Core Staff

J Chris Anderson - Strategic Partner

Dr. Chris Anderson has worked as a communities & social performance practitioner and senior executive in the mining industry for 17 years, with Rio Tinto, Newmont Mining, and Normandy Mining. He is an anthropologist and has worked with and for Indigenous and other communities on a variety of issues including land claims, Royal Commissions, customary law and on other similar issues around the world. His specializations include stakeholder engagement, social performance assurance, Free, Prior & Informed Consent (FPIC) as well as agreement-making and resettlement.  He is a board member of the World Bank Institute’s Open Contracting Partnership, past chair of the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples Working Group, was Alumnus of the Year in 2013 at the University of Queensland and is a Research Associate at the Colorado School of Mines. Dr Anderson is the Principal at Yirri Global, LLC.

Dr. Anderson’s work has been in a diverse range of geographies:

  • Ghana (residing there for six years)
  • Australia (30 years)
  • Turkey (2 years)
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • United States
  • Uzbekistan
  • Indonesia
  • Mongolia
  • Guinea
  • Liberia
  • Peru

Prior Professional Experience

Rio Tinto PLC – Americas Director, Communities & Social Performance, Denver/London, 2011 - 2015

  • Rio Tinto's strategy leader and corporate functional lead for Communities in the Americas, with a particular focus on Indigenous communities. He also contributed to Indigenous communities work worldwide and provided advice and support to operations on Rio Tinto standards on Communities practice, in particular contributing to the Group’s Community agreement-making innovation and implementation.
  • Development as board member and delivering content for Rio Tinto’s Stakeholder 
    Engagement Academy
  • Policy on Free, Prior & Informed Consent (FPIC) for International Council on Mining & 
    Metals (UK) and for Rio Tinto
  • White Paper and Executive Forum, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 
    Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Best and Worst Practices in 
    Tribal-Corporate Relations in the Land, Minerals and Natural Resource Sector
  • Policy & Strategy for Rio Tinto’s engagement and relationship building with First Nations, 
    Canada and American Indians
  • Assurance assessment on Communities issues in Mongolia, Guinea, Peru, Canada and the 
    United States

Newmont Mining Corporation – Director Corporate & External Affairs Africa, Accra, Ghana, 2005 - 2011

  • Oversight of all community relations and external affairs functions for Newmont in Africa
  • Setting up of Community Relations teams for Newmont's Ghana investments
  • Permitting, community relations & development, media and communications for startup of Newmont’s Ahafo Gold Mine in Ghana (US$900m project)
  • Lead in development of community agreements and social foundation for Ahafo Mine
  • Major partnerships with government (e.g., USAID) and NGOs on biodiversity, agriculture, business linkages, health and education
  • Government and community approvals for Newmont’s Akyem gold project, Ghana, West
  • Africa ($1b project)

Newmont Mining Corporation – Group Executive Social Responsibility, Denver, CO, 2002 - 2005

  • Review and development of global policy on social responsibility
  • Corporate communications on environmental and social responsibility
  • Development and implementation of good practice CSR programs globally
  • Support for operational social responsibility & communities issues
  • Post-merger of Franco-Nevada and Normandy with Newmont, global redevelopment of corporate social responsibility policies, standards and practices. Roll out at 14 sites around the world
  • Implementation of crisis communications program
  • Public sustainability reporting
  • Company representative for Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
  • Site mentoring and internal consulting on communities’ issues, mitigation and prevention (Indonesia, Peru, Ghana, Australia, US, Uzbekistan, Greece, Turkey)

Normandy Mining Limited – Executive General Manager, Public Affairs, 2000 - 2002; General Manager, Community Relations (1998 - 2000)

  • Sustainability policy, practice and communications
  • Site and project advice and assistance with crises
  • Executive cross cultural awareness training
  • Ovacik Gold Mine in Turkey – Eurogold/Normandy (Owner’s representative and personal responsibility for driving stalled mine to successful startup)
  • Policy & implementation of programs for global community relations at all mining sites and projects (Australia, Indonesia, USA, Turkey, Greece, Ghana)
  • Public reporting on sustainability
  • Community crisis management system
  • Development of Five Star assessment/audit system for social responsibility, environmental and health & safety
  • Development of ‘Now & Beyond’ public reporting for company’s global sustainability performance
  • Australian Aboriginal cultural training for general managers and executives

South Australian Museum – Director, Adelaide, Australia, 1992 - 1998

  • Based in Adelaide, SAM is Australia’s second largest and oldest natural and cultural history museum with major research, education and cultural facilities)
  • Overall management of museum and all its functions; 130 employees, $14m AUD annual budget; 500,000 visitors per year. Major research and exhibition programs
  • Raising funds and development of new Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery, Australia’s premier cultural presentation of Indigenous culture and history. (
  • Increase in visitor numbers
  • Development of Foundation and Aboriginal Advisory Council
  • Major research projects on three continents

South Australian Museum – Head, Division of Anthropology, Senior Curator of Social Anthropology, 1985 - 1992

University of Queensland – Tutor, Department of Anthropology, Australia, 1978 - 1985

James Cook University – Research Officer, Cape York Ecology Project, Townsville, Australia, 1977


University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia – PhD, Anthropology, 1985
University of Queensland – Diploma of Psychology, 1975
University of Queensland – B.A. (First Class Honors), 1975

Other Appointments, Memberships & Honors

  • Research Associate, Colorado School of Mines, Denver, CO 2015 - present
  • Adjunct Professor, Anthropology, School of Social Science, University of Queensland, 2014 - present
  • Industry Fellow, Montclair State University, New Jersey. 2012 - present
  • Alumnus of the Year, 2013, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Board member, Open Contracting Partnership, 2014 - present
  • United Nations Expert Group on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Business Reference Group, 2013
  • Chair, Indigenous Peoples & Human Rights Working Group, International Council on Mining & Metals
  • Member:
    • American Anthropological Association
    • Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies
    • International Association for Impact Assessment
  • Pacific Rim Foreign Scholar Exchange Award, University of California at Los Angeles, International Studies/Department of Anthropology 1989 - 1990
  • Australian Human Rights Award for Media (Print – Metropolitan), Highly Commended 1990
  • Co-recipient, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Race Relations (US), 1988
  • Commonwealth Post-graduate Research Award 1976, 1977, 1979
  • Australian Psychological Society Prize winner for 1975
  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Research Grants, 1978 - 1980, 1982
  • Member (past) of World Economic Forum's Water Initiative (2005)
  • Member (past), Steering Group, International Alert's 2004 project 'Conflict-Sensitive Business Practice: Guidance for Extractive Industries'.
  • Board member (Past) American Chamber of Commerce Ghana
  • Chairman (past), Visions of Australia Committee (Commonwealth of Australia)
  • Member (past), Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme Committee (Australia)
  • Member, Australia’s Cultural Network Reference Group (Australia)
  • Vice President, Museums Australia (1997 - 1998)
  • Vice President & Chairman, Pacific Arts Association (1994 - 1998)

Our Team

Contact us

Phone: 832-900-3997