By Michelle Graff
New York--The members of the World Diamond Council have elected a new board of directors in the first poll conducted since the organization amended its bylaws last November.

The WDC added 20 new board members, equally distributed among the five diamond industry sectors and reflecting the geographical diversity of the supply chain.

The new board will hold its first formal meeting May 12, during which it will elect the officers, including president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.

Following is the list of the newly elected board of directors.

Extraction of diamonds
--Andrey Polyakov, Alrosa Group
--Andrew Bone, De Beers Group
--James R.W. Pounds, Dominion Diamonds Corp.
--Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Rio Tinto Diamonds NV

Retail sale of diamonds or diamond jewelry
--Kent Wong, Chow Tai Fook
--Roberto Coin, Roberto Coin SpA
--Mark Jenkins, Signet Jewelers Ltd.
--Ronnie VanderLinden, U.S. coalition

Wholesale trading of diamonds
--Stephane Fischler, Antwerp World Diamond Centre 
--Anoop Mehta, Bharat Diamond Bourse 
--Shmuel Schnitzer, Israel Diamond Exchange Ltd. 
--Ernie Blom, World Federation of Diamond Bourses, a permanent member

Manufacturing of diamonds
--Mervin Lifshitz, Botswana Diamond Manufacturers Association 
--Vipul Shah, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, India 
--Avi Paz, Israel Diamond Institute
--Elliot Tannenbaum, Leo Schachter Diamonds

At large
--Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, permanent member
--Maxim Shkadov, International Diamond Manufacturers Association, permanent member
--Nigel Paxman, Malca-Amit Group of Companies
--Edward Asscher, Royal Asscher Diamond Company Ltd.

Last November, the WDC changed its bylaws to include geographical diversity on the board, with mining companies, manufacturers, traders and retailers all represented, and for WDC members to pay annual dues.

RELATED CONTENT: WDC now restricts presidents to a single term

Additionally, the WDC president is now limited to a single two-year term, and is automatically succeeded by the sitting vice president.

In January 2013, former president Eli Izhakoff announced that he would step down after 13 years at the helm, and Avi Paz, an Israeli diamantaire and former president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, stepped in as interim president. 

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