Core Staff

Atma S. Khalsa - Consultant

Mr. Khalsa is an environmental and social risk management consultant with international experience working on extractive industry projects in over 25 developing countries. His key focus areas include:
  • Impact assessment (EIA and SIA)
  • Environmental management systems
  • Strategic community investment
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Environmental policy and regulations
  • Human rights
  • IFC Environmental and Social Performance Standards

Atma holds a Master's Degree in International Environmental Assessment from a program jointly managed by McGill University and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).

Professional Experience

Environmental and Social Risk Management Strategy and Organizational Change

  • Developed corporate guidelines and tools for managing social performance for a large independent oil and gas company
  • Conducted capacity assessment and developed training program for E&P staff for national oil company in Mexico
  • Participated in the development of a communities management system for an international oil and gas company, including development of procedures, tools and templates for managing human rights (including grievance mechanisms), community development, and stakeholder engagement
  • Co-author of a community investment strategy and community investment procedure for an onshore oil and gas development near indigenous communities in the Amazon basin
  • Participated in the development of a community relations plan and grievance mechanism implementation for an onshore oil and gas development near indigenous communities in the Amazon basin
  • Development of an ISO 14001 conformant Environmental Management System for National Oil Company, Saudi Arabia
  • Led ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Gap Assessment for the largest offshore oil and gas field in the world, offshore Saudi Arabia
  • Participated in benchmarking of best practice environmental regulations for the oil and gas industry, capacity needs assessment, and training for the Government of Ghana
  • Participated in a benchmarking of oil and gas industry environmental management systems to support the organizational restructuring of a major national energy company’s corporate Environmental, Health, and Safety program
  • Participated in training to Liberia Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on environmental and social impacts of the oil and gas industry
  • Assisted Chevron in consolidating, processing and analyzing the outputs of risk assessments under their Operational Excellence Risk Management Process
  • Participated in the review of environmental and social management covenants of project finance lenders for a major capital project in the Caspian Sea
  • Supported a United States Department of Justice case involving environmental management system best practices

Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessments

  • Project Manager for environmental and social assessment of mining supply chain for Inter-American Development Bank loan application, Suriname
  • Project Manager for environmental and social impact assessment, social baseline study and stakeholder engagement programs for seismic survey, offshore Kenya
  • Project Manager for environmental and social impact assessment, stakeholder engagement and resettlement action plan for power plant development, Liberia
  • Project Manager for three environmental and social impact assessments and stakeholder engagement programs for exploration drilling programs, offshore Liberia
  • Project Manager for seven environmental impact assessment and stakeholder engagement programs for exploration and appraisal drilling programs, offshore Cote d'Ivoire
  • Project Manager for three environmental and social impact assessments and stakeholder engagement programs for exploration drilling, offshore Kenya
  • Project Manager for two environmental and social impact assessments and stakeholder engagement programs for seismic surveys, offshore Kenya
  • Project Manager for an environmental and social impact assessment of an offshore exploration drilling program in Israel
  • Project Manager for an environmental and social impact assessment and stakeholder engagement for an exploration drilling program, offshore The Bahamas
  • Project Manager for environmental and social impact assessment, stakeholder engagement, and environmental and social baseline development for shorebase development, Liberia
  • Contributing author for environmental and social impact assessments for the following projects:
    • Exploration and appraisal drilling program, offshore Angola
    • Three oil and gas production fields, offshore Angola and Republic of Congo
    • Exploration drilling, onshore Uganda
    • Water infrastructure development, Liberia
    • Exploratory drilling, offshore Nicaragua
    • Seismic survey, offshore Kenya
    • Oil and gas production, offshore Cote d'Ivoire
    • Exploration drilling, offshore Cote d'Ivoire
    • Seismic survey, onshore Colombia
    • Two exploratory drilling programs, offshore Colombia
    • Seismic survey, offshore Colombia
    • Oil and gas development, onshore Kazakhstan
  • Established a baseline for the independent environmental and sociocultural review of an EIA being performed for the expansion of the Panama Canal

Environmental and Social Due Diligence

  • Project Manager for Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment and remediation for Power Plant Development in Monrovia, Liberia
  • Participated in the environmental and social due diligence of a chlor-alkali plant development in Trinidad and Tobago for an Equator Principle signatory bank, Inter-American Development Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
  • Developed environmental, social, health and safety project document to meet Inter-American Development Bank lending requirements for a large resort development, Barbados
  • Led health, safety, environment and community impact assessment screenings for exploration and production activities in sensitive marine environments offshore Angola, Australia, Brazil, China, Caribbean region, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Vietnam
  • Led health, safety, environment and community impact assessment screenings for onshore exploration and production activities in Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Iraq and Peru
  • Collaborated on the development of a risk identification tool to help identify and characterize environmental, health, safety and social risks early in the project lifecycle
  • Participated in the environmental and social due diligence of a proposed oil production program near indigenous communities living in voluntary isolation in the Peruvian Amazon

Prior Professional Experience

Acorn International – Consultant, Environmental and Social Risk Management, Boston, MA 2007-Present

The Rainforest Preserve – Lead Researcher, Dominical, Costa Rica, 2003-2006
Independently researched, designed, and implemented a baseline wildlife study of a 200 acre nature reserve in Costa Rica. Led a small team of local experts to document mammals using pressure activated cameras and line transects. All fieldwork was performed in Spanish.

Education

McGill University – Master of Science: Environmental Assessment, 2007, (3.96/4.0 GPA)
Course work included impact assessment methodologies, theory, and process. The program also focused on the integration of impact assessment into international development and strategic planning. Program managed jointly by UNEP and McGill.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst – Bachelor of Science: Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation, 2004 (Cum Laude, Louis Stokes Award, Outstanding Senior in Wildlife Conservation Award)
Course work included sciences, policy, field techniques and resource management.

Conference Presentations / Publications

Khalsa, A. 2013. Creating an Enabling Environment: Leveraging Natural Resource Development for Sustainable Growth. Liberia Mining, Energy and Petroleum Conference. Monrovia, Liberia, April 9-11, 2013

Strong, J., and A. Khalsa. 2012.New Country Entry: Effective Engagement of HES and Medical Professionals. Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), International Health, Safety and Environment Conference. Perth, Australia, September 11-13, 2012.

Khalsa, A. 2010. Beyond the Social License to Operate: Value Creation through Public-Private Partnerships. Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), International Health, Safety and Environment Conference. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 10-13, 2010.

Khalsa, A., Boyd, H. and D. Slocum. 2009. Process Check: What Is Driving Alternatives Analysis in Environmental Impact Assessment for Major Capital Projects? Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Americas E&P Environmental and Safety Conference. San Antonio, TX, March 23-25, 2009.

Khalsa, A. 2008. Management of Cumulative Impacts and Associated Business Risks: An Example from the Oil and Gas Industry. International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA), Assessing and Managing Cumulative Environmental Effects. Calgary, AB, Canada. November 6-9, 2008. 

Khalsa, A. and D. Slocum. 2008. Next Generation Stakeholder Engagement: Balancing International Best Practices and Local Leadership. Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), International Health, Safety and Environment Conference. Nice, France, April 27-29, 2008.

Languages

Intermediate Spanish

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Phone: 832-900-3997
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