Cristina Villegas

Cristina Maria Villegas serves as deputy director of Pacts Mines to Markets (M2M) program, which implements some of the biggest artisanal mining programs in the world. She is a recognized global expert in Artisanal & Small-scale Mining (ASM) and has 10+ years of experience within the development sector. She specializes in ASM rural development strategies, mineral sector governance & capacity building, sustainability, gender & mining, reducing child labor in mining, and ethical sourcing/risk management in artisanal mining supply chains. With direct field experience across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, she advises multi-million dollar ASM development programs involving diverse materials such as diamonds and gold, to coal, salt, gypsum, the (conflict minerals) and beyond. She is a member of Fairtrade Technical Advisory Committee for Gold, is an Expert Associate of the Artisanal Gold Council, advisor to the Responsible Ecosystems Sourcing Platform Gemstones Working Group, and a member of the Precious Stones Multi-Stakeholder Working Group. She is regularly consulted as an ASM Expert on gold, gemstones, and conflict minerals  by such organizations such as: Harvard, Global Witness, The World Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UN Women, USAID, the US Department of State, US Department of Labor, major international management consultancies, and journalists for the Economist, Guardian, and specialist mining publications. Her written work on ASM has appeared in publications for the World Bank, United Nations, USAID, Kimberley Process guidance for ASM diamond producer countries, and recently via the Cambridge University Press. A social scientist by training with an interest in economics, the environment, and the power of the private sector, she has a Masters degree in Human Rights focused on natural resources & civil conflict from the London School of Economics (LSE) and graduated with distinction from the University of California at San Diego. She has previously worked for Catalyst Resources Development Group LLC, Estelle Levin Ltd. (ELL), WWF, the Fund for Global Human Rights, and the World Bank.