FEBRUARY 11, 2020
WDC Executive Director
As I sit at home listening to the rain fall over the rooftops of Paris, and reflect on my first blog as the new Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), my phone keeps beeping …
Congratulations and words of encouragement are pouring in from many of you. Suffice to say I am humbled by these signs of trust and affection. Most of the time, I am at a loss for words.
I am humbled but not surprised. After all, this is exactly how the diamond industry is…a business sector that is special because of the inherently precious product it deals with, but also because of the caring people of which it is comprised.
For the past eight years I worked at Rubel & Ménasché (R&M), and was entrusted by its president and my mentor, Stephan Wolzok, to educate our clients about developments in the industry supply chain.
Bringing transparency to the diamond industry and raising awareness about it are the pillars of Stephan’s credo. As I travelled the world to trade shows, congresses, summits and conferences, I came across so many of you, driven by the same desire, as I had to advocate the good that diamonds do. But diamonds do not do good, or bad for that matter, on their own. Individuals do. Individuals have the power to gather and work in unison for the betterment of their industry.
In 2017, when R&M became a member of the WDC, I witnessed as its representative what I had hoped this organization would be. I saw individuals and actors from every segment of the value chain coming together as the voice of the industry, committed to their duty of care, partnering with Kimberley Process (KP) Participants, who are member states and regions, and the other Observers from civil society, on topics such as human rights. We have worked relentlessly towards the elevation of ethical standards, in order to instill consumer confidence in natural diamonds.
Elodie Daguzan addressing the KP Intersessional Meeting in Mumbai, India, in June 2019, during a panel discussion.
Elodie Daguzan (center) during a session at the KP Plenary Meeting in New Delhi, India, in November 2019. She is flanked by WDC representatives Agathe Bukasa-Mukamba (left) and Feriel Zerouki.
Raising awareness, educating and advocating. That has always been my purpose. Through the WDC I have finally found the means of embodying the 15-year old idealist I still have within me.
In the near future, as I grow into my role as Executive Director, I will be coming your way. I shall do so to share the WDC’s experience, but mostly to listen and learn from your own understanding, and about how you manifest the changes you aspire to see in our industry on a daily basis. I believe that partnering together, driven by our common purpose of living up to diamonds and people, will be the foundation on which we will keep building a stronger future for our industry. This is because business is a tale of encounters and a tale of connections.
WDC’s new Executive Director, Elodie Daguzan, flanked by members of the WDC Kimberley Process Task Force at the KP Plenary Meeting in New Delhi, India, in November 2019.
Talking about encounters, at the end of February I will be travelling to Sierra Leone to participate in a three-day workshop organized by the Mano River Union Regional Approach of the Kimberley Process. It will focus on artisanal and small-scale mining and the fight against smuggling of precious minerals and stones.
You can trust that you will be hearing from me afterwards, reporting on the outcomes of this most important event. And trust is the key word here – trust in our product, trust in our business practices and trust in consumer confidence.