Brad Brooks-Rubin, the former U.S. State Department adviser for conflict diamonds who worked on the Gemological Institute of America’s beneficiation efforts for the past year, has now become policy director for the Enough Project.
“Although the time I spent at GIA was relatively short, I learned a tremendous amount about the gem and jewelry industries from a remarkable group of people at a very unique organization,” Brooks-Rubin said in an email. “I am fortunate to have a new opportunity to contribute to the efforts of a similarly unique organization and to focus on a range of critically important issues across Central and East Africa.”
Brooks-Rubin tells JCK: “I’m proud of the work that I did at GIA. Some good projects got started. I think GIA has an important role to play in the industry in promoting economic development and educating on responsible sourcing. I’m proud to have been a part of that.”
Anna Martin, who heads GIA’s development and beneficiation efforts, and her team will take over Brooks-Rubin’s responsibilities, says GIA spokesperson Stephen Morisseau. There are no immediate plans to replace him.
“We are committed to carrying on our beneficiation efforts and the various programs that Brad started,” Morisseau says.
Enough Project aims to end conflict in Africa and has specifically focused on conflict minerals, including gold. It was a driving force behind Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank act, which requires publicly traded companies to divulge the source of their minerals, including gold.
Brooks-Rubin’s new role will involve overseeing The Sentry, a new initative devoted to investigating the people and entities funding African conflicts, says Sasha Lezhnev, Enough Project’s associate director of policy.
“It is an investigative project aimed at uncovering who finances conflict,” Lezhnev said. “How do we change the drivers of these conflicts by targeting the individuals and players responsible? We would love to see indictments and prosecutions for people who are enabling war. We have hired some forensic investigators, and Brad will be overseeing that. We want to make sure our investigations nail not just the worst war criminals, but the ones who operate shell companies, trading and financing weapons and ammunition.”
The Sentry will both publicize that information and bring it to the attention of law enforcement.
“One of the cases that we handed over led to United Nations sanctions against a diamond trader in Central African Republic,” says Lezhnev. “It is exciting to have Brad on board, as he has worked with the various agencies that we plan to bring information to. Brad brings a wealth of experience to the policy world, from his work on the Kimberley Process and conflict minerals to his work at [the U.S.] Treasury Department on sanctions to his recent work in industry.”