The Team

Johnny West, Founder of OpenOil

Johnny West is a social entrepreneur and writer with 20 years professional experience in and around the oil industry. He began covering energy markets as a Reuters correspondent in the Middle East in the early 1990s.

He has consulted to the United Nations, Revenue Watch Institute, Internews and others on oil and the public policy aspects of the industry and published in the Petroleum Economist, Iraq Oil Report, and Critical Resources as well as more general media like the Guardian and Huffington Post. He is a frequent guest commentator on broadcast outlets such as BBC Radio and TV, NPR, Sky News and Al Jazeera.

His book Karama! Travels Through the Arab Spring, is the first book-length account to be published of the events now rocking the Middle East. His book on the concept of direct citizen dividends in oil-producing countries, Give It Back! is due to be published in 2013.

Johnny was a Classical scholar to Balliol College, Oxford and attended Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. He speaks French and Arabic fluently, has worked in Persian and Spanish and gets by in Hebrew and German.
Contact: johnny.west[at]

Stefanie Heerwig, Research Consultant

Stefanie has been research consultant for OpenOil since September 2012. She is currently researching and modelling oil-to-cash dividends in South Sudan and Libya as well as a global dividend-subsidy swap. The papers will be part of a series published by the Center for Global Development, a leading think-tank based in Washington for development policy. She has also contributed blogs on the dividend concept.

She holds a BA (Hons) degree in Economics and Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, part of the University of London.
Contact: stefanie.heerwig[at]

Amrit Naresh, Research Consultant

Amrit Naresh has been a research consultant for OpenOil since October 2011. He has been involved in the OpenOil wiki projects with a special emphasis on East Africa and Iraq, and has contributed advocacy work on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the United States. He also blogs on each of these topics. He has led MediaWiki trainings in Baghdad and Kampala, as a consultant with Uganda Radio Network (URN). A similar project in South Sudan will commence in early 2013.

Amrit graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BA (Hons) in Comparative Literature and German Intellectual History.

Contact: amrit.naresh[at]

Zara Rahman, Research Associate

Zara has worked for OpenOil since 2010, when she contributed a section on “International Oil Companies” in the Iraqi Oil Reporting guide which was subsequently published and distributed throughout the Middle East as part of Iraq’s EITI candidacy. Professional research interests include freedom of information and information accessibility, as she previously worked for a transparency organisation in Madrid, Spain. Research while at OpenOil has focused on the Middle East, and has included trips to Libya, Lebanon and Qatar, amongst others. Zara has also managed OpenOil’s communication and web presence, and can often be found tweeting from @Open_Oil.

Zara holds a BA (Hons) degree in Modern Languages and Cultures (French, Spanish and Arabic) from Durham University in the UK, and is currently learning German.  She has contributed to OpenDemocracy, Think Africa Press, and is currently coordinating outreach following our Oil Contracts booksprint.

Contact: zara.rahman[at]

Lucy Wallwork, Research Consultant

A native of Manchester in the UK, Lucy has co-ordinated OpenOil’s global portfolio of Oil Wiki guides. Lucy worked at domestic NGOs in both Azerbaijan and Colombia, and in the diplomatic sphere in London. Lucy’s research interests include the energy industries of South America and the South Caucasus. She has designed and coordinated workshops in Bogota on the Colombian extractive industries with members of civil society.

Lucy graduated from the University of Durham (UK) with a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages and Cultures. She is fluent in Spanish and Russian, can get by in French and German and tries her best with a smattering of Turkish and Azerbaijani.
Contact: lucy.wallwork[at]


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