Policies & Issues

Melanie Grant Named Executive Director of RJC

Policies & IssuesJan 23, 2023

Melanie Grant Named Executive Director of RJC

She has more than 20 years’ experience in watches and jewelry, and says sustainability is the “greatest single issue” facing the industry.

Longtime jewelry journalist and curator Melanie Grant has been named executive director of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
London—Melanie Grant, a journalist and curator with more than 20 years of experience in watches and jewelry, is the new executive director of the Responsible Jewellery Council, the RJC announced Monday.
She succeeds John Hall, who stepped in as interim executive director in April 2022 after Iris Van der Veken resigned in protest over the organization’s handling of Alrosa’s membership following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
Grant has worked at U.K. daily The Times, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, the BBC and, until 2022, The Economist, where she served as luxury editor of its sister publication, 1843 Magazine. 
She was at The Economist for 16 years, working as jewelry editor and picture editor, before taking a sabbatical to write her first book, “Coveted: Art and Innovation in High Jewellery,” which was published in October 2020. 
Grant also is a curator. She assembled Sotheby’s groundbreaking “Brilliant & Black” selling exhibition, which celebrates Black jewelry designers, in 2021 and 2022. She guest lectures at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art in London, and has given talks at major museums including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

She was the recipient of Jewelers of America’s Gem Award for Media Excellence in 2022 and currently serves on the boards of NYC Jewelry Week and the Black in Jewelry Coalition.

As head of RJC, Grant—who has spent her career advocating for jewelry to be seen as an art form—will work to continue growing awareness among members of the industry, as well as consumers, on the need to strengthen sustainable business practices.
Sustainability, she said, is the single biggest issue facing the watch and jewelry industry today, and she intends to infuse this complex-yet-vital facet of the industry with “clarity and creativity.”
“We are today with sustainability where we were with digital transformation 20 years ago. Those who embraced it thrived but also gained new and younger clients. Those who dismissed it in many ways got left behind,” Grant said. 
“Sustainability is the greatest single issue facing watches and jewelry today, and I want to help everyone understand what they can do to be part of this movement. I feel privileged to have been selected for this monumental task.”
 Related stories will be right here … 
RJC said in addition to her creative skills as a writer and editor, Grant brings leadership experience to the role. 
RJC board Chairman David Bouffard said: “On behalf of the board, staff and all of our members, I am proud to welcome Melanie as our new executive director. She has a deep love and knowledge of jewelry and watches, and a uniquely creative skillset, which is both industry- and consumer-facing.  
“I believe she will successfully take the RJC into a new era as we continue to deliver on our mission of continuous improvement in the integrity of the global jewelry and watch supply chain.”  
Fourteen industry organizations formed the Responsible Jewellery Council in 2005.

Today, RJC has nearly 1,700 members in 71 countries. The organization says its certifications now cover more than half the world’s jewelry market.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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