Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of SDSG is the organization’s governing body, with an international and geographically diverse group with expertise in natural resources law and policy, non-profit management, and international development work. Our Directors volunteer their time and expertise to serve as Board members and support the mission and vision of SDSG.

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Tutu Alicante is the founder and executive director of EG Justice, a nonprofit organizations that promotes human rights and the rule of law, transparency, and civic participation in Equatorial Guinea. Prior to that, Tutu worked as a legal consultant with international NGOs, promoting legal accountability and transparency in the extractive industry. He also worked as an employment attorney with the Southern Migrant Legal Services, where he represented migrant farm-workers. Tutu holds a Masters in Law degree from Columbia Law School and a law degree from the University of Tennessee. Tutu lives in Tampa, Florida. 

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Terry Beneke

Terry Beneke is a Managing Director with Cushing Asset Management in Dallas. He has worked in investments, finance, and accounting for over 40 years, with such firms as Antares Capital Management, Atlas Capital Management, Bank of America Securities, White Capital Management, Tower Beverage Corporation, and KPMG. Terry is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

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James Cress

James Cress is a partner with the global law firm of Bryan Cave HRO, His natural resources practice emphasizes international and U.S. mining and oil and gas law transactions, including financing. Jim has negotiated and documented complex acquisitions, asset dispositions and financings for coal, uranium, gold, copper, molybdenum, oil and gas and other mineral-producing clients. He has experience in private and U.S. federal mineral royalty matters, and has testified before Congress as a royalty expert. He has advised clients on the development, implementation and interpretation of mining law and regulation in the U.S., Asia, the former Soviet Union and Latin America. His general corporate practice includes development, implementation and documentation of derivatives trading programs for corporate end-users of derivative products, including oil & gas, precious metals, interest rate and currency hedging programs, as well as debt instruments with derivatives components. James lives in Denver, Colorado.


Cecilia Dalupan

Cecilia Dalupan is Co-Founder of SDSG. She is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at WeGen, a Manila-based “next generation energy business that uses rapidly-advancing renewable energy, battery storage, and software technologies to develop energy solutions for a range of applications—from homes, schools and small businesses, to large industrial and commercial properties, resorts, and even entire islands.” An attorney licensed in both the Philippines and Colorado, Cecilia has over 20 years of international experience. She has been an Assistant Secretary with the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Senior Energy Policy Specialist with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Manila, and Director of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in Colorado. As a consultant, she was a member of the United Nations Development Programme Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery Experts Roster for Rapid Response for Extractive Industries—Engagement with the Private Sector and Corporate Social Responsibility, and has worked with many international organizations, including the International Development Law Organization, Asian Development Bank, USAID Mongolia, One Earth Future Foundation, the World Bank, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


Luke Danielson

Luke Danielson is President and Co-Founder of SDSG. He is an attorney, professor, researcher, and consultant on minerals policy, national development strategies, and environmental and social performance in the mining and oil and gas industries. He is known for his work both on international and national levels on minerals policies, and has worked with over a dozen governments, including Chile, Mongolia, Mozambique, the Peoples Republic of China, and Peru. Luke was previously the Executive Director of the path-breaking global Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development Project at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, an effort that involved a network of international staff and consultants across several continents, engagement with hundreds of stakeholders, and multiple forums, conferences, and reports. The findings of the MMSD Project established the first work plan and agenda for the International Council on Mining and Metals. Luke was the founding Director of the Mining Policy Research Initiative, a project of the International Development Research Centre that supported and conducted research on the social, economic, and environmental impacts of mining investment in the 23 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. He was a member of the International Bar Association committee that developed the Model Mining Development Agreement, a tool for governments and investors to develop more stable and equitable mineral development agreements with improved development outcomes. Luke was a 2015 inductee into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame for his contributions to Environmental Management and Stewardship.   Luke Danielson Curriculum Vitae


Kimberly Jackson-Thayer

Kimberly Jackson-Thayer is an attorney for the United States Department of the Interior Office of Natural Resources Revenue. She provides mineral and resource valuation guidance for issues involving onshore, offshore, and tribal property concerns that relate to industry, state, tribal, and federal stakeholders. Ms. Jackson-Thayer also assists the agency in regulatory rulemakings, overall community engagement, and educational/training efforts throughout the United States. Prior to her work with the United States Government, Ms. Jackson-Thayer worked as both a consultant and in-house counsel, focusing primarily on issues of environmental assessments, land use and zoning, conservation easements, energy development, and regulatory compliance. Ms. Jackson-Thayer lectures extensively on land use and energy issues. She is a Faculty Instructor for the National Business Institute and also teaches courses at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She has participated as a guest lecturer for both the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and the Colorado Bar Association on a number of land use and environmental topics. Ms. Jackson-Thayer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado, a Practical Nursing license from the Community College of Denver, and both her J.D. and LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.


David Phillips

David Phillips served as the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) for forty-two years. RMMLF focuses on a range of natural resource issues, including oil and gas, hardrock mining, public land, water, and renewable energy resources on local and international levels. David grew up in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and received a B.S. in geological engineering from Princeton University, graduating with honors. He has a master’s degree in geology from the University of Wyoming. After obtaining his master’s degree, he worked in oil and gas before deciding to enroll in law school at the University of Colorado in Boulder. David worked for RMMLF as a law clerk during law school, and after graduating with his JD in 1966, worked as in-house counsel for industrial minerals companies for four years before taking on the position of Executive Director of RMMLF. While at RMMLF, David build the foundation’s assets from $100,000 to its current $14 million to fund its mission, increasing its activity geographically and with a range of new programs and members from over 40 countries. David has recently retired from the foundation, leaving a long path of success for others to carry on. David currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

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Heather Ryan 

Heather Ryan works for the Open Society Justice Initiative in a monitoring and advocacy role on issues related to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. She has worked in the field of international criminal and human rights law for the last 12 years. Heather’s prior work experience also includes directing programs for the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, acting as a liaison for the Coalition for International Justice at The Hague, and serving as a Rule of Law Liaison for the American Bar Association Central and East Europe Law Initiative. She practiced law with Hutchinson, Black and Cook in Boulder for 17 years before focusing on international law issues. Heather lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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Brendan Schwartz 

Brendan Schwartz is a Senior Natural Resources Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development. His work focuses on enhancing rural communities’ participation in shaping natural resource policies and practice. His primary areas of expertise include land tenure, mining, legal redress, legal empowerment, land-based initiatives, and agriculture value chains. Prior to joining IIED, Mr. Schwartz worked for the University of Guelph as a research consultant on the study the politics of commodities in Central Africa. He has also consulted for international development institutions and NGOs in West and Central Africa.


Chet Tchozewski

Chet Tchozewski is the founder and President Emeritus of the Global Greengrants Fund — an international environmental foundation that makes small grants to grassroots environmental groups in 128 developing nations around the globe.  Since 1993 Greengrants has made nearly 8000 grants totaling nearly $50M to community groups around the world. He co-founded Grantmakers without Borders (now EDGE Funders) in 2000 and that same year was on the initiating committee of the Global Philanthropy Forum.  He also serves on the Board of Director of the Council on Foundations, the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and CDR Associates. Chet is active with more than a dozen activist, donor and scholarly groups and he has served as a cross-sector bridge by participating in global events as diverse as the World Social Forum in Davos, Switzerland and the World Economic Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Prior to founding the Global Greengrants Fund in 1993, Chet served as the Executive Director of Greenpeace – Pacific Southwest regional office in San Francisco from 1989 to 1993.  He served on the staff of the American Friends Service Committee – Rocky Flats Project from 1979 to 1983 and co-founded the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center in 1984.  Chet is featured in American Environmental Leaders: from Colonial Times to the Present, and a collection of his papers is in the Western History Archives – Collection on the Atomic West – at Norlin Library at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He serves on the editorial board of Alliance Magazine and has been a frequent contributor to this London-based journal of global philanthropy and social investment. Chet received the Council on Foundation prestigious Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Philanthropy – an award that honors grantmakers who “possess a combination of vision, principle and personal commitment to making a difference in a creative way through grantmaking.” Chet lives in Boulder, Colorado.