Professor Daniel Franks is the Program Leader of ‘Governance and Leadership in Mining’ at the Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland. He is known internationally for his work on the interconnections between minerals, materials and sustainable development, with a particular focus on the role of minerals in poverty reduction and the social and environmental change associated with mining and energy extraction. Professor Franks was originally trained as a geologist in Brazil and Australia. He then worked as a Senior Social Scientist at the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water. Between 2015 and 2018 he was Chief Technical Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme and Programme Manager of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme, where he remains an advisor.
Prior to his work at the United Nations, Professor Franks held research and teaching positions at Griffith University and The University of Queensland, where he was previously the Deputy Director of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining. Daniel’s work is interdisciplinary and highly engaged. He has field experience at more than 75 mining and energy sites internationally and 37 countries. He played an important role in The Australian Government’s flagship $31m International Mining for Development Centre hosted by UQ and The University of Western Australia, as well as The Queensland Government’s ‘Sustainable Resource Communities Policy.’ Professor Franks is the author of more than 100 publications in 8 languages. Daniel’s research has attracted global media attention by more than forty outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Associated Press, Vox Africa and Reuters.