How we are governed and operate

Members of the Initiative are organized into three pillars: corporate, government, and NGO. We also have a category of Observers, which are admitted if they meet certain criteria such as demonstrating relevant expertise in human rights or in the industries that are the focus of the Voluntary Principles. A Steering Committee, formed by participants of all three pillars, is responsible for the Initiative’s executive decisions. The Annual Plenary meeting, attended by all members, is the main decision-making body of the Voluntary Principles Initiative. The day-to-day administration of the Initiative is conducted by a Secretariat based in Ottawa, Canada. The Voluntary Principles Association, domiciled in the Netherlands, is the entity that addresses the financial and administrative needs of the initiative.

Steering Committee Members

Government representatives

Government of Australia
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Government of Canada
Global Affairs Canada
Luke Sookocheff
Sean Cornelissen

Government of Switzerland
Département fédéral des affaires étrangères
Frédéric Chenais

​Government of the United States
State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Leslie Taylor

Corporate representatives

AngloGold Ashanti
Brain Gonsalves
Craig Taylor

BHP
Dean Morgan

Oil Search
Johanna Blom

 

Civil society representatives

International Alert
Elizabeth Kariuki

PAX
Egbert Wesselink

Search for Common Ground
Mike Jobbins

The Secretariat

The Secretariat is responsible for the general administration of the Initiative and facilitates the work of all pillars and members. Our team also supports the Steering Committee and all Working Groups, assist with the admission of new applicants, develops outreach activities, supports the implementation process, and is responsible for communications, including this website.

Secretariat services are provided by Compass Consulting International Ltd. Learn more about our team below.

Jose Abad-Puelles

Policy Director

Speaks English, Spanish

+1 613 519-5686

Email

Read bio

As Policy Director, Jose provides guidance on thematic issues related to business and human rights best practices, such as gender-based violence and protection of human rights defenders. He also assists the production of tools, indicators, and guidelines that reflect best human rights practices.

Jose is an international development professional with extensive experience in ethical sourcing, business and human rights, and policy development. He is also a researcher in development topics such as gender equality, child labour, and business and human rights.

Katharine Cornish

Analyst

Email

Read bio

As an analyst, Katharine conducts legal research and provides analysis and advice on security and human rights issues related to the Voluntary Principles Initiative. She primarily supports the Secretariat’s work on initiative governance, gender equality issues, and conflict prevention.

Katharine is completing a law degree at the University of Ottawa with a focus on international law and human rights. She has 10 years of government experience working in international assistance including in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Katharine holds a Master’s degree in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London.

Jonathan Drimmer

Strategic Advisor

Read bio

Jonathan Drimmer is a Strategic Advisor for the Secretariat. He is a lawyer and partner in a leading international law firm. He is a recognized international expert in anti-corruption compliance, as well as business and human rights. He most recently was the Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at a leading gold mining company where he helped oversee the company’s anti-corruption and human rights programs, global investigations, and major disputes. Before, he was Deputy Director in the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations. For the past 19 years, he has taught courses related to international humanitarian law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Jonathan is an advisor to the ISR Committee of the Mining Association of Canada. He serves on the boards of directors of the UN Global Compact’s Canada Network, Transparency International Canada, Fund for Peace, and the TRACE Foundation. He is on the steering committee of the UN Global Compact Business for Peace Initiative, on the expert advisory board for the US OECD National Contact Point, a subject matter expert at Canada’s Centre for Excellence on Anti-Corruption, and on the faculty of Competent Boards. Among his awards and recognitions are the Charles Fahy Award for teaching at Georgetown, and the first U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Award for Human Rights Law Enforcement.

Patricia Jacopucci

Communications Director

Speaks English, Portuguese

+1 613 519-5685

Email

Read bio

Patricia is responsible for the communications strategy of the Voluntary Principles, as well as planning and delivering events. She acts as a liaison between the media and the Secretariat.

Patricia possesses strong experience in internal and external communications, public relations, and event management in the oil and gas sector, as well as a solid background in communicating with stakeholders affected by oil and gas projects including representatives from the government, associations, non-profit organizations, and communities.

Mora Johnson

Head of Secretariat

Speaks English, French

+1 613 519-5684

Email

Read bio

As Head of Secretariat, Mora is responsible for the management of the team, and provides strategic advice and support to the Steering Committee and the Working Groups. She performs a liaison and support function with all Members of the VPI (Government, Corporate and NGO pillars).

Mora is an international human rights lawyer and a leading expert in responsible business practices. She currently serves as a Board member to the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Crown Corporation. As a former Government of Canada official, she served as Chair, OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, participated in the VPI Steering Committee, and led Canada’s efforts on Business and Human Rights.

Tristy Mallette

Administrative Assistant

Email

Read bio

Tristy supports the Secretariat and the members of the Voluntary Principles Initiative in administrative and events activities.

Tristy is a former Professional Engineer. She has worked in the fields of mining and oil & gas, specifically in research. Tristy holds a Bachelors degree in Engineering & Management – Chemical from McMaster University.

Millicent Seela Letoya

Consultant

Speaks English, Swahili, Kikuyu and Maasai

Read bio

Millicent provides advice to the Secretariat regarding programming and supporting the Voluntary Principles In-Country Implementation Working Groups.

Millicent has over 25 years of experience working in the humanitarian sector mostly with gender equality, governance, organizational development, peace and security, and eradicating poverty. She has extensive experience in international development working with recognized organizations in the Philippines, Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya. Millicent volunteered in a variety of capacities in various community grassroots organizations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Canada.

Kaveh Shahrooz

Deputy Head of Secretariat

Speaks English, Persian

Email

Read bio

As Deputy Head of the Secretariat, Kaveh provides liaison and support services to Voluntary Principles participants, particularly to those in the Corporate Pillar. He works closely with the Head of Secretariat to develop and provide strategic advice to the Voluntary Principles Initiative. He also assists in the recruitment and admission of new members to the Voluntary Principles.

Kaveh is a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Human Rights Policy division of Global Affairs Canada. In that role, he served as a member of the Government of Canada delegation to the VPs. He also has corporate experience in human rights and corporate social responsibility initiatives in the mining sector.

Need more information?

contact us