New York, NY--Edward Asscher (pictured) has been named to lead the World Diamond Council (WDC), the international organization charged with leading the industry’s effort to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the jewelry supply chain. WDC also represents the industry in the tripartite Kimberley Process coalition.
Formerly the organization’s vice president, Asscher assumed the role June 5, taking over from Stephane Fischler. During the June 5 virtual board meeting, the WDC also tapped Feriel Zerouki as its first-ever female vice president. Zerouki is the senior vice president of international relations & ethical initiatives at De Beers Group. As per WDC bylaws, she will automatically become WDC president at the end of Asscher’s two-year term in 2022. The board also confirmed the re-election of treasurer Ronnie Vanderlinden, president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), and the appointment of Udi Sheintal as secretary.
Feriel Zerouki is the first female vice president of the World Diamond Council. She will become president at the end of Edward Asscher's two-year term.
This is Asscher’s second time serving as WDC President, having held the role from 2014 to 2016. He currently also is vice president of the European Council of Diamond Manufacturers, and is a past president of both IDMA and the International Diamond Council (IDC), a diamond standards-setting organization affiliated with both IDMA and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). Outside the industry, Asscher has also served in political office. A past president of the Liberal Party in Amsterdam, he was elected Senator for this party in the Dutch parliament, serving in the upper house from 2007 to 2011.
“I am honored to be able to serve once again as WDC president, and to head a body whose entire purpose is to protect the integrity of the natural diamond, and also that of the industry that mines, manufactures and sells it, enabling all stakeholders to gain maximum benefit from revenues generated, especially in the developing world,” he said. “In taking over from Stephane, I am filling giant shoes. As WDC president he spoke with a clear moral voice, emphasizing the natural diamond’s potential to act as catalyst for social and economic development. This is a theme that I will continue over the coming two years.”
Fischler added, “I am delighted to be handing the torch over to Edward, who once again will bring to the role of President his wealth of wisdom and experience.”
Asscher, a member of one of the diamond industry’s and Amsterdam’s most well-known families, recently retired from his family’s diamond company, turning the reins over to two of his children, Lita and Mike.
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