2020 Distinguished Speakers Include
Co-operative Republic of Guyana
His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali was sworn in as Guyana’s 9th Executive President on August 2, 2020.
Born on May 25, 1980 into a Muslim, Indo-Guyanese family at Leonora, West Coast Demarara, Dr Ali is one of two sons born to his parents, who are both educators. Dr Ali is a past student of the Leonora Nursery and Primary schools and Cornelia Ida Primary School. He completed his secondary education at St. Stanislaus College in Georgetown.
Dr Ali is the holder of a Doctorate in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the West Indies, a Master of Arts Degree in Manpower Planning, a Post Graduate Diploma in International Business, a Post- Graduate Certificate in Finance from Anglia Ruskin University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons.) in Business Management from the University of Sunderland. He is currently pursuing an LLM Degree in International Commercial Law at the University of Salford.
President Ali was a member of the Canadian Institute of Management (up to 2017) and Project Management Professional-PMP (2006).
He has served as Project Manager of the Caribbean Development Bank’s Project Implementation Unit in the Ministry of Finance, and Senior Planner in the State Planning Secretariat. He became a member of the National Assembly of Guyana in 2006, and was subsequently appointed to the portfolios of Minister of Housing and Water and Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce. During his time at the Ministry of Housing, he implemented the most extensive endowment campaign in the history of the country, backed by a massive distribution of lots to citizens of all social strata and geographic regions.
In the National Assembly, Dr Ali was also a leading spokesperson on the economy and finance. He served as chair of one of the most important committees, the Public Accounts Committee, and co-chair of the Economic Services Committee of the Parliament of Guyana. Dr Ali is married and is a father.
Minister of Natural Resources
Co-operative Republic of Guyana
Mr. Vickram Bharrat was born in Berbice, Region 6 and attended the New Amsterdam Multilateral Secondary School. His academic achievement includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Guyana and is qualified in the area of Public Management with a wealth of experience in governance and managerial competencies.
Most noteworthy, Minster Bharrat has been an educator, mentor and entrepreneur for over fifteen years as the owner of Xenon Academy (Primary and Secondary) located at Grove, East Bank Demerara. His acquired skills of patience and listening to youths will be transferred to his new responsibilities as Minister of Natural Resources to engage stakeholders.
Minister Bharrat’s professional life commenced with him serving in the capacity of Technical Officer at the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Health. He also held the post of Project Manager with the United Nations Development Programme. Additionally, at the local level, Bharrat also provided sterling service as the Chairman of the Grove/Diamond Neighbourhood Democratic Council to improve services and enhance the aesthetics of local communities.
Following his appointment as the Minister of Natural Resources and a Member of Guyana’s Twelfth Parliament on August 06, 2020 and September 01, 2020 respectively, he has been assigned oversight of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Guyana Forestry Commission, Guyana Gold Board and the Department of Energy. Further, he previously served in the Eleventh Parliament as a Parliamentarian for the period 2016-2019.
Minister Bharrat has been with the People’s Progressive Party since he was a teenager, having joined the Progressive Youth Organisation at the age of 14, resulting in his unwavering commitment and service to Guyana. He is also a Member to the Central and Executive Committee of the People’s Progressive Party.
He is married with two children, both teenagers.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Responsible for Management of Energy Sector
Guyana Oil & Gas Energy Chamber
Manniram Prashad held the following positions:
Currently, he is the Chairman of the MP Insurance Brokers and Consultants Limited, Consul General of the Philippines to Guyana, Chairman of the Guyana Gaming Authority and Corporate Coordinator & Executive Member of the Private Sector Commission.
Ministry of Natural Resources of Suriname
Bureau of Energy Resources, US Department of State
Francis R. Fannon serves as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) at the U.S Department of State. He oversees U.S. foreign policy in the critical intersection of energy and national security and promotes U.S. interests to ensure energy resources are used to increase economic opportunity, stability, and prosperity around the world. Assistant Secretary Fannon advises the Secretary on strategies to promote universal access to affordable and reliable energy resources and to strengthen energy security through policies that advance diverse, transparent, and secure global markets for all energy types.
Prior to this role, Mr. Fannon was the managing director of BHP’s Washington, DC Corporate Affairs office, where he developed a comprehensive U.S. strategy for the world’s largest diversified resources company. Before BHP, Mr. Fannon was a senior director at Murphy Oil Corporation in Washington, DC.
Mr. Fannon previously served as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. In that capacity, he drafted, negotiated, and helped pass into law key provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. He also served as counsel to Senators Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO) and Pete V. Domenici (R-NM).
Mr. Fannon earned a J.D. from the University of Denver (DU) Sturm College of Law, a M.A. in International Affairs (Economics & Trade) from DU’s Korbel School of International Studies, and a B.A. from Radford University.
Bank of Guyana
Dr Gobind Ganga completed his BA Degree in Economics and Administrative Studies at the University of Winnipeg and his MA and PhD Degrees in Economics at the University of Manitoba during the 1980s.
He was a Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow at his alma mater.
He was also a Lecturer in Economics at the University of West Indies, Mona Campus, in Jamaica, an adjunct professor at the Consortium Graduate School at Mona, Jamaica and a Senior Researcher/Senior Lecturer at the University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus.
In 1995, Dr Ganga was appointed Director of the Research Department at the Bank of Guyana. He held that position until November 2003, when he was appointed Alternate Executive Director at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., representing 10 Caribbean territories along with Canada and Ireland. In June 2005, Dr Ganga was appointed Deputy Governor at the Bank of Guyana. However, he was only able to take up his appointment after completing his term at the World Bank. On December 2, 2014, he was appointed Governor of Bank of Guyana.
Dr Ganga has a wealth of Central Banking experience. He has written and published many articles on a wide variety of Economic issues, including Monetary Policy and Macroeconomics.
Since 1993, Dr Ganga has served on many Boards, Committees, Commissions and Tribunals. At the World Bank, he served on the Committee on Governance and Administrative Matters as well as the Sub-Committee on Development Effectiveness.
Ambassador of the United States of America to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana
United States of America Embassy in Guyana
Sarah-Ann Lynch was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 2, 2019 as Ambassador to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
She most recently served as the Acting Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Ms. Lynch has also served as the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for LAC; USAID Mission Director in Iraq; and the Director of the Office of Iraq and Arabian Peninsula Affairs in USAID's Middle East Bureau.
A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Ms. Lynch has been with USAID since 1993, and served overseas in Bangladesh, Peru, Afghanistan and Iraq. In Washington, she has served in the regional bureaus of the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, and the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs (OAPA). Ms. Lynch has received numerous awards, including USAID's Distinguished Honor Award in 2010, the Agency's highest performance award, for her service in Afghanistan and OAPA.
Before joining USAID, Ms. Lynch worked in both international business and for a
non-governmental organization. Ms. Lynch also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco where she taught English at the secondary level.
Ms. Lynch is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and holds Masters Degrees from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the National War College.
British High Commissioner to Guyana and Non Resident to Suriname
The British High Commission in Georgetown
Greg Quinn was appointed British High Commissioner to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana in succession to Mr Andrew Ayre in March 2015. Greg joined the FCO in 1995 and has served overseas in Tallinn, Accra, Minsk, Baghdad, Kazakhstan and Washington. He graduated with a degree in International Politics and International History from the University of Wales in Aberystwyth and is married to Wendy.
Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Guyana
Senior System Planning & Design Engineer
Guyana Power & Light Inc.
Three years of solid experience as the System Studies Engineer and almost three years and counting as the Senior System Planning and Design Engineer in the Guyana Power & Light Inc. Prior to the above, five years as an Electrical Engineer designing electrical distribution systems for industrial and laboratory class installations at the Ministry of Agriculture. Skilful with AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, Power System Modelling Software (Etap, PSS Sincal and MatLab), Renewable Energy Resource and Viability Assessment Tools (WAsP, HOMER, SAM, PVSyst, RETScreen and TRNSYS), and PLEXOS for Least Cost Expansion Studies, Economic Dispatch of Generation and Economic Assessments of the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System.
Chief Executive Officer
Guyana Energy Agency
Dr Mahender Sharma is the Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA). He has been actively involved in the energy sector for more than two decades in the areas of solar power, hydroelectricity, wind energy, bio-energy and energy efficiency.
He represents Guyana at the International Solar Alliance, Latin American and Caribbean Energy Organization (OLADE) and energy matters at Caricom.
He has a Doctor of Management in Organization Leadership from the University of Phoenix, a Masters of Science in Energy and Environment from the University of Calgary and a BSc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Guyana.
Energy Consultant & Former Minister of Energy
Trinidad and Tobago
14th Premier of Alberta, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Alison Redford serves as a Policy Advisor on Gas Sector Reform in Guyana, Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Sudan, for the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada as they develop new approaches to upstream oil and gas regulation to promote investor confidence. Premier of Alberta from 2011 to 2014 and as Minister of Justice and Attorney General from 2008. Introduced an integrated regulatory structure - the Alberta Energy Regulator, that included environmental regulation, resource conservation, economic development and first nations consultation in all upstream energy projects in Alberta. Renegotiated Suncorp Oilsands Contribution Agreements for Alberta in 2013.
Established the Canadian Energy Strategy, (adopted by First Ministers in 2015). Concluded the first comprehensive First Nations funding settlement in Canada with the Metis Nation of Alberta and created the Sustainable Energy Endowment at the Inter-American Development Bank 2012. Established the Canadian Oilsands Initiative (COSIA), a negotiated partnership of shared intellectual property between private sector oil and gas operators and government, implementing innovative clean energy strategies through research and deployment of clean energy technologies.
The importance of regulation to investor confidence, competitiveness and a managed approach to environmental sustainability is key to how energy regulation on major projects can be managed and Alison is a leader in developing dialogue based on negotiating commercial relationships around energy, infrastructure and the environment.
A strong proponent for integrated policy planning and stakeholder development to ensure long term economic success in energy producing countries. An active voice on institutional and public sector reform based on inclusive policy development by establishing partnerships on commercial terms between government, industry and civil society in the areas of environment, commercial certainty for oil and gas investors and energy development. She has worked on bilateral and multilateral projects related to constitutional reform, energy sector regulation, judicial training, local government infrastructure planning and community development.
Chief Executive Officer
James P. Scriven is the CEO of IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. IDB Invest has $12.4 billion in assets under management and 342 clients in 24 countries and is a multilateral development bank focused on serving its clients and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America and the Caribbean. A dual Argentine/British citizen, Mr. Scriven was previously Vice President of Corporate Risk and Sustainability at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in addition to other leadership positions. Before joining the IFC, Mr. Scriven was Chief Financial Officer of Banco Hipotecario in Argentina. During the past two decades, he has concentrated his efforts on promoting the private sector in development. Mr. Scriven holds a Master´s degree in Finance from Universidad del Centro de Estudios Macroeconómicos of Argentina, and a degree in Business Administration from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina.
To learn more, follow @JamesPScriven and linkedin.com/in/james-p-scriven.
Chief Executive Officer
MBW Energy Support Services Inc. & Women in Oil & Gas in Guyana
Abbigale Loncke is the President of The Loncke Group. This serial entrepreneur has founded Abbi’s Home Care Agency formerly Community Health Care, WeLead Caribbean, Abbi’s Power Lunch, MBW Energy Support Services Inc and MBW Consultancy Firm under The Loncke Group. After completing her studies in the UK she remigrated to Guyana in 2011 and quickly established a Home Care Agency and in 2016 she was recognized by former US President Barack Obama for the work the agency had accomplished. Ms Loncke has a BSc. in Psychology and an Associates Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. In 2019, Ms Loncke entered the local Oil and Gas sector by establishing MBW Energy Support Services Inc., a corporate relation service provider and quickly pivoted into a full service Oil and Gas support company. To-date she has supported over fifty (50) domestic and foreign companies in establishing businesses in Guyana.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Georgetown American University
Melissa Varswyk holds a Doctor of Medicine Degree and post-grad in Health Professions Education. She is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Georgetown American University. The University currently has a School of Medicine and is the designated American Heart Association certified training center in Guyana.
Dr Varswyk has extensive knowledge in healthcare and associated training industry in Guyana and is currently working diligently to expand emergency response programs for the oil and gas, and other local industries.
She is committed to producing innovative and creative solutions towards the transformative development of her country. This being reflected in her being selected for several local and international awards, most recently, 25 most influential women leaders in Guyana award.
Women in Oil & Gas
With a Master of Science Degree in Global Studies from the University of the West Indies and a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Relations from the University of Guyana, Marissa has limitless energy to lead with creativity, passion, and a drive to take any project to the next level.
She is considered a highly organised and efficient individual, whose thorough and precise approach to projects has yielded excellent results. Marissa recently served as the Country Coordinator for a Government of Canada funded and World University Service of Canada (WUSC) implemented PROPEL (Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages) project in Guyana. Thereafter, she was hired by WUSC Caribbean as a Consultant.
Prior to working with WUSC Caribbean, she joined the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry in May 2012 as the Advocacy and Research Officer and later served as the Executive Director until March 2015. In December 2009, she became a National United Nations Volunteer until November 2011 and went on to work with the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development as a Youth Community Facilitator after. Other work experience includes working with a Mining and Exploration Company, Office of the President, and the Office of the Pro-Chancellor, University of Guyana.
Marissa possesses training in the areas of Information Technology, Conflict Management, Project Management, Gender Sensitization, Family Planning, Advocacy and Community Mobilization, and Project Proposal Writing. She is also an active volunteer with Girls in Tech - Guyana, the Rotary Club of Demerara and founded her own women support group called the Level Up Movement. Her hobbies include CrossFit, outdoor activities and hanging out with friends.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Salaudeen Nausrudeen – CEO of Guyanaworx
Purpose-driven marketing and business development executive with 15+ years of experience successfully implementing fresh ideas to leverage opportunities.
Salaudeen is an innovative visionary with the ability to blend new technology and marketing concepts to engage consumers and expand business impact exponentially. He has extensive experience working in Guyana and the USA in multiple industries including finance, investments, sports management, advertising and technology.
Salaudeen lives in Florida and manages PositivePlans (www.Positiveplans.com) a marketing and business development consulting service. Salaudeen works with many non-profits and various organizations in and out of Guyana in pursuit of social and economic development.
Global Chief Explorationist
Currently, Schlumberger Global Chief Explorationist looking after global exploration projects, complex imaging projects and MC opportunity generation. His long career with Shell splits between geology, geophysics, exploration and production. He worked on wide range of opportunities in the middle East, North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, Canada, West and East Africa and Far East. After evaluating and managing conventional HC opportunities for more than 20 years with Shell, he was moved to manage unconventional and EOR resource evaluation and maturation in Canada, US and Jordon.
30 years of progressive experience with Shell as a geoscientist and project manager of integrated conventional and unconventional exploration, appraisal and development projects. Currently, working as Schlumberger Global Chief Explorationist. Successfully executed various projects in different structural and stratigraphic settings, land, shelf and Deepwater. The geographical working areas cover Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, North Sea, West Africa, Atlantic Margins, Middle East and Far East.
Experience in managing large and diverse subsurface teams and coordinating large scale integrated exploration and development projects. Heavy involvement in opportunity ranking and strategic decisions of bid rounds, farm-ins and drilling expensive Deepwater wells. Extensive experience in complex pre-and subsalt imaging and evaluation in GOM, Brazil, North Sea, West Africa and Gulf of Suez
Manage and steer MC New Ventures investment of over $US 200 Million yearly in many prolific basins. This includes, but not limited to, regional evaluation of various basins, detailed subsurface understanding and value assessment. Working with different segments of Schlumberger, acquisition design and data processing teams. Contributions to strategic decisions in partnerships and client negotiations.
Author and presenter of many papers at international and internal conferences and technology forums. Participated and contributed to Shell and Schlumberger workshops and training events. Winning company awards for technical excellence and mentorship.
Venezuelan Chamber of Petroleum
He is a materials engineer with a master's degree in mechanical engineering and more than 30 years of experience in the industry.
Started his professional career in Ferrum, where he worked in several managing positions. In 1993, he funded Argos, dedicated to technical services in physical asses management, geomatics, telecomunications and process automation.
He has developed projects for PDVSA Gas, PDVSA E&P, and several Joint Ventures. He has also worked in the petrochemical complex Ana Maria Campos and Morón, and in Edelca Guri. As well as in all the local refineries in Venezuela and the ones located in Aruba and Curazao.
Through his company he has developed projects financed by multilateral organizations.
In the gremial area, in 2010 he became president of the Chapter Carabobo of the Cámara Petrolera de Venezuela. Later he joined the National Board of Directors, where he practiced as director and vice president. From 2018 he is the president of the organization. In 2020 he was reelected for a second period.
Raúl Gallegos is Practice Leader for Control Risks' political risk analysis team in the Andean region. He is a leading expert in Venezuela and provides clients with a view of economic, political and security risks and how they impact business in the Andes and frontier markets like Guyana. Raúl has expertise advising Fortune 500 companies, especially in the oil and gas business, on how to operate in challenging environments. Raúl's columns and articles have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, and Foreign Affairs magazine. He has been a guest commentator on CNN and CNBC and has been called to provide expert opinion on Venezuela to officials at the US Department of State. Before joining Control Risks Raúl worked for more than 15 years as an international journalist, as a staff writer and columnist for the LA Times, Reuters, and Bloomberg. For years he led a team of journalists covering Wall Street for Institutional Investor in New York. Raúl served as the Caracas-based oil correspondent for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal and he also covered OPEC meetings in Vienna. Raul is the author of Crude Nation: How Oil Riches Ruined Venezuela (Potomac Books 2016), a book widely praised and recommended by The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and CNN's Fareed Zakaria, as indispensable to understand the Venezuelan crisis. Crude Nation was awarded the 2017 Chris Welles Memorial Prize by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Raúl holds a BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, a master's degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and a master's from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. He was a 2010 Knight-Bagehot Fellow at the Columbia Business School.
Sales Director – Power Solutions Caribbean
MAN Energy Solutions USA Inc.
Alejandro Gorosito is a Sales Director for MAN Energy Solutions and is tasked with leading the sales effort for the Power Solutions business segment in the Caribbean. Before working for MAN, Alejandro held positions in the energy industry servicing both the oil & gas and renewable market sectors. He has almost twenty years of experience as a professional in engineering, project management, and technical sales in domestic as well as international markets. Alejandro has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Miami and an MBA from the University of Houston-Victoria.
Fernando D. Rodriguez is a leading international expert in the environmental, social, governance (ESG) and health and safety (H&S) space. He advises clients, engages with stakeholders, delivers performance improvement programs, and facilitates training worldwide. He is the founder and managing director of HSE International, consultancy that provides ESG and H&S management services to industries, investors, governments and multilateral agencies. Prior to consulting, he held a number of senior leadership and management roles in oil and gas, renewables, and infrastructure development.
His experience in the energy industry, including 16-yrs with ConocoPhillips, includes working in over 35 countries in offshore and onshore exploration and production (E&P) and transportation, integrated upstream - downstream businesses, and oil and gas multibillion financed mega projects from negotiations, through financing, engineering, project development, construction, start-up and operations.
He holds Master and Bachelor of engineering degrees from the University of Colorado and completed his executive education at the University of Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership, Thunderbird School of Global Management Program for Oil & Gas Industry Executives, and MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program. He has contributed to industry publications, most recently Balancing Petroleum Policy toward value, sustainability and security published by the World Bank Group in 2019. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the International Association of Impact Assessment.
Director for Latin America
Van Meurs Corporation
Dr Pedro van Meurs started his consulting firm in Canada on January 1, 1974, providing services in upstream oil and gas economics and fiscal systems. During the last 47 years, he has provided these advisory services to governments of more than 90 jurisdictions as well as companies, accounting firms and other organizations and by being expert witness during arbitrations. For more than 37 years he has provided renowned public and in-house training courses in petroleum economics and fiscal systems. Over the years a detailed World Fiscal Model was developed and large databases were created available for online services.
Park Energy Law
IPD Latin America
NG Content Future Concepts Limited
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