Rebecca Foerster Resigns, Alrosa To Close Its US Office
Foerster said she stepped down March 10, and the office will close by the end of April.
Foerster said she officially turned in her resignation on March 10, one day before U.S. President Joe Biden announced a ban on imports of non-industrial Russian diamonds.
She cited the ongoing “geopolitical situation” and the inability of Alrosa to do any business in the U.S. market as the reasons for her resignation.
Foerster said the office, which is in New York City, will close no later than April 30.
Alrosa and its CEO, Sergey Ivanov Jr., have been under U.S. sanction since Feb. 25, one of a number of measures enacted by the U.S. government to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Those sanctions were not an outright freeze on Alrosa’s assets, nor did they bar U.S. companies from doing business with Alrosa, but they made it complicated.
In the wake of the sanctions, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee recommended companies review the sanctions lists and their anti-money laundering programs to ensure they were in compliance, while Jewelers of America advised its members to stop dealing in goods of Russian or Belorussian origin completely.
The subsequent ban on imports of Russian diamonds put in place March 11 further tightened the noose by barring direct diamond buying from Alrosa or any other Russian diamond companies.
While diamonds cut and polished elsewhere can be imported into the United States, JVC recommends the trade proceed with “extreme caution” when it comes to anything from Russia.
It also noted it is likely the U.S. government will ban diamonds cut and polished elsewhere in the future.
Foerster was hired to head Alrosa’s U.S. office in January 2019, with responsibility for polished diamond sales and customer service in the United States.
She came to Alrosa USA from Leo Schachter Diamonds, where she served as executive vice president of strategic planning and marketing.
Prior to that, she headed the U.S. office for Rio Tinto and, before that, was vice president of marketing for Frederick Goldman Inc.
Foerster also served as the president of Diamonds Do Good, succeeding Anna Martin in January 2021.
She said she was asked to step down from DDG the week prior to her resignation at Alrosa.
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