By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
De Beers executive Feriel Zerouki is the first woman to serve as vice president of the World Diamond Council.
New York—Edward Asscher is the new president of the World Diamond Council and, for the first time, the organization’s second-in-command will be a woman.

During a recent virtual meeting, the WDC board elected Feriel Zerouki to be the organization’s vice president.

Zerouki is currently the senior vice president of international relations and ethical initiatives at the De Beers Group.

She has been with the diamond miner and marketer since 2005, joining the company as a supply chain analyst for what was then known as the Diamond Trading Company.

She holds degrees in mathematics and business management from Queen Mary University of London and is fluent in French, English and Arabic.

Under WDC bylaws, Zerouki will automatically become WDC President at the end of Asscher’s two-year term in 2022.

20200303 Edward AsscherEdward Asscher, who has five decades of experience in the diamond industry, is the new president of the World Diamond Council.For Asscher, who recently retired from the family business, the election marks his second term as WDC president, having served from 2014 to 2016.

A member of one of the diamond industry’s most well-known families, Asscher is currently vice president of the European Council of Diamond Manufacturers, and he is a past president of both the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and the International Diamond Council.


Outside of the jewelry industry, he was past president of the Liberal Party in his native Amsterdam and served as a senator for the party in the Dutch parliament from 2007 to 2011.

Asscher succeeds Stephane Fischler, who stepped in as acting WDC president in 2017 before serving a two-year term as president.

“In taking over from Stephane, I am filling giant shoes,” Asscher said.

“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.”

Asscher and Zerouki join Elodie Daguzan, who became WDC executive director on Feb. 1, at the helm of the organization designed to lead the diamond industry charge against conflict diamonds and represent it in the Kimberley Process.

During the virtual meeting, the WDC board also confirmed the re-election of Ronnie Vanderlinden, president of the IDMA, as WDC treasurer, and the appointment of Udi Sheintal as WDC secretary.


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