CIRDI Advisory Council Welcomes New Member Cynthia Callison

Cynthia Callison

The CIRDI advisory council, which reports to the CIRDI board, held its third meeting in Vancouver on May 5 with eight members present. The council welcomed new member, Cynthia Callison, founding partner of the legal firm, Callison & Hanna. Since 1996, Ms. Callison has acted as general counsel for Indigenous Peoples governments and their organizations in a wide range of legal matters including complex negotiations for land and resource development.

CIRDI board chair, Moura Quayle, acknowledged the important contribution made by former advisory council chair Jim Cooney, who has stepped down from the council. Professor Quayle thanked Mr. Cooney for his generous contribution of time and for sharing his advice and knowledge, which was garnered over a long career as a thought leader in the international mining industry. “It’s been a privilege to be associated with CIRDI since it’s inception three years ago,” said Jim Cooney. “I cannot overstate the importance, nor the challenge, of CIRDI’s mission to help improve governance in developing countries so as to enhance the contribution of mineral resource extraction to poverty reduction.”

Ben Chalmers, vice president, sustainable development, Mining Association of Canada succeeds Mr. Cooney as chair of the advisory council. The council regretfully accepted the resignation of Phil Fontaine, who stepped down due to the demands of his schedule.

The council provided feedback to CIRDI’s draft strategic plan, which will be available for stakeholder input this summer. The council also received presentations on two of CIRDI’s signature projects: Integrated Management and Governance in Extractives (IMAGinE) Mongolia and Supporting the Ministry of Mines in Ethiopia. The advisory council report from this meeting will be posted once the council has reviewed it.