Advisory Board Members

We’re happy to introduce you to the members of our Advisory Board.

Stacy Hope, PhD – Chair

Stacy has more than 14 years’ experience working as an International Development Specialist and Strategic Advisor on areas surrounding gender, natural resources, renewable energy, social impact investment, disaster risks and climate resilience, and large national and international infrastructure development projects across the commercial, public and multilateral sectors. She is currently consulting and advising various United Nations agencies, and sits on the advisory boards of the UTU Social Impact Investment Fund, DRC-focussed Social Impact Investment Fund, Jamii, and Actions for the Development of Africa where she focusses on the interface between large-scale mining investments and gender transformative community development aligned to the UN SDGs and ESG standards. She is also advisor on a geothermal energy project in Turkey, and is the former ESG Director at Africa-focussed strategic advisory firm, Africa Matters Limited.

Stacy is also the MD and Executive Director of Women in Mining UK.

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Twitter: @SAAHConsultancy

Jared Connors

In his five years at Assent, Jared has focused on helping companies achieve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals through increased understanding and mitigation of risk. With more than a dozen years of leadership in corporate social responsibility, human rights, anti-bribery and anti-corruption, and environmental issues, Jared helps guide companies into new areas of compliance and responsible sourcing.

Jared personally led on-the-ground audits of more than 75 smelters as part of Intel Corporation’s industry-leading conflict minerals program and is the original author of the creator of the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) and smelter audit protocols for tin, tantalum, and gold.

As a part of the FCA’s advisory board Jared’s goal is to bring more awareness to the DRC, artisanal mining operations and how downstream companies can get involved in responsible cobalt sourcing.

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Jose Diemel, PhD

Over the past 10 years, Jose worked on responsible mining and due diligence in mineral supply chains, both in industrial and artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). She has extensive on-the-ground experience in high-risk and developing areas, among which in Central Africa and South America. She started her career in academia, conducting PhD research studying the impact of ‘conflict-mineral’ policy and due diligence initiatives on local natural resource governance structures in Katanga, DRC. Working on the responsible production of minerals for a major industrial copper/cobalt mining company in Southern DRC, Jose gained key insights in due diligence from a corporate perspective working towards international best practices regarding human rights and the interaction between ASM and industrial mining. She built an extensive network in the DRC and has expert knowledge of internationally recognized due diligence standards, including OECD Due Diligence Guidance, ICGLR, RMI, Section 1502 Dodd-Frank Act, EU Regulation 2017/821, IFC performance standards; UNGP on Human Rights; and the VPSHR. In her latest role as Programme Manager at the Fair Cobalt Alliance, where she held the financial and operational responsibility for the programme, I gained further experience managing a multi-stakeholder initiative navigating between programme targets, civil society and private sector interests of member companies like Fairphone, Glencore and Tesla.

Jose holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Groningen University, a Master’s degree in Human Geography from the Radboud University, and a PhD in Political Science/ Development studies from the Erasmus University (International Institute for Social Studies (ISS)) in the Netherlands.

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Holger Grundel

Holger is a senior private sector development and natural resource governance expert with more than 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors.  He held several senior advisory positions with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (formerly the Department for International Development – DFID) in Senegal, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the UK.  He was DFID’s Global Lead for Extractive Industries, setting the department’s policy positions on oil, gas, and mining; managing a global expert team and programme portfolio; and leading DFID’s strategic relationships with multilateral organisations, NGOs, and the private sector.  Holger is currently the Managing Director of Levin Sources, a growing social enterprise consultancy promoting human rights and market access for artisanal and small-scale miners. He is also a Senior Adviser to the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development and Chair of the Governance and Human Resources Board Committee for the John Huntingdon Charity, which provides social housing and other support services in his local area.

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Nikolaus McLachlan

Nikolaus has six years’ experience working on sustainable supply chains on a variety of different agricultural and mineral commodities. He focusses on understanding and mitigating adverse social and environmental impacts in primary industries and improving supply chain sustainability. He currently works for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), leading various projects financed by the private sector, located across three continents, and focussed on sustainable natural resources. He is part of the team of Cobalt4Development, a GIZ-led project piloting an approach to improve the conditions of artisanal miners and their communities in southern DRC. The focus of C4D is improving health, safety and environment in the ASM sector and addressing root causes of child labour, while identifying paths for an effective scale-up of proven approaches around ASM mining.

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Cobalt 4 Development

Sebastian Vetter

Sebastian is working with the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As an advisor in the field of technical cooperation, he has more than six years of experience in the implementation of international development projects in the region. His current work focuses on the establishment of responsible mineral supply chains, sustainable mining practice, both in ASM and LSM, as well as knowledge transfer in the context of multi-stakeholder capacity development.

As a geoscientist, he has experience in the development of capacity development measures scoping health and safety as well as environmental management in DRC’s major artisanal and small-scale mining sectors, producing 3TG as well as Copper and Cobalt. Sebastian has experience in the development of ASM certification schemes and risk assessment frameworks, aiming at the evaluation and monitoring of relevant aspects with respect to due diligence and sustainability risks in the mining sector. His skills are complementary to his extended knowledge of international mineral supply chains for Cobalt and Copper.

Sebastian is currently managing BGR’s office in Lubumbashi, extending the formerly ASM focussed project scope to the LSM sector by addressing issues in environmental management, corporate responsibility and local added value.

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Paul Mabolia Yenga

Mr MABOLIA is a senior advisor to the Ministry of Mines in the DRC, and the coordinator of the Cellule Technique de Coordination et de Planification Minière ̈(CTCPM) since January 2019.

For 9 years, he was the national coordinator of the Ministry of Mines’ “Promines Project”, which supported good governance in the mining sector in order to promote the DRC’s economic growth. The programme was funded by the World Bank to the tune of US$50 million, and ended in December 2018.

From 2003 to 2009, Mr Mabolia was the coordinator of the DRC’s Kimberley Process Commission in the office of the Minister of Mines. His responsibilities included issues relating to conflict minerals, precious and semi-precious minerals, gold and 3T minerals. As such, he chaired the steering committee of the ICGLR regional initiative against illegal exploitation of natural resources.

He worked for Gécamines, the state-owned mining company in the DRC, in Kinshasa, London,New York and Brussels, from 1986 to 2003, where he held various positions in the coverage, sales, marketing and financial analysis departments.

Mr Mabolia holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa, Canada (1984).


Brieuc Debontridder

Brieuc is an expert in social performance standards and author of “ République démocratique du Cobalt “. He worked for six years on the resettlement and livelihood restoration of populations affected by mining projects, mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo but also in Senegal and Guinea. He also worked on a study on child labour in artisanal cobalt mines in the DRC. More recently, he worked for The Shift, the Belgian sustainability network, on  human rights and environmental due diligence in value chains.

As author and documentary photographer, Brieuc has published several articles and reportages in which he focuses on the sometimes stereotypical representations of Africa, particularly in the mining sector. In his book “ République démocratique du Cobalt “, he shares, through images and a story, the resettlement of a community by a mining company in the Congo and explores the mining issues on the ground and the paradoxes they embody.


The Advisory Board consists of professional third-party advisors of relevant experience in the cobalt and ASM sector that render non-binding advice to the Secretariat and Steering Committee of the FCA. The Advisory Board provides input and perspective to the shaping of the FCA’s strategic direction as the insight they provide reasonably represents the perspective of ASM stakeholders.

Incepted in 2022, the Advisory Board meets with the FCA secretariat twice a year, and the meeting summaries are made publicly available. Click on the link below to access the minutes.

Download the minutes