Policies & Issues

Feriel Zerouki Becomes First Woman to Lead WDC

Policies & IssuesMay 17, 2023

Feriel Zerouki Becomes First Woman to Lead WDC

Zerouki took over as World Diamond Council president Monday, with Ronnie VanderLinden elected vice president.

World Diamond Council President Feriel Zerouki
De Beers Group executive Feriel Zerouki became president of the World Diamond Council on Monday and is slated to lead the organization in attending the Kimberley Process intersessional meeting in Zimbabwe next week.
New York—On Monday, Feriel Zerouki officially succeeded Edward Asscher as president of the World Diamond Council.

She is the first woman to hold the position.

Born in the United Arab Emirates and of Algerian descent, Zerouki started her career in the diamond industry in 2005, working as a supply chain analyst at De Beers’ Diamond Trading Co. (DTC).

In 2009, the company appointed her Best Practice Principles manager, overseeing ethical standards for De Beers, its sightholders and contractors.

Zerouki became head of international relations in 2014, helping to initiate Tracr, De Beers’ blockchain platform, and GemFair, the program that supports artisanal and small-scale miners and mining operations.

She is now De Beers’ senior vice president of corporate affairs and serves on the board of directors for the Responsible Jewellery Council and, most recently, joined the board of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

She holds degrees in mathematics and business management from Queen Mary University of London and is fluent in French, English and Arabic.

Zerouki was elected WDC vice president in 2020 and was set to become president in 2022 but the WDC’s directors opted to extend her term, and the terms of the other elected leaders, for another year due in part to the disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic caused. 

Also on Monday, the WDC elected Ronnie VanderLinden vice president while Anoop Mehta was elected treasurer and Udi Sheintal was reappointed WDC secretary. 

Per WDC bylaws, VanderLinden will take over as WDC president after Zerouki completes her two-year term.

 Related stories will be right here … 

The WDC serves as the representative of the diamond industry in the Kimberley Process (KP).

Next week, Zerouki will lead the WDC’s delegation in attending the five-day KP intersessional meeting at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. (Zimbabwe is the KP chair nation this year and thereby hosts both the intersessional and plenary meetings.)

The meeting is slated to begin Sunday.

Zerouki said as WDC president, she is committed to following in Asscher’s footsteps by acting with honesty and decency while also protecting the integrity of diamonds.

“I am committed to upholding these principles and in particular Edward’s consistent call not to leave anyone behind, which will remain a foundational principle of the WDC,” she said.

During his time heading the WDC, Asscher, the retired former president of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, was consistent in his calls for the KP to expand the definition of what constitutes a “conflict” diamond, an issue that’s been a debate among members of the KP for more than a decade.  

This year, the KP will enter a Review and Reform cycle, which Zerouki said is of “critical importance” as members of the KP must address what the process needs to do to adapt to a “much-changed and fast-evolved landscape.” 

The Latest

Stock image of a gavel
CrimeJun 14, 2024
2 Men Sentenced to Life in 2022 Murder of Detroit-Area Jeweler

In court, Daniel Hutchinson’s loved ones remembered the jeweler as a giver, a role model, and a leader.

Billie Bangle
CollectionsJun 14, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Trau’s ‘Billie’ Bangle

Take a walk along this bangle’s diamond “cobblestone” made from round-, pear-, and marquise-cut diamonds.

Graphic with headshots for My Next Question 2024 Las Vegas webinar
Recorded WebinarsJun 14, 2024
Watch: What Happened in Vegas in 2024

The National Jeweler editors discuss the hot topics, best jewels, and current trends that stood out during Jewelry Market Week.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

Vera Wang Love True lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsJun 13, 2024
Signet Awaits Engagement Recovery as Q1 Sales Sink 9%

The company is expecting to see a 5 to 10 percent increase in engagements this year.

Weekly QuizJun 13, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
QVC HSN logo
MajorsJun 13, 2024
HSN, QVC Parent Company Faces Delisting

Qurate Retail is in the middle of a turnaround plan as it battles declining sales.

45.07-carat step cut fancy vivid yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 13, 2024
45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction

Signed jewels and period pieces stood out at the sale.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Marie Lichtenberg Scapular necklace
TrendsJun 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: For the Fathers

Showcase your dad’s personal style with a piece of fine jewelry for Father’s Day.

The Eden Rose Diamond
AuctionsJun 12, 2024
10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie’s

“The Eden Rose” is a fancy intense pink diamond that was appearing at auction for the first time.

Charles & Colvard moissanite ring
GradingJun 12, 2024
IGI to Grade Charles & Colvard Moissanite

The partnership follows the launch of the jewelry company’s B2B moissanite platform.

Bruce Cleaver
SourcingJun 12, 2024
Bruce Cleaver Is Gemfields’ New Chair

The former De Beers CEO will step into the role next month.

Rose cut arch cabochons Columbia Gem House
SourcingJun 12, 2024
State of Colored Stones: Why the Market Is More Colorful Than Ever

As prices of “The Big Three” skyrocket, supply dwindles, and focus on sustainability grows, an age of open-mindedness is dawning.

Edward Arthur Jewelers logo
IndependentsJun 11, 2024
Edward Arthur Jewelers to Close After 53 Years

Owner Randy Brooks, whose brother opened the Maryland jewelry store in 1971, is retiring.

Greenwich St jewelers pride raffle
IndependentsJun 11, 2024
Greenwich St. Jewelers Is Hosting a Pride Month Raffle

Tickets to win a ring are for sale until June 13, with proceeds going to a trans care nonprofit.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsJun 11, 2024
Vegas Musings: Equal Parts Noise and Inspiration

Fresh off Jewelry Market Week 2024, Peter Smith separates the positive—retail and product innovation—from the positively annoying.

Katherine Jetter CASE Award winning ring
Events & AwardsJun 11, 2024
The 2024 CASE Awards Are Open for Entries

Submissions will be accepted now through July 17.

Swarovski New York City flagship
IndependentsJun 10, 2024
State of Retail: 4 Retail Design Trends for 2024

From lighter color palettes to the integration of AR, experts offer inspiration for jewelers in need of an aesthetic refresh.

Van Cleef & Arpels 1929 tie necklace
AuctionsJun 10, 2024
Van Cleef & Arpels Necklace From 1929 Sells for $3.6M at Auction

The rare piece went home with a Sotheby’s executive.

Woman shopping
SurveysJun 10, 2024
Consumer Confidence Rises in May Despite Anxiety About the Future

Expectations of a recession rose for the second consecutive month.

Sotheby’s watch executives Sam Hines and Geoff Hess
WatchesJun 10, 2024
Sotheby’s Makes Changes at Top of Watch Division

Sam Hines returns to the auction house as chairman, watches, while Geoff Hess moves up to the role of global head of watches.

Elephants wading in the Okavango Delta in Botswana
SourcingJun 10, 2024
State of the Diamond Industry: Botswana Beyond Diamonds

From moringa to ecotourism in the Okavango Delta, the country and its leaders are exploring how Botswana can diversify its economy.

Seymour Holtzman
IndependentsJun 07, 2024
Seymour Holtzman of CD Peacock Dies at 88

He was remembered by loved ones as “an authentic, original American entrepreneur.”

45 carat yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 07, 2024
Phillips to Auction 45-Carat Yellow Diamond

The stone features rare step-cut faceting and is estimated to sell for up to $3.5 million.

Tabayer Oera ‘Unity’ Ring
CollectionsJun 07, 2024
Piece of the Week: Tabayer’s Oera ‘Unity’ Ring

Crafted in Fairmined gold with a rainbow of agate, the ring is a joyful symbol of inclusivity, diversity, and solidarity.

INS Show_NJ Supplier eBlast Banner.jpg
Supplier BulletinJun 06, 2024
Join INSTORE This August in Rosemont!

Grab Your Free Show Badge Today. Sponsored by INSTORE

Sarah Alden
IndependentsJun 06, 2024
GoFundMe Launched Following Jeweler’s Murder

Vintage jewelry seller Sarah Alden, 53, died after a brutal attack at the Venice Canals in Los Angeles.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy