High-level oil caucus

– Cabinet for major engagement with global thinkers, experts on natural resource management

The Ministry of Natural Resources has organised a high-level caucus for Cabinet Ministers today to engage global thinkers and experts on natural resource management as part of government’s agenda to prepare for petroleum production in 2020, and beyond.
I a statement the ministry said the event will be facilitated by Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, through its New Producers Group, and will feature world renowned experts Sir Paul Collier, noted Professor of Economics at Oxford University, Sir Shridath Ramphal, Caribbean Statesman and International Advisor, Mr. Eric Parrado, former Manager of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Chile, Amb. Patrick Duddy, Lecturer, Duke University, Dr. Valerie Marcel, Chatham House Fellow, Prof. Matthew Andrews, Harvard, Kennedy School of Government, Prof. Peter Harrington, Harvard, Kennedy School of Government, Mr. Patrick Heller, Advisor, Natural Resource Governance Institute, and Dr. Paloma Mohamed, University of Guyana.

The ministry said government’s objective is part of an ongoing effort to move preparations to a deeper level of engagement on issues such as prioritising spending on infrastructure, agriculture and social programmes, inter-generational savings, geo-political considerations, legal and institutional strengthening, benefit sharing and engagement and involvement of the people of Guyana, to name a few. The caucus is expected to lead to further similar engagements in a scheduled and programmatic way in the months ahead. Government in recent months has been forced to respond to numerous commentators on the oil and gas sector. It has however insisted that most of the commentaries are not grounded in facts or expert opinions.

Top credentials
Among the top experts are: Sir Shridath Ramphal, former Secretary General, Commonwealth. Ramphal is a Guyanese barrister, politician, and international civil servant. From 1975 to 1990 he served as the second Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. An architect of regional integration in the Caribbean, he has been instrumental in increasing the role of Guyana in world affairs.

Sir Shridath started his legal career as a Crown Counsel in the Attorney- General’s Office in 1953, becoming Solicitor-General and then Assistant Attorney-General of the West Indies Federation. After a period in private practice in Jamaica he returned to Guyana in 1965 to be the Attorney General. Two years later he was also appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs, later becoming Minister of Justice and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has also served as the Chancellor of the University of Warwick from 1989 to 2002, at the University of the West Indies until 2003, and as Chancellor of the University of Guyana.

The other expert is Professor Sir Paul Collier of the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University. Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College. From 1998–2003 he took a five-year Public Service leave during which he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. He is currently a Professeur invité at Sciences Po and a Director of the International Growth Centre.
Sir Paul has written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. His research covers the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural resources rich societies; urbanization in low-income countries; private investment in infrastructure and changing organizational cultures.

Sir Paul is a world leading thinker on the resource curse. His books include The Bottom Billion; Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places and The Plundered Planet: How to reconcile prosperity with nature.
The third expert is Ambassador Patrick Duddy, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Duke University. Ambassador Duddy is director of Duke University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean studies. He is also the Semans International Visiting Professor in Duke University’s Office of Global Strategy and Programs and serves as a senior advisor for Global Strategy. He teaches in both the Fuqua School of Business and the Sanford School of Public Policy. Before joining Duke, Ambassador Duddy served as a U.S. diplomat for nearly thirty years. At his retirement he was one of the Department of State’s most senior Latin American specialists with exceptionally broad experience in trade, energy, public affairs and crisis management. From 2007 to 2010 he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Venezuela for both President Bush and President Obama.
Additionally, Professor Matt Andrews of Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University is a senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a globally acclaimed thinker and practitioner in the areas of governance, institution-building and public sector reform. He is Faculty-Chair of Executive Education at the Kennedy School, where he leads courses on leadership in developing country governments. Professor Andrews’ research focuses on public sector reform, particularly budgeting and financial management reform, and participatory governance in developing and transitional governments. He leads projects around the world on institutional strengthening, designing reform and economic growth and has worked with a variety of governments. Before the Kennedy School, Andrews worked for provincial government in South Africa and at the World Bank where he was a Public Sector Specialist in the Europe and Central Asia Region. He has published several books, including The Limits of Institutional Reform, and Building State Capability.

Dr. Valerie Marcel, is an associate fellow at Chatham House, and leads the New Producers Group, a collaborative network of 31 emerging oil and gas producer countries. She is an established expert on national oil companies and petroleum- sector governance, and has carried out extensive fieldwork in order to gain an understanding of the perspectives of producer countries. She is the author of Oil Titans: National Oil Companies in the Middle East, and a number of publications on national oil companies and governance of the petroleum sector. Dr Marcel advises governments on petroleum sector policy and governance. Valerie is a member of Columbia University’s Executive Session on the Politics of Extractives. She was a member of KPMG’s advisory team for energy-sector governance and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Oil and Gas. She previously led energy research at Chatham House, and taught international relations at Sciences Po in Paris, and at Cairo University.

Eric Parrado is an economist, scholar, researcher and consultant from Chile. He was Superintendent of Banks and Financial Institutions of Chile and manager of Chilean Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), with assets under management of US$ 22 billion He has also been a consultant for the central banks of Bolivia, China, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya and the governments of Colombia, Mongolia, Nigeria and Panama, among others, as well as the IMF, World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He was particularly important to develop and promote the international code and principles of best practices for SWFs in the world. His active role in this international discussion helped to call this code internationally the “Santiago Principles”.
Peter Harrington the other expert is a strategist, consultant and Fellow at the Harvard Center for International Development. With a strong emphasis on fieldwork, he has advised governments around the world (including Kenya, Albania, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Uganda, among others) on strategic communications – especially related to oil – as well as energy policy and economic growth. He has consulted on major oil infrastructure projects, and as a Senior Advisor to the Tony Blair Foundation for Global Change. Peter spent several years advising the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, on communications and policy, and reform of the oil sector. He has published various papers on institutional reform, government implementation and growth at the Harvard Center for International Development.

The other expert is Patrick Heller of the Natural Resource Governance Institute. Heller has worked on legal reform and governance initiatives in the developing world for more than 15 years for organizations including USAID, the U.S. State Department, the Asian Development Bank, Creative Associates International and The International Center for Transitional Justice. He is a research affiliate with the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University.
Heller manages NRGI’s legal and economic program team, which leads the organization’s work on legislative and regulatory reform, natural resource contracts, tax policy and macroeconomic management of extractive industries. He contributes extensively to NRGI’s programs of technical assistance to governments and civil society organizations throughout the world, and to NRGI’s capacity development efforts. He has facilitated courses on oil, gas and mining legal frameworks with partner institutions including the University of Oxford, Columbia University, Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia), the Catholic University of Central Africa (Cameroon) and Externado University (Colombia). Heller’s research work focuses heavily on the governance and management of state-owned oil and mining companies, oil sector institutional structure and the analysis of extractive industry contracts. He holds a law degree from Stanford University and a master’s in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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