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The Undiplomatic Truth: Mining Missing the Mark on Securing Popular Support

April 16, 2022

Social License: Mining for the Future | MINEXCHANGE 2022 SME Annual Conference & Expo Keynote Session

Speaker: Todd Chapman, international business consultant, former Ambassador to Brazil and Ecuador

Former Ambassador Todd Chapman reviews how international governments and local communities are demanding more of mine operators and the increasing complexities associated with securing the social license necessary to ensure uninterrupted operations of mining sites. Drawing on 30 years of diplomatic experience, most recently as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil and Ecuador, he will share his experiences working with governments, indigenous communities, environmental activists, and mining companies to seek profitable outcomes for all. He will relate how mining operators in Brazil, Ecuador, and Mozambique worked at all levels of government and society to obtain support. As international mining operations face rising demands to demonstrate more direct benefits for local communities and greater transparency in protecting the environment, more emphasis on cultivating the conditions for local buy-in will require novel methods and increased emphasis.


About Todd Chapman

Ambassador Todd Chapman (ret.) is an international business consultant focused on the financial, technology, and environmental sectors. He serves on the Advisory Boards of several companies, including Skycatch, a San Francisco-based data and image analytics company active within the mining sector.   

 Todd served as a career diplomat for over 30 years. During the Trump and Biden Administrations, he was U.S. Ambassador to Brazil where he advanced a broad economic, security, and environmental agenda at the sixth-largest U.S. Embassy in the world.  He was the first U.S. Ambassador to be decorated with the Order of the Southern Cross, Brazil’s highest civilian honor given to foreigners.  Previously, Todd served as U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador and Charge d’Affaires in Maputo, Mozambique.   

Todd is the recipient of several State Department Meritorious and Superior Honor awards and is one of only two U.S. Ambassadors ever to receive the Mission Integration Award from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  He was selected for the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 2021 and was recently admitted into the American Academy of Diplomacy in Washington D.C.

Before joining the Foreign Service, Todd worked as a commercial banker in New York and Saudi Arabia, and as a business consultant in Brazil in his hometown of Houston, Texas. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Duke University and a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University. He and his wife Janetta have two sons and they all reside in Denver, Colorado