The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has appointed its next executive director, effective from today.

Iris Van der Veken steps into the role and becomes the first woman executive director for the standard setting and certification body, replacing Andrew Bone who was appointed in June 2015.

Bone announced he was to step down on March 27, 2019 in September last year.


Van der Veken has wide-ranging international experience in the diamond, gold, jewellery and fashion industries.

She worked extensively on the Alignment Assessment of industry programmes with the OECD minerals guidance and the development of awareness programmes on the UN’s Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in the UAE.

Van der Veken was also a frontrunner in building partnerships in supply chain management and GRI reporting, chaired the Global Compact Network Belgium and initiated a forum on children’s rights and the role of business.

Now in her role as executive director she will work with the board of directors and management team to ensure ‘operational excellence throughout the RJC’, which boasts more than 1,100 members spanning 73 countries.

Van der Veken, executive director, Responsible Jewellery Council, said: “My focus is on serving our member companies and varied stakeholders to deliver long-term growth and value creation. As the industry changes, we can ensure that manufacturers, retailers and consumers are educated about the importance of responsible sourcing in all minerals.

David Bouffard, chairman, Responsible Jewellery Council, said: “The RJC Board is delighted to appoint Iris to the role. She is a strong, dynamic and value-driven leader, and her wealth of experience and expertise will be tremendously beneficial in strengthening our strategic decision-making and ensuring the organisation continues to deliver against our ambitious objectives for the next several years.”