The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has appointed Iris Van der Veken (pictured) as its executive director, the group announced in a statement. Van der Veken is the first woman to become the organisation’s Executive Director and replaces Andrew Bone who was appointed in June 2015. Bone said last September that he was planning to step down from the post he had held for four years.
Van der Veken’s most recent positions include two years as the Director Public Affairs and International Policy at the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). She also worked as Chief Operating Officer for fashion house Ann Demeulemeester in Belgium; as Director of advisory strategy for corporate social responsibility for Signet Jewelers; and as manager of corporate affairs for diamond company Rosy Blue. The RJC calls her "a sustainability pioneer", saying she has worked extensively on the Alignment Assessment of industry programs with the OECD minerals guidance and the development of awareness programmes on the UN’s Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in the UAE.
“The RJC’s mission has never been more relevant for today’s consumers and the industry," Van der Veken said in a statement. "As the industry changes, we can ensure that manufacturers, retailers and consumers are educated about the importance of responsible sourcing in all minerals. Across our diverse supply chain, I know that our members can continue to have further positive impacts on the communities around their operations, and believe in the significant contribution RJC can make as a leading standards organisation and its commitment to do so.”
The RJC has more than 1,100 member companies that span the jewellery supply chain from mine to retail across 73 countries.