Gavin Hilson
Chair of Sustainability in Business, University of Surrey

Gavin Hilson is a leading global authority on the environmental and social impacts of the small-scale mining sector. He has published more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and reports on the subject, his specialist knowledge widely recognized internationally. He has delivered talks on small-scale mining at United Nations headquarters in New York, the World Bank in Washington D.C. and several universities worldwide. He has also provided consultancy services on the subject for a range of organizations: the U.K. Department for International Development, World Bank and EGMONT (Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels); the NGO sector, including the Alliance for Responsible Mining and the WWF Guianas; and corporations such as Newmont Gold Mining and Gold Fields.

Hilson is editor-in-chief of The Extractive Industries and Society (Elsevier Science) and is on the editorial boards of The Journal of Cleaner Production (Elsevier Science), Resources Policy (Elsevier Science), Mineral Economics (Springer) and The International Journal of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Environment (Taylor & Francis). He is also an executive board member of the Diamond Development Initiative, an NGO established to improve awareness and eliminate circulation of ‘conflict diamonds’.

He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Toronto, and his PhD from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. His first academic post was at Cardiff University, where he held the post, lecturer in environmental policy, in the School of City and Regional Planning. Following this appointment, he moved to the Institute of Development Policy and Management, the University of Manchester, where he held the post of lecturer in environment and development. In 2007, he moved to the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading, taking up a permanent lectureship in environment and development. He was promoted to reader in 2009.

For more than a decade, Hilson has carried out research on mining and development in Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi and Guyana. His work has been funded by a range of organizations, including the ESRC, British Council, British Academy, the Royal Society and Nuffield Foundation. He is presently carrying out research on mineral certification schemes; corporate social responsibility in the mining sector, specifically the application of a ‘social license to operate’ in sub-Saharan Africa and relations between multinationals and artisanal operators; and linkages between smallholder farming, agricultural liberalization and the growth of small-scale mining.