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Senior Associates


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Bernie Ross (Senior Associate)


Bernie has over twenty years’ experience working in social management in the private, public and IFI sectors.   His clients have included major oil and gas multinationals, pipeline and mining companies, the World Bank, IFC, EBRD, UN agencies, GIZ, the International Red Cross and Save the Children.   His experience ranges from high-level supply chain policy development for the World Bank and UN, to “muddy boots” field work with rural communities and construction contractors, often in challenging conflict and post-conflict environments.  He has worked widely in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Former Soviet Union.  Bernie is widely experienced in the development and implementation of socio-economic impact management systems, including the provision of technical assistance and programme monitoring and evaluation, RAP and livelihood restoration, working with local partners and stakeholders, CLO teams and construction contractors.  He has experience in the design and oversight of project-level community grievance mechanisms, and due diligence assessments to IFC, EBRD, EP, VPSHR and other international standards.  Bernard has also conducted human rights impact and labour standards assessments in the manufacturing and construction sectors, assisting clients in achieving compliance with international standards for migrant labour. Bernie is a former teacher and university lecturer and regularly conducts training seminars in development and social management.  He has a Master’s in International Development studied Agricultural Economics for Development, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.  He speaks English, and is proficient in French and Italian.


Jasmine Campbell (Senior Associate)


Jasmine has a strong background in community development, stakeholder relations, aboriginal affairs, native title and mining.

She has practiced as an Australian lawyer, community practitioner and project manager with a variety of mining companies, including Anglo Gold Ashanti (Tanzania and South Africa HQ), AREVA (France HQ), Rio Tinto (Australia) and Mega Uranium Ltd (Australia). In these capacities Jasmine has facilitated stakeholder relations; conducted community engagement in conflict situations; developed integrated social and risk management strategies; negotiated and drafted agreements between companies and their stakeholders on project development, land tenure and social investment matters; represented clients in various courts and tribunals; provided input into socio-economic impact assessments; drafted and implemented human rights and indigenous policies, plans and strategies; and worked on developing social investment initiatives through multi-stakeholder forums and between companies and their stakeholders. Jasmine holds a Bachelor of Laws (2003) (University of Notre Dame, Perth), Master of International Law specialising in environmental, human rights and investment law (2010) (University of Sydney, Sydney); and recently completed a qualification in Mediation (2014) (Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia). Jasmine is fluent in both English and French.

Jasmine-Campbell-2014-BW 2015 Bernie Ross

Karim Merchant (Senior Associate)


Karim consults on policy, programme and project development and management in the fields of humanitarian assistance, food security, conflict-sensitive development and peacebuilding. He has 26 years of experience (15 years in Central Asia) as a policy advisor, programme designer and project manager with in emergency relief, conflict and post-conflict sustainable rural development, institutional and community empowerment, and small enterprise development, working with national governments, United Nations Agencies, donor agencies and international and national NGOs. He has extensive Afghanistan experience, including serving as Senior Advisor to the Afghan Minister for Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), a member of the informal advisory cell to the President, developing and influencing national policies in rural development, programme design, budgeting and implementation in insecure environments, developing pioneering innovative monitoring and evaluation mechanisms

in conflict-affected regions independently, and in concert with international military forces.

2015 Karim Merchant

Ian D Quick (Senior Associate)


Ian is an ECAS Senior Associate and specialised in management consulting and facilitation. He advises on strategic design and evaluation, with focus on evolving the client’s own processes and capabilities to meet new challenges.  His operational background cuts across the peacekeeping, humanitarian and early recovery sectors and includes long stints coordinating inter-agency initiatives in the the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sri Lanka. Subsequent consulting experience has taken in major change initiatives across much of the UN system and several large non-governmental organisations, along with work with the Australian government. Ian also runs Rethink Fragility, a social enterprise that brings together different disciplinary perspectives on serious crises. His technical background is in public policy (Harvard University) and law/finance (the University of New South Wales), and he is admitted as a legal practitioner. Ian is based in London, and is fluent in English and proficient in French.



Philipp Essl (Senior Associate)


Philipp is an ECAS Senior Associate and has worked over the last 15 years on responsible business practices, broader private sector development, and negotiation and conflict management, covering more than 20 countries across South East Asia, Central and South America, as well as North and West Africa.


Most recently, Philipp was Group Social Performance Manager at BG Group (now part of Royal Dutch Shell), a senior member of the Group Social Performance function and Group Safety & Sustainability leadership team. In this role, he led the Group’s social performance & human rights work for new country entry and early exploration projects in South East Asia and Latin America. This included successful entry into high risk countries, such as Myanmar and Honduras, where he served on the joint BG Group/Government Management Board. Further, Philipp provided lead social performance & human rights advice and on-the-ground support to established, country operations in Australia, South America, as well as North and West Africa.


His responsibilities included the design and set up of social performance management systems and the implementation of social, human rights, and conflict baseline, risk, and impact assessments, grievance mechanisms and management, community and stakeholder (incl. government & public security forces) engagement, consultation and negotiation with indigenous people, and implementation of strategic social investments and local content initiatives. Within his country remit, Philipp was charged with the operationalisation of the UNGPs and the implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, in close collaboration with the Group’s Security team.  


Prior to BG Group, Philipp spent several years in South East Asia, working on the intersection of economic development and poverty reduction, with large development organisation (e.g. Oxfam) as well as innovative, economic development start-ups. Across these organisations, he led work on impact management and measurement (M&E), as well as strategy and organisational development. Before leaving his home country, Austria, Philipp worked as Programme Manager with a Vienna-based negotiation and conflict resolution consulting firm, advising and training private sector and public-sector clients.


Philipp holds a MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and a MBA from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.


Gudrun van Pottelbergh (Senior Associate)

Gudrun is an expert on international security policy, conflict analysis and crisis management, and combines expertise in the humanitarian, political and security sectors. Gudrun has worked in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) on humanitarian civil-military coordination and (environmental) emergency response. In addition she has worked for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in its Conflict Prevention Centre and on Border Management. Gudrun regularly facilitates civilian crisis management training for pre-deployment purposes. She has worked on the development of a number of disaster response and response preparedness tools, and undertook research for several academic institutions on topics such as security sector reform, peacekeeping, international coordination and historical trends. Gudrun holds a Master in Contemporary History, specialising in Belgian colonial history, and a European Master in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA). She is currently based in Vienna, Austria, and is fluent in English, French, Dutch and German with knowledge of Spanish and Russian.

2015 Gudrun van Pottelbergh

Markus Koerner (Senior Associate)

Markus specialises on conflict analysis and management, post-war reconstruction, and assistance to refugees - from project operations through institutional change to policy development. His regional focus is on the Horn of Africa, Africa in general and the Middle East. He advises the management of two of the largest programmes of German technical cooperation agency GIZ (78 and 45 million €, EU-financed, Syria's neighbours and HoA). As co-team leader he designed and delivered an annual African Security Conference at Head of State level (www.tanaforum.org, in collaboration with the Munich Security Conference) and an executive Masters Programme on African Peace and Security for the African Union. With a focus on innovation and change, he played key roles in developing a strategic 25-year urban development plan for Addis Ababa, the re-engineering of the Health, Safety and Environment reporting of a global top-five pharmaceutical company as well as the re-engineering of the project management process and compliance system at GIZ. Markus combines results-oriented programme delivery with deep thinking and has published and spoken widely on the project management of change. He is a trained Social Anthropologist and OD advisor, and works in English and French.

2017 Markus Koerner Profile BW Web