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Personality of The Month – Cristina Maria Villegas, Dir. Mines to Market, PACT

August 1, 2018 by Editor in

Cristina Maria Villegas is the Director of Mines to Market, PACT, an international development organization in nearly 40 countries with a promise of a better future for all those who are challenged by poverty and marginalization. Ms. Villegas is a mining & rural development specialist focused on responsible mining and sourcing. She works with all scales and types of mineral producers, from industrial mining companies to artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) with a specialty in ethical sourcing/risk management in artisanal mining supply chains, improving the social performance of mining companies, ASM-LSM coexistence, rural development strategies, ASM market development, mineral sector governance, political economy analysis, gender & mining, and reducing child labor in mining. She also has expertise in “conflict minerals” (tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold) and colored gemstones as well as minerals development in fragile, conflict & post-conflict economies.

Cristina has a Bachelor’s Degree (double major) in Public Policy from the University of California and a Masters’ Degree in Human Rights, Natural resources/civil conflict; International law; African Development; Gender from the London School of Economics (LSE). Prior to working with PACT, she worked as a Development Officer at Fund for Global Human Rights, served as a Senior Manager and Analyst (ASM Engagement, Governance, CSR, Ethical Sourcing) at Estelle Levin Ltd.

Ms. Villegas is an upstanding member of the following of the following international bodies:

– Fairtrade Technical Advisory Group for Gold (by invitation-only)

– ASM Gold Expert, UNEP Global Mercury Partnership (by invitation-only)

– Expert Associate Group, Artisanal Gold Council (invitation-only)

– Advisory Committee, “Market Entry Standard” for ASM (invitation-only)


– Advisory Board, Gemstones & Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub (invitation only)

– Human Rights Advisory Group, Global E-Sustainability Initiative / GeSI (invitation-only)

– Advisory Council, Ethical Metal smiths (invitation-only)

– Child Rights and Security Working Group, Voluntary Principles (invitation-only)

– In-Region Working Group Member, Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA)


Cristina has more than 12 years of development-sector experience, including field work in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mongolia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and beyond. I have also project managed desk and field-based consultant teams in Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Madagascar, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. She works to advance best practices in artisanal & small-scale mining (ASM) programs, recruit and develop local teams, maintain high quality programming, and help mining communities gain a voice, improve development outcomes, and access more markets through improving mining conditions and transparency in supply chains.

To read more on Ms. Cristina Villegas’ prolific work in the mining industry, click


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