IRMA’s leaders are experts in mining, standard-setting, and credible assurance and support the Board of Directors in strategy and day-to-day implementation of IRMA’s programs.
Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director
As Executive Director, Aimee provides direct service to IRMA’s multi-stakeholder leadership and manages IRMA’s staff and consultant team. She has worked on mining issues for more than 20 years, with substantial experience supporting communities directly affected. In addition, Aimee has been Program Director and Executive Director for children’s environmental health and women’s leadership not-for-profit NGO organizations. She specializes in communications between diverse networks of scientists, businesses, nonprofit advocates, government agencies, healthcare professionals, and citizens striving toward common goals. Aimee holds a degree in Environmental Studies and Politics from Mount Holyoke College and has served IRMA’s leadership since 2012.
Rebecca Burton, Dir of Corp Engagement
With over a decade of experience in sustainability, corporate responsibility and philanthropy, Rebecca believes there is enormous capacity within the private sector to propel positive change and lead the way in driving responsible business practices. Within IRMA, Rebecca works to bring new constituents in the private sector into IRMA—specifically purchasers of mined materials and investors—by demonstrating the tangible ways their membership, involvement and investment can influence market uptake and ultimately forward more responsible mining practices. Prior to joining IRMA, Rebecca was an independent consultant focused on sustainability, following several years at Tiffany & Co. (2010 – 2018) where she helped advance initiatives in strategic philanthropy and responsible sourcing. She has a BA in Linguistics and International Studies from the University of Utah and a Master’s in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University.
Pamela Lesser, EU Policy Advisor & Outreach
Originally from California, Pamela has always been drawn to Europe and has lived in Brussels since 2011 and worked at the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland from 2013 onwards. As a social scientist, she worked primarily on extractives-related Horizon 2020 projects leading the effort to develop European Union-level Social Licence to Operate Guidelines and also more recently involved in the effort to create a sustainability framework for the European extractives industry. With the focus on Horizon projects, the European Commission’s research agenda, Pamela’s ties to the Commission and the European research community are strong. In her role as the EU Policy Advisor and Outreach Coordinator for IRMA, she looks to bridge the research and policy community with that of practitioners, creating synergies so that both inform one another.
Pamela’s background is in land use and urban planning as well as in environmental impact assessment. Prior to her work at the University of Lapland, she was a Fellow of Ecologic Institute–U.S., a Berlin-based think-tank, with projects related to smart cities and spatial planning. Pamela has extensive experience in the public sector, working for consultancies as well as with NGOs. As the National Policy Analyst at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA, she served as a policy advisor to the Executive Director. She was educated at Georgetown University, the University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., Political Science, M.A., Urban Planning), and conducted post-graduate studies in environmental policy at the RAND Corporation and in environmental science and policy at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. Pamela is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Lapland.
Michelle Smith, Dir of Stds & Assurance
Michelle’s 25+ year career in sustainability consulting has focused on developing credible and effective environmental, safety, and health management systems and performing audits of a broad spectrum of operations worldwide, including a focus on the extractive industry, minerals processing, energy, and technology. Prior to joining IRMA she consulted to IRMA in the final development phases of the standard. As a senior leader with the certification body, ERM CVS, she oversaw third party assessments against a variety of management system standards and minerals and mining-related standards; this included the deliver of third party audits at mines in Central and South America and Africa during the launch phase of IRMA’s responsible mining standard. Michelle is from the Pacific Northwest region of the US, and received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Whitman College. She has participated in a variety of community-based organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for a local salmon habitat restoration organization, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA).
Janet Xiao, Org Development Advisor
Kristi Disney Bruckner, Senior Policy Advisor
Kristi is an attorney with 20 years of experience working on complex law and policy issues with governments, communities, companies, and multi-stakeholder initiatives. She assists with IRMA’s public engagement, partnerships, communications, and ongoing work to improve standards and audits. Her experience includes over a decade of leadership at Sustainable Development Strategies Group, working to align management of renewable energy and natural resources with sustainable development objectives. She is an adjunct professor of climate change law, sustainable development and international trade, and community engagement courses at law schools in the US and Scotland. Kristi has a BS in Social Work with minors in Journalism and Economics from the University of Tennessee and a JD and LLM from the University of Denver with specializations in Environmental Law and Policy and International Resources Transactions Law and Policy.
Adan Olivares Castro, Projects Coordinator
As Special Projects Coordinator for the Latin America region, Adan coordinates projects focused on outreach and engagement with stakeholders impacted by mining in Latin America. He has over 5 years of both field engineering (open-pit geotechnical, tailings construction, and mine waste reclamation) and continuous improvement experience within the mining industry. With his mining engineering experience and personal connection to Latin America, having been born and raised in Colombia, Adan is passionate about improving socio-environmental issues with respect to mining. Adan holds a degree in Geological Engineering from the University of British Columbia, is a registered member with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Queen’s University.
Alan Septoff, Dir of Comms & Info Systems
Prior to joining IRMA full-time in June 2022, Alan worked for 25 years with communities to protect the environment from the adverse impacts of resource extraction. He did this at Earthworks – as policy director, research director, and communications director, among other roles. In those roles he lobbied the U.S. House and Senate, testified before Congress, and authored analyses regarding various aspects of mining policy reform. Alan lives with his family in Maryland’s Appalachian Mountain region. He graduated cum laude with a political science undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland at College Park, and with Environmental Science and Public Affairs masters degrees from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He sits on SkyTruth’s Board of Directors and volunteers with his local chapter of the NAACP.
Kristen Vissers, Program Coordinator
Kristen Vissers joined IRMA in 2019 after 13 years at Rainforest Alliance as part of the executive office team where she directly supported the organization’s President and Executive Vice President. Kristen has experience in operational due diligence, project and budget management, all aspects of governance, Board committee meetings, and external events and conferences. Prior to joining the Rainforest Alliance, Kristen was involved in hands-on conservation projects with The Nature Conservancy, the US Forest Service, and the Grand Canyon National Park, among others. She also coordinated the CEO Forum Group from which the current successful Appalachian Woods Alliance was developed. She has a BS from Northern Arizona University with a specialty in Environmental Education.