Transparency of Oil Revenues and Public Finance (TORPF) program and as head of the grants department. He joined OSI in Azerbaijan at its founding in 1996, helping to manage OSI's first programs in Azerbaijan and serving as Deputy Director for several years. The TORPF program continues to collaborate with NRGI as a leader facilitating civil society involvement with the EITI implementation in Azerbaijan, NGO efforts for budget and expenditure transparency, and monitoring of oil industry and IFI activities, among other projects.

As NRGI's Central Asia/Caucasus Regional Coordinator, Galib provides guidance to consolidate local monitoring activities and helps to manage local research, monitoring, advocacy and technical assistance. Priority countries include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, with smaller-scale activities in Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic and Ukraine.

He holds a BS from Rutgers University, with majors on Finance and Management and Eastern European Studies, and speaks Russian and Turkish. Galib is married and has three sons.

Micheline EssoMicheline Esso
MENA Administrative Associate

Micheline’s work prior to joining NRGI was primarily in the field of humanitarian aid. Micheline began her career in 2010 at Accion Contra el Hambre as a school supervisor for a vocational training project targeting Iraqi refugees in Syria. In 2012, she joined the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) as an education program officer working on Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian refugee-related issues. At NRC, she played a key role in implementing accelerated learning programs for Syrian students within Lebanese schools, and advocating for their right to education.

Micheline holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Aleppo University in Syria.

Hayat FalahHayat Falah
MENA Finance Associate

Before moving to Beirut in 2012, Hayat worked at Qatar National Bank in Syria, where she reviewed the credit facility proposals of corporate clients and assessed their credit exposure and risk. Prior to that, she worked at Byblos Bank Syria as an assistant relationship manager. Her duties there included targeting prospect corporate clients, preparing credit files, analyzing their financial statements, evaluating their market positions, proposing banking facilities, and managing a portfolio of clients. She also previously worked at Deloitte and Touche as an assistant auditor.

In her current position with NRGI, Hayat handles operations and finances in Beirut, providing general administrative support as well.

She holds a master’s degree in finance and banking and a bachelor's degree in management science from the Higher Institute of Business Administration in Damascus. She is fluent in Arabic, English and French.

Adams FusheiniAdams Fusheini
Africa Parliamentary Capacity Development Officer

Based in Accra, Adams works to build capacity among Ghana’s parliamentarians and other oil, gas and mining stakeholders in Anglophone Africa. He specializes in project planning, design, implementation and reporting.

Before joining NRGI, Adams served for nearly a decade at the Parliamentary Centre, where he managed various projects. In the last four years he was the regional program manager for a CIDA-funded parliamentary budget oversight program in Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Prior to that he was the information resource coordinator and later the in-country project coordinator for the Ghana Parliamentary Committees Support Project, where he engaged and supported civil society and parliamentarians.

Adams earned a master’s degree in development studies from Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he was a Nuffic Fellow at the school’s International Institute of Social Studies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geography and resource development from the University of Ghana.

Jelson GarciaJelson Garcia
Asia Pacific Director

Jelson is NRGI’s senior-most representative in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam, and is responsible for potential engagement in additional countries such as China and India.

Before NRGI, Jelson served as Asia program director for the Bank Information Center, where he was responsible for the strategic programming and staff operations in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Mongolia, and program representation in Washington, DC. In this capacity, he aligned BIC’s country and regional strategies with the global and cross cutting-programs such as the collective movements for robust environmental and social safeguards, accountability mechanisms, transparency policies, energy strategies, and the private sector lending standards of the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank and other IFIs. He also worked with communities and civil society organizations to bolster their campaigns for human rights protection, accountability and reconsideration of coal, mining, land reform, water, airport and high-risk energy infrastructure projects, and stronger safeguard requirements in financial intermediary lending and new forms of financing from IFIs.

Jelson has 18 years of on-the-ground, regional and international experience managing research, policy advocacy, problem project campaigns, training and community development in the fields of natural resource governance, development and climate finance, peacebuilding, agrarian reform and rural development. Jelson holds a B.A. in anthropology and comparative sociology from Macquarie University, and a masters degree in anthropology from the University of the Philippines. He serves on the board of directors of Earthrights International and advises several advocacy groups in Asia.

Dauda GarubaDauda Garuba
Nigeria Officer

Dauda has extensive experience working on the question of oil and the Niger Delta and is currently completing a doctoral thesis on the subject. Prior to joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute, he served as Senior Programme Officer in Governance, Security and Development at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD). He represented CDD on the Steering Committee of Publish What You Pay Nigeria and was also National Civil Society representative on the Monitoring and Evaluation Team focusing on Millennium Development Goals' project in Nigeria.

At the Natural Resource Governance Institute, he has spearheaded the implementation of the Bayelsa Expenditure and Income Transparency Initiative (BEITI), a state-led effort developed with NRGI to open up the books of oil-rich Bayelsa State to the highest levels of scrutiny and help establish the state as Nigeria’s most transparent sub-national government. He also works to ensure regular outreach to civil society on the evolution of BEITI and broader NRGI efforts in Niger Delta.

Dauda is co-author of two books: Democracy, Oil and Politics in the Niger Delta: Linking Citizens' Perception with Policy Reform (2007) and Governance and Institution Building in Nigeria: A Case of the Independent National Electoral Commission - INEC (2008 & 2010). He is a Harry Frank Guggenheim/African Association of Political Science Young Scholar and Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva) Young Scholar.

Alex GilliesAlexandra Gillies
Director of Governance Programs

Alexandra Gillies is a specialist on natural resource governance and transparency. Her recent work has focused on the political economy of oil, extractive sector transparency standards including the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the governance challenges associated with national oil companies and commodity trading, and the Nigerian oil sector. She has authored academic articles on these topics, and co-edited the volume Smart Aid for African Development (2009: Lynne Reiner).

Alexandra holds a PhD in international relations from the University of Cambridge, where her research addressed the political economy of oil sector policymaking in Nigeria. She spent 2008 in Nigeria as a Fulbright Fellow. Prior to joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute, she consulted for organizations including World Bank, DFID, USAID and several political risk firms, and served as Assistant Director for the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. Alexandra also holds degrees from the University of Ghana and Emory University.

At the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Alexandra directs programs that promote the uptake of good governance and transparency standards in resource rich countries worldwide.

Diana HartmannDiana Hartmann
Research Assistant

Based in London, Diana works on NRGI’s Resource Governance Index (RGI) project.

Prior to joining NGRI, Diana worked at the British and Colombian Chamber of Commerce and the World Bank in Colombia. During her four years at the World Bank, she worked in the fiduciary team and the sustainable development department, where she supported the implementation of the Colombian government portfolio for multisector projects.

Originally from Colombia, Diana holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rosario University and an M.Sc in international political economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Anna HasemannAnna Hasemann
Research Associate

Anna works on data collection, coordination of local experts and consultants, and quality control for NRGI’s Resource Governance Index program.

Originally from Germany, Anna started her career as a sustainable development project assistant with the German Development Bank (KfW) in Ethiopia. She has also worked on the natural resource governance team for LSE’s Justice and Security Research Programme, as a visiting researcher at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh, and most recently as a consultant for the International Council on Mining and Metals.

Anna holds a BA in social anthropology and development studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies and an MSc in environment and development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In addition to her fluency in English and German, Anna also has a working knowledge of Spanish and French.

Laury HaytayanLaury Haytayan
MENA Senior Officer

For the past two years, Laury had been executive director of the Beirut-based Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption (ARPAC), where she worked with parliamentarians and civil society groups to strengthen legislators' oversight and legislative capacities. Recently, Laury was invited by the Carter Center to help monitor the first Tunisian elections after the fall of Ben Ali. Prior to working with ARPAC, she was in charge of regional grass root projects in Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia focused on promoting the role of women in development and policy making. She also worked as grant manager, advocacy specialist and trainer for several international NGOs, including International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), ACDI/VOCA and Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), focusing mainly on civil society democracy campaigns in Lebanon and Iraq.

As NRGI's MENA Senior Regional Associate based in Beirut, Lebanon, Laury will assist with strategic planning, project management and capacity building and lead both regional parliamentary projects and the development of a MENA extractive industries knowledge hub.

Laury holds a Masters in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter in the UK and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the Lebanese American University. She speaks Arabic, French, English and Armenian.

Patrick HellerPatrick Heller
Director of Legal and Economic Programs

Patrick has worked on governance and anti-corruption initiatives in the developing world for more than ten years, for organizations including USAID, the U.S. State Department, the Asian Development Bank, Creative Associates International, and the International Center for Transitional Justice. He is a Research Affiliate with the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University, where he focuses on the political economy of National Oil Companies, with special attention to Angola and Nigeria.

At the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Patrick focuses on governance and oversight of oil sectors, legislative and contract reform, transparency, and the promotion of government-citizen dialogue. He is working closely with partners from the African Center for Economic Transformation and the Norwegian government’s Oil for Development program to develop a technical assistance program based in Accra that will help African governments manage their extractive resources more effectively.

He holds a law degree from Stanford University and a master’s in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Wissem Heni Wissem Heni
Tunisia Program Officer

Prior to joining NRGI, Wissem worked in a number of relevant departments within the Tunisian government since 2008. Notably, Wissem held a position both at the Hydrocarbon and the Mining Advisory Commissions, which provide consultation to the Ministry of Industry prior to signing licenses with international oil companies. As part of his duties as deputy director of the Legal Advising Services, he was also in charge of the industry portfolio, where he worked on monitoring the legality of hydrocarbon and mining permits and licenses and gained knowledge and experience on the Tunisian extractive industries sector.

Besides having strong and direct relations with key actors in the hydrocarbon sector, Wissem worked closely with the Ministry of Industry on the interpretation of Article 13 of the constitution.

Wissem holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Tunis and a Masters in Administration. He also received training on sustainable development, anti-corruption and bilateral investment treaties.

Alonso HidalgoAlonso Hidalgo
Latin America Program Assistant

Prior to joining NRGI, Alonso worked as junior researcher for Peruvian NGO DESCO on subjects like urban studies, gender and child labor. He has also published articles on freedom of information and web activism for Peru’s longest-running development-oriented magazine, Quehacer. At NRGI he is in charge of the information and communications activities for the Latin America regional office. He also serves as the communications focal point for the region.

Alonso holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from San Marcos University in Lima and an executive masters (EMS) in development policies and practices from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Alonso is fluent in English, Spanish and French, and is an avid tech enthusiast.

Rushaiya Ibrahim-Tanko Rushaiya Ibrahim-Tanko
Africa Program Assistant

Before becoming office manager of the Natural Resource Governance Institute’s Ghana office, Rushaiya worked as the research and administrative intern. She now oversees administration and human resources in the office and liaises with accounting on financial management.

Rushaiya earned a bachelor’s degree in French and political science from the University of Ghana. She speaks English and French and loves reading, traveling and learning new languages.

John Illankovan John Illankovan
Accountant, UK

John joins NRGI-NRC with extensive financial management experience spanning over 20 years in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute, John worked for Saferworld, an international development organization where he managed the finance department. He also holds another part-time post as Head of Finance at the Spinal Injuries Association which is a UK national charitable organization. John holds UK accountancy qualification MAAT.

John was born and grew up in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He moved to the UK when the late Lady Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister. He is married and has two boys.

Patricia KaramPatricia Karam
MENA Director

Prior to joining NRGI, Patricia Karam was deputy director of the policymakers and civil society unit at the International Center for Transitional Justice, where she designed, implemented and managed capacity building initiatives, including ICTJ's flagship fellowship program. She also served as senior grants officer at the US Institute of Peace, managing a portfolio of projects to promote conflict prevention and peace-building in Iraq and Colombia, and as programs and development officer at the Iraq Foundation in Washington, D.C. She worked as consultant on social justice activism for the Environmental Background Information Center in New York City and coordinated trauma studies programs at New York University.

As Middle East and North Africa Director at NRGI, Patricia is responsible for strategic leadership and management of the regional portfolio and team, including leading NRGI’s efforts in research, advocacy, technical assistance and capacity building for the region.

Patricia holds a dual bachelor’s degree in political science and religious studies from Brown University, and an MSFS degree with a certificate in Arab studies from Georgetown University. Her doctoral research in law and society at New York University has revolved around identity politics and indigenous people’s rights in the Western Sahara.

Ruya KomanRuya Koman
Grants Coordinator

From 2006 to 2009, Ruya served as Program Associate for the Baltic-American Partnership Fund, established by the Open Society Institute and USAID to ensure the continued development of democratic institutions and market economies in the Baltic States. Working with the executive director, Ruya oversaw all grants contracts and payments, evaluated grantee reports and created the annual report and ongoing communications until the closing of the program in 2009. Ruya previously served as project assistant to two winning projects of the European Commission in Ankara, and held internships with the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, the Deutsche Welle Radio and TV Network in Cologne, Germany, UNHCR in Turkey and the Turkish Ministry of Finance. She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex and a BA in International Relations and Political Science from Ankara University. Ruya speaks German and Turkish, as well as some beginner Farsi, and enjoys yoga, singing and dancing.

Katarina KuaiKatarina Kuai
Senior Capacity Development Officer

Before the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Katarina worked at the United Nations in New York as well as on field missions in Afghanistan and Indonesia. While at the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights she worked on an inter-agency initiative to promote rights-based approaches in the U.N.'s approach to development, peace and security. She has also worked for UNDP, conducting policy research and managing projects in various areas including South-South cooperation, civil society partnerships and indigenous peoples' issues.

As program officer, Katarina's focus is on training and capacity development in downstream phases of the extractive sector value chain including revenue management and economic diversification. She is leading NRGI's work in Afghanistan and has a special interest in conflict-resource linkages, China-Africa relations and Chinese NOC engagement in extractive sector governance. In addition, Katarina oversees the development of NRGI training modules and the management of fellowships.

She holds a Masters in International Relations with a certificate in International Security Studies from Yale University and a BA from New School University in political philosophy. A native of Beijing and New York City, she currently resides in Brooklyn with an octogenarian Jack Russell Terrier.

Emmanuel KuyoleEmmanuel Kuyole
Africa Deputy Director

Emmanuel previously worked as Programme Officer with Structural Adjustment Participatory Review Initiative (SAPRI), a global tripartite initiative launched in 1997 involving the World Bank, selected governments and civil society to review the impact of structural adjustment lending and policy advice in selected countries. The exercise was also aimed at ascertaining how the participation of local, broad-based civil society can improve economic policy-making.

He was also head of programs (2005-2008) for the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), a regional research and advocacy organization based in Ghana. Emmanuel is an active member of several campaigns including Ghana Publish What You Pay (PWYP) and he served on the Ghana EITI Multi-Stakeholder Committee from 2004-2008. His major advocacy interest and focus is in promoting accountability and equity in the use of public resources, including those of extractive sector. Emmanuel holds a Masters Degree in governance and leadership and has over 10 years' experience working with civil society as a passionate advocate for equality and social justice.

Emmanuel joined NRGI in February 2008 and is currently responsible for strategic leadership, management and coordination with respect to the Africa portfolio and the Ghana regional office. NRGI is currently supporting projects in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Liberia, Mozambique, Niger, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire, with several others under consideration.

Thomas LassourdThomas Lassourd
Economic Analyst

Thomas Lassourd is an economic analyst at the Natural Resource Governance Institute. He led NRGI’s technical assistance project in Conakry, Guinea between 2011 and 2013, advising the government on mining sector fiscal regimes, legislative reforms and a transparent process to review contracts signed under previous regimes. He also developed financial modeling tools, including integrated mines-transport infrastructure, for iron ore and bauxite mines. At NRGI, Thomas now focuses on economic technical assistance and research, including advising governments and civil society on assessing fiscal and revenue management policies for oil, gas and mineral resources.

Prior to joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Thomas took part in the Overseas Development Institute Fellowship Scheme as a government economist in the poverty reduction strategy unit of the Republic of Burundi, where he developed analyses on macroeconomic and public financial management issues. He also worked for the Belgian Technical Cooperation on tax administration reforms in Mozambique.

Thomas holds a masters of science in management from HEC Paris, and a masters in economics with a major in public and development economics from the Paris School of Economics. He speaks French, English and Portuguese.

Marie LintzerMarie Lintzer
Governance Officer

Marie Lintzer is a Governance Officer at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). She led the research process, coordinated the data analysis and steered the production of the 2013 Resource Governance Index (RGI), a measure of transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sector of 58 countries. Marie leads on the dissemination and advocacy of the RGI. She also contributes to the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standard in Francophone Africa and to EITI report analyses.

Prior to joining NRGI she worked for two years as a consultant in London, focusing on the natural resources sector, advising donors and mining companies on issues related to conflict minerals, artisanal mining and compliance with mining regulations, among other subjects. She published articles related to these topics and traveled extensively in Central Africa, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Marie holds a law degree from the University of Paris II and Oxford as well as an MSc. in Public Management and Governance from the London School of Economics.

George W. LugalambiGeorge W. Lugalambi
Media Capacity Development Officer

Based in Kampala, Uganda, George joined NRGI in 2011. He oversees a global program for strengthening media oversight of the extractive sectors. Working with local partners, he has helped to design and implement a program through which more than 200 journalists have been trained to report effectively on governance issues in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. Prior to joining NRGI, George was a media educator and scholar in journalism and communication at Makerere University in Uganda. In a previous career, George was a newspaper journalist, editor, and columnist, and a consultant on media and communication. His research and publications have focused on democratization, public affairs, and media development, as well as the state of journalism practice and education in Africa. A former Fulbright scholar, George holds a PhD in mass communication from Pennsylvania State University in the US.

Ko Ko LwinKo Ko Lwin
Myanmar Associate

Before joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Ko Ko Lwin served as a program officer for the Myanmar-based Sustainable Development Knowledge Network, or Spectrum, working broadly on transparency and accountability matters at the national and regional level. Since 2012, he has supported civil society preparations around EITI, and he served as a member of the country’s first EITI multi-stakeholder group in early 2014.

Based in Yangon, Ko Ko supports the NRGI-NRC program manager in Myanmar, monitoring developments in extractive industry governance in the region. He is also responsible for coordinating activities that build capacity and partnerships among civil society organizations and other stakeholders.

Ko Ko graduated from the Magway University of Technology in Myanmar with a degree in civil engineering. He also studied environmental sustainability and geographic information systems as a visiting scholar at Hosei University in Japan and PAFID in the Philippines.

David Manley David Manley
Economic Analyst

David works on strategy, data analysis and research across the decision chain of extractive industry management. He produced the second edition of the Natural Resource Charter (NRC) and the NRC Framework, a strategy analysis tool to enable government to make and implement better policy decisions. David teaches on extractive resource issues to government executives, civil society and other international development professionals. In addition, he works on issues of information management and data analytics.

Prior to joining NRGI-NRC, David was an Overseas Development Institute Fellow and Senior Economist in the Zambia Revenue Authority, focused on mining tax policy and administration. He led the Authority’s work on the tax modeling of mining companies, established a management information system used by the Authority and produced research and policy guidance on mineral tax policy. David previously worked for Oxford Economic Research Associates specialising in financial regulation and utility finance.

He holds a M.Sc. Economics from the London School and Economics, and a first class B.A. Economics and Economic History.

Charlotte MazzoniCharlotte Mazzoni
Research Assistant

Charlotte works on NRGI’s Resource Governance Index (RGI) program, with a focus on Francophone African countries, for which she coordinates data collections from local consultants, as well as quality control.

After living in Africa for over six years, Charlotte started her career as a consultant to the Guinean government in Conakry. She has also worked for the European Union Delegation in Gabon, and, more recently, a global risk consultancy.

Charlotte holds a B.A. in politics from King’s College London and a masters of public policy from the University of Oxford (Lincoln College), with a focus on energy policies and economic development.

In addition to her fluency in English and French, Charlotte has a working knowledge of Spanish.

Jason McMannJason McMann
Research Analyst

Jason is a research analyst at NRGI. Based in New York, Jason plays a central role in the design, delivery and launch of NRGI’s Resource Governance Index (RGI), with a dual focus on refining the RGI’s underlying methodology and collecting and analyzing RGI data.

Jason comes to NRGI with extensive experience in index design and analysis. Prior to joining NRGI, Jason worked as a consultant at the International Finance Corporation, where he oversaw survey based data collection on land use/registration. As part of his doctoral studies, Jason spent three years developing a novel index of foreign direct investment regulation spanning 80 developing countries from 1972-2010.

Jason has also worked as a consultant in the World Bank’s Agriculture Global Practice, where he spearheaded the development of a new “big data” initiative to incentivize evidence-based decision-making in the agricultural sector.

Jason holds a B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School, a M.A. in international relations from the University of Chicago, and a M.A. from Princeton University. He is also pursuing a Ph.D. (expected Fall 2015) at Princeton, where his research focuses on the political economy of FDI regulation in developing countries.

Jason speaks French (advanced) and Spanish (basic).

David Mihalyi David Mihalyi
Economic Analyst

David has been working as an economist for four years in the Hungarian, British and Sierra Leonean Governments. His main areas of work have been fiscal policy, public financial management, macroeconomics and taxation.

Prior to joining the Data and Analysis Team at NRGI, David completed the Overseas Development Institute Fellowship Scheme as an Economist in the Budget Bureau of the Ministry of Finance - Sierra Leone. His two years in Freetown coincided with a mining boom in the country, hence his work focused on the impact of the extractive sector on the economy and public finances. Previously David was based at the Hungarian Central Bank and the Office of the Fiscal Council in Hungary. In both roles he focused on fiscal forecasting and evaluating budget sustainability.

He holds a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Nottingham and from the Corvinus University of Budapest. David speaks fluent French, English and Hungarian.

Jana MomtazJana Momtaz
MENA Associate

Prior to joining NRGI, Jana contributed to research focusing on labor markets and gender inequality at the Carnegie Middle East Center. She has also collaborated with UNICEF on a study on the effect of the Arab Spring on children’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Jana holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the American University of Beirut as well as a master’s degree in development studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. She is fluent in English, French and Arabic.

Carlos MongeCarlos Monge
Latin America Director

From 2002 to 2005, Carlos was Head of Citizen Monitoring and Promotion of Participation and then Head of Communications for Grupo Propuesta Ciudadana (GPC), an institution dedicated to promoting decentralization as a participative process. He is the author of several publications on issues related to rural development, social movements, decentralization, citizen participation and conflicts generated by extractive industries.

In addition to serving as NRGI Regional Coordinator for Latin America, he is also a Senior Researcher for the Peru's Center for the Study and Promotion of Development, DESCO. He works on extractive sector transparency issues with numerous civil society organizations and has been a member of the international board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Carlos holds a degree in Anthropology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and Ph.D. in History from the University of Miami.

Sarah Muyonga Sarah Muyonga
Nigeria Manager

Sarah is responsible for overseeing NRGI’s Nigeria portfolio. Prior to joining she worked for ActionAid International in Uganda as a National Tax Justice Advisor where she offered technical support towards Tax Policy advocacy and a global Tax Justice Campaign. She possesses a great collection of experience and expertise, particularly in policy advocacy and on issues related to progressive taxation amongst others. She has worked in several African countries as well as at the regional level. In the past, she worked for Tax Justice Network - Africa, as a Policy and Advocacy Manager for Africa and Regional Advocate for the Financial Transparency Coalition based in her home country Kenya. Before that, Sarah did policy and advocacy work for The Cradle-the Children’s Foundation, and also served as a legal expert to the Ministry of Justice in South Sudan. She also has some private sector experience having worked with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in the past. She holds a MA in Public Policy from the University of Nottingham as a Chevening Scholar, a diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law, and an LLB Law degree from the University of Nairobi. Sarah considers herself a social justice entrepreneur, enjoys working with people and finds great satisfaction in helping others. She loves adventure and discovery of new frontiers.

Dorjdari Namkhaijantsan Dorjdari Namkhaijantsan
Mongolia Manager

Prior to joining NRGI, Dorjdari worked for 11 years at Open Society Forum Mongolia, where he led campaigns for improved extractives governance including EITI, transparency of government budgets, and accountability of the government. He has been a member of the EITI Board and the EITI Multi-stakeholder National Council. Dorjdari advised the Government of Mongolia on mining contracts transparency, analysis, and negotiation. Prior to working at Open Society Forum, he worked for rural development initiative in the Gobi region of Mongolia.

At NRGI his focus is on building capacity of parliamentarians, government institutions and civil society in Mongolia with regard to the more effective management of the extractives.

He holds a master’s degree in economics from Central European University and an undergraduate degree in financial management from Mongolian Science and Technology University.

Melissa Nibungco
Senior Development Officer

Melissa Nibungco was most recently Senior Manager, Grants Program, at New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ), a not-for-profit community hospital. Under her leadership, NYHQ’s Grants Program secured external funding for a wide range of innovative health programs and services. Prior to NYHQ, Melissa spent over three years at the Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Inc. (APICHA) as the organization’s principal writer and was responsible for all grant applications, reports, presentations and health care policy position papers.

At the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Melissa works closely with other NRGI colleagues to coordinate and oversee grant proposal development and reporting.

Melissa holds an M.A. in Medical Anthropology with distinction from Southern Methodist University and a B.S. in Anthropology and Biology from the State University of New York, College at Geneseo. Her PhD research, supported by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of International Education - Fulbright Program, focused on how gender intersects with the lived experience of disease (tuberculosis) in the Philippines. Melissa devotes most of her free time thinking about food and baking bread, pastries and cakes.

Emmanuel NiinaEmmanuel Niina
Africa Finance Associate

Niina joined NRGI in October 2010 as accountant for the Africa regional office in Accra, Ghana. Niina previously worked for the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC) as a national service person; as the finance and administrative officer for Northern Sector Action on Awareness Sector (NORSAAC); then as the regional accountant for the Carter Center in Ghana. As accountant, Niina is in charge all financial issues of the Accra office.

Niina holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in accounting from Tamale Polytechnic, and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Cape Coast-Ghana. Niina is easy-going with an interest in doing many calculations of figures and in seeing new environments.

Silas Olan'gSilas Olan'g
East and Southern Africa/Tanzania Manager

Prior to joining NRGI in 2009, Silas spent three years leading Oxfam International's advocacy and knowledge sharing initiative in Tanzania. He has also served as capacity building advisor with the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), head of the planning department for the Ngara District Council in northwest Tanzania, and manager of the European Development Fund-Micro Project Program in the Lake Victoria region.

Silas holds an Advanced Diploma in Economic Planning from Institute of Development Management Mzumbe in Tanzania, where he has lectured on economic planning, and an MSc. in Agricultural Development and Rural Finance from the Development and Project Planning Centre, University of Bradford (UK).

"I am married to sweet Marty and father to four teenagers. Being the last born of a former gold mine worker, working for NRGI takes me back home, not only to my birth place, but to the chance to promote mining for national development, prosperity and global economic justice!"

Fernando PatzyFernando Patzy
Latin America Senior Officer

As Senior Regional Associate, Fernando supports the regional coordinator of Latin America in managing regional projects, assisting with the development of regional priorities and strategies, supporting the design and implementation of grants and program monitoring and evaluation.

Fernando joins NRGI from the International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance in Bolivia, where he was the Project Coordinator for Energy Resources, Democracy and Development, coordinating trainings and roundtables and providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Autonomy and to subnational governments. In prior roles, he managed the Securities Department at the Servicio de Impuestos Nacionales in Bolivia, and was a financial analyst for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaría BBVA, in Spain, among other positions.

Fernando holds an MBA from INCAE in Costa Rica, with a concentration in Natural Resources Administration, a Masters in Economic Development in Latin America from Universidad Internacional de Andalucía in Spain and Bachelors of Science in Economics from the Universidad San Francisco Xavier in Bolivia. He enjoy sports such as mountain biking, trekking and swimming.

Edelyne PaulEdelyne Paul

Edelyne is an accountant at the Natural Resource Governance Institute. Prior to joining NRGI, she worked as the accounting and administrative manager at the Haitian Education and Leadership Program (Haiti and New York), where she led and oversaw the finance and administrative department for 10 years. Previously, she served four years at The Haitian Project, Inc. where she was responsible for office operations management. Edelyne has strong knowledge of cash and accrual accounting systems and has experience in all aspects of financial budgeting, resource allocation, accounting and control procedures.

Edelyne holds a B.S. in public accountancy from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and a B.S. in managerial science from the Institute University Quisqueya America of Haiti. She moved from Haiti to the U.S. in 2010, speaks French and Creole, and loves singing.

Anders PedersenAnders Pedersen
Open Data Officer

Anders coordinates NRGI’s CODEX (“Catalyzing Open Data in Extractives”) program, which develops extractives data standards, advocates for open data policies, and develops technical tools to present and analyze extractives data. He also coordinates the Resource Contracts program, in partnership with Columbia University and the World Bank Group, which publishes and analyzes extractive contracts.

Before joining NRGI, Anders worked for more than a decade in the open data, international development, journalism, and civil service fields. At Open Knowledge (UK), he developed open data training programs for governments in Tanzania and the Philippines, and implemented fiscal open data tools with civil society organizations and governments in Nicaragua, Cameroon, Mali and Mexico. He also worked on open budgeting and advocacy of financial transparency standards in procurement contracts and EU subsidies.

At the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), he conducted data analysis and managed media relations. For several years, he served as a journalist and media consultant, covering European affairs and international development in Somalia, Uganda, and Kenya.

Anders holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the University of Copenhagen. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Matteo PellegriniMatteo Pellegrini
Capacity Development Director

Matteo leads our work to develop capacity to manage and oversee the best use of resources. He manages the team responsible for key development programs in producing countries—those focused on the needs of the media and parliaments, the development of a network of regional training hubs, our fellowships program and our work on governance at the sub-national level. He is based at the NRGI London office.

Prior to joining NRGI, Matteo was the Regional Africa Coordinator of the Publish What You Pay coalition, based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Previously he worked in Washington D.C. as a consultant for the World Bank in the field of corporate governance.

He holds Master's Degree from the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor's degree in European Studies from the Royal Holloway University.

Matteo grew up near Rome, Italy, and lived in several countries thereafter, including the U.K., France, Belgium, Germany, the U.S., Tanzania and Cameroon. He is fluent in French and Italian and conversant in German and Spanish.

Munyaradzi Josephine PendekeMunyaradzi Josephine Pendeke
Administrative Assistant

Munya joins NRGI with extensive administrative experience spanning fifteen years with international organizations such as Alcatel Italia and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO). At WHO, she served in various capacities, including human resource management and administrative assistant for health technical programs. Most recently she worked as the administrative assistant in the office of the coordinator for WHO Inter-country Support Team for East and Southern Africa, where she provided support in covering teams of international and local staff in 19 countries.

At NRGI, Munya assists in running the London office, providing administrative support to staff based there.

Munya holds Administrative qualifications from Pitman, Institute of Administration and Commerce of South Africa and is currently pursuing a BA in Business Administration from the University of South Africa. She speaks and writes basic French and was recognized an Administrative Assistant of the Year 2010 in WHO/ESA. Always smiling, Munya fits in well with different cultures and backgrounds.

Nicole Pepin
Administrative Assistant / Receptionist

Nicole Pepin joined NRGI in 2015, bringing her extensive experience in customer service and administration, as well as office managerial skills. Before coming to NRGI, Nicole worked as an executive assistant/receptionist for Prime Office Centers. At Prime Office Centers, she assisted the general manager as well as the assistant manager with day-to-day operations, accounting and new tenant rentals. After Prime, she worked with Teknavo, an IT company based in London and Russia. There, she managed office operations as served as personal assistant to the CEO.

She is currently furthering her education in business and has over 15 years of administration experience. Above all, she considers herself a team player. Accordingly, she goes above and beyond for her team.

Chris PerryChris Perry
Open Data Analyst

Chris focuses on the application of data science techniques to create open data and open data tools for the extractives industry transparency space.

Prior to joining NRGI, Chris was a research fellow at the International Peace Institute (IPI). There he created and ran the IPI DataLab, applying data science techniques in the conflict prevention space. His projects included subnational mapping of conflict vulnerabilities, machine learning approaches to conflict prediction, quantitative analysis of compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, and scraping and analyzing UN legacy data on UN peacekeeping contributions. Before that, Chris conducted policy research for the Rural Development Institute and program evaluations for the US embassy in Nigeria, and spent two years as a Peace Corps natural resource management volunteer in rural Niger.

Chris holds a master's in public administration from the Daniel J. Evans School at the University of Washington, with a concentration in international development policy, and a BA in philosophy from the University of Washington. He speaks English and Hausa.

Rob Pitman Rob Pitman
Governance Officer

Rob leads Natural Resource Charter country implementation work in NRGI target countries. In this role, he carries out outreach on and manages the use of the Charter as a self-assessment tool for governments and other stakeholder groups.

Prior to joining NRGI, Rob worked as a lead member of the Carter Center Access to Justice and Governance Programme in Liberia, and as member of the Carter Center Conflict Resolution Programme in Atlanta. He has also worked on Access to Justice projects in Namibia and on Farm Forestry projects in India. Rob holds an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and a BSc in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Bristol.

Lee Robinson Lee Robinson
Tanzania Officer

Lee Robinson leads NRGI’s diagnostic, analytical and technical support to the government of Tanzania. This includes the coordination of NRGI support to an ongoing policy review process that the government of Tanzania will be conducting using the Natural Resource Charter framework.

Before joining the Natural Resources Governance Institute, Lee worked as an ODI fellow in the President’s Office Planning Commission in Tanzania, where he assisted with policy planning and review. He also led a private sector development research project. Prior to his ODI fellowship Lee worked for the Common Fund for Commodities in the Netherlands and Morgan Stanley in London.

Lee holds a business degree from Manchester University and a masters in development economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. His North West England origins were good preparation for the meteorological capriciousness of Dar Es Salaam. He enjoys cycling, reading and traveling.

Matthieu SalomonMatthieu Salomon
Asia Pacific/Myanmar Manager

Matthieu has worked on governance and anti-corruption issues for 15 years, including more than 10 years based in Southeast Asia. He was previously the international senior advisor for Vietnam’s Towards Transparency (Transparency International’s official Vietnamese affiliate). Prior to that, he served as the anti-corruption advisor for the Embassy of Sweden/SIDA in Hanoi. He also worked as a program officer for Transparency International France in Paris and for the National Democratic Institute in Algeria.

At NRGI from early 2012, based in Jakarta, Matthieu was in charge of supervising a three-year USAID-funded IKAT partnership project on extractive industry governance in the Asia-Pacific region. He led on project administration, coordination and strategy; providing technical assistance to Indonesian co-implementing partners and regional partners from Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor Leste and Vietnam. In parallel, since mid-2012, Matthieu has been leading NRGI’s involvement in Myanmar. He has been in charge of NRGI’s Myanmar pilot activities, engaging with local civil society, government, parliamentarians and media. Matthieu relocated to Yangon mid-2015 to lead NRGI’s new programming there.

Matthieu graduated from Sciences-Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies) and from the Sorbonne (University Paris I) in history and political science. He published on contemporary Vietnamese politics and society.

Amir Shafaie
Senior Legal Analyst

Prior to joining NRGI, Amir was a Managing Associate in the Energy & Infrastructure team at Linklaters LLP. He worked in Linklaters' offices in London, New York and Dubai and represented clients on energy and infrastructure projects in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Amir's pro bono experience includes assisting the International Senior Lawyers Project in advising the Liberian government on a port concession.

At NRGI, Amir focuses on technical assistance programs to help governments improve legal regimes and contracts. He also works to strengthen capacity for natural resource sector oversight, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. Amir has a J.D. and a B.A. (History), both from the University of California, Berkeley. He also studied international relations at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Amir is fluent in English, French and Farsi and has aspirations of speaking Arabic.

Alex Tilley Alex Tilley
Development Officer

Alex manages operations for the London Office and works as coordinator of the Natural Resource Charter project.

Prior to joining NRGI, Alex spent seven years working on development and human rights projects in Latin America, with a focus on Bolivia and Peru. This included placements at the Peruvian office of Amnesty International and CENCA Urban Development Institute in Lima. Most recently, he was coordinator of the Bolivia Information Forum in London, where he worked closely with UK aid agencies (Bond, Oxfam, Cafod, Christian Aid) and academic institutions (University of London Institute of Latin American Studies), as well as supporting UK parliamentary and trade union delegations to Bolivia and delegations to the UK by Bolivian MPs and government ministers.

Alex holds a Masters in Humanitarian and Development Practice from the Centre for Emergency and Development Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University. He speaks fluent Spanish.

Evelyne TsagueEvelyne Tsague
Africa Deputy Director

Prior to coming to the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Evelyne worked at Catholic Relief Services – Cameroon Program as Human Rights/Extractives Industries Projects Manager, with a focus on EI transparency, anti- trafficking and legal assistance in Cameroonian prisons. She also oversaw the implementation of grants and financial management for CRS/Chad. Previously, Evelyne worked as human rights Legal Advisor and Trainer at Justice and Peace Commission of Yaoundé. She has also worked with IPIS, a research unit of the Catholic University of Central Africa in Yaoundé, as Research Assistant.

As Deputy Regional Coordinator for Africa, Evelyne is responsible for the development and support of NRGI regional activities, with an emphasis on Francophone countries. Her work includes strengthening monitoring activities and initiating new research, grant-making, advocacy and technical assistance projects. She is also responsible for identifying research, capacity-building and technical assistance needs at the local, national and regional levels, and collaborating with NRGI staff and outside experts to address these issues.

Evelyne holds a High Diploma in human rights and humanitarian action from the Catholic University of Central Africa in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and a Diplome inter universitaire de 3e cycle en Droits fondamentaux from Nantes University, France.

Varsha VenugopalVarsha Venugopal
Subnational Capacity Development Officer

Varsha leads NRGI’s subnational capacity development portfolio. In this role she supports development of policy and practice tools and documentation of NRGI’s subnational projects. Prior to her work at NRGI, she worked with the World Bank on governance projects in Africa and Asia. In her last project she worked with national and local governments in Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya to build local government capacity in public financial management systems. Before the World Bank, Varsha was an Associate for ASDC, a consulting firm specializing in evaluation and capacity building in the United States. She has also worked for the UK Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, the UN World Food Programme in Rome, Zambia and Madagascar, and an Indian NGO on disaster management projects.

Varsha holds a masters in development management from the London School of Economics, and a bachelors degree in urban planning from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, India.

Claudia Viale Claudia Viale
Latin America Officer

Claudia is a program officer for the NRGI´s Latin America office based in Lima, Peru. She worked for NRGI as a research assistant for over five years and has re-joined the team after completing her master’s degree. She is currently in charge of managing the region’s research projects, as well as participating in technical assistance and capacity building activities.

Her research relates to the management of mining and hydrocarbon revenues in Latin America, including the distribution of revenues to subnational governments in the Latin America and how subnational governments have used these revenues. She has also conducted exploratory research in Peru on the impact of resource revenue spending at the local level.

Claudia holds a M.Sc. in environment and resource management from VU University Amsterdam and a B.A. in economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP). She is fluent in Spanish, English and French.

Max-George Wagner Max George-Wagner
Governance Associate

Max George-Wagner is Governance Program Associate at the Natural Resource Governance Institute. Since joining NRGI Max has worked on the development of the Country Prioritization Framework, an indicator based tool to inform the selection of countries where NRGI focuses its efforts. Max also provides support to the Natural Resource Charter benchmarking exercises and coordinating the Natural Resource Governance Institute's technical assistance and outreach activities promoting the uptake of the new EITI standard.

Prior to joining the Natural Resource Governance Institute Max worked at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin and at the GIZ natural resource governance program in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Max holds a BSc in International Relations from Southampton University and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. He speaks English, German and Greek.

Erica Westenberg Erica Westenberg
Senior Governance Officer

Prior to joining NRGI, Erica practiced as an attorney for over five years in the Energy and Infrastructure Projects group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP, where she managed numerous complex transactions in the areas of energy and natural resources, infrastructure and public-private partnerships. Her pro bono projects included work on parliamentary oversight of extractive industry contracts, as well as engagement through the International Senior Lawyers Project on governance reforms in Africa.

As Senior Governance Officer, Erica leads NRGI's multifaceted engagement with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which includes supporting the NRGI representative to the EITI International Board, providing technical assistance to EITI processes globally and conducting research on EITI-related issues.

Erica received a B.A. in government and a certificate in African studies from Harvard College and a M.Sc. in Development Management from the London School of Economics. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she received a Chayes International Public Service Fellowship to work on legal and judicial reform in Europe and Central Asia at the World Bank.

Joseph Williams Joseph Williams
Senior Advocacy Officer

Prior to joining NRGI, Joseph coordinated Publish What You Pay’s (PWYP) international advocacy agenda and campaigns to increase transparency in the extractive sector. This work on voluntary and mandatory measures spanned the extractive industry value chain. From 2010 to 2013 Joseph managed the European campaign for mandatory financial disclosure by oil, gas and mining companies through the EU Accounting and Transparency Directives, which were agreed in 2013. He was also responsible for communications and information resources for the international PWYP coalition of 700 members across 40 countries.

Before becoming involved in natural resource governance, Joseph worked at the International Crisis Group on its Central Africa Project and then moved to China where he wrote for London-based newspaper Africa-Asia Confidential on relations between China and Africa. Joseph’s previous experience included research, project management and advocacy work in Brussels, where he worked for various EU institutions including the European Parliament.

Joseph holds a M.A. in European Studies from the University of Exeter and a M.Sc. in Development Management from the Open University. Born in Australia, he grew up in India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. He speaks English and French.

Joseph leads on NRGI’s campaigns for more effective and widespread global transparency and governance standards in the oil, gas and mining industries. He tweets at @JosephWilliams.

Nicola Woodroffe Nicola Woodroffe
Legal Analyst

Based in New York, Nicola focuses on technical assistance, capacity development and analysis on issues related to legislative and policy reform, contract negotiation and monitoring, and the institutions governing the extractive sector.

Prior to joining NRGI, Nicola worked as a consultant at the World Bank, where she contributed papers, presentations and legal analysis to advise countries in central and southeast Africa on governance and management of extractive industries. She also worked as an associate at the international law firm Hogan Lovells, where she advised clients on corporate and securities law. In her pro bono work there, she supported the International Senior Lawyers Project in advising African governments on mining and agricultural concession agreements.

Nicola has a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. At Harvard she received a Chayes International Public Service Fellowship to work in the trial chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She also served as a legal intern for the Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rwanda.