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.

Since 2014, Johnny has been awarded a Shuttleworth Fellowship, in order to advance his efforts to bring an open data approach to natural resources.

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.

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]

Anton Rühling, Programme Manager

Anton Rühling is the programme manager at OpenOil, overseeing the development of all open data applications, including the contract and concession repository, the Aleph search engine to data mine corporate disclosures, and the mapping of corporate networks.

Before OpenOil, he has gained substantial experience in the development sector and has worked in Egypt, the Palestinian Territories / Israel and Tanzania. His research interests include the extractive industries of MENA countries and in East Africa. He has designed and coordinated workshops on open data, governance, and natural resources with members of civil society and government in Cairo, Tunis and Dar es Salam.

Anton studied Contemporary History and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Freiburg, Freie Universität Berlin and at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. He gets by in Arabic and tries his best with Swahili.

Contact: anton.ruehling[at]

Dan O’Huiginn, Lead Developer

Dan O’Huiginn joined OpenOil in early 2015 and has since been leading the creation of the OpenOil API on oil rights, the Aleph search engine to data mine corporate disclosures, and the research on how to put all of OpenOil’s data applications altogether.

Prior to OpenOil, he has been actively involved in numerous investigative and data journalism projects, including Double Offshore, the Investigative Dashboard, and most notably the Panama corporate database, which has been used by financial regulators to recover several millions in taxes.

Dan studied Sanskrit and South Asian Studies at Cambridge University. He has worked in German and reads French and Russian.

Contact: daniel.ohuiginn[at]

Paul Dziedzic, Open Data Training and Services

Paul Dziedzic is the Open Data Training and Services programme manager. He is involved in the Data Extractors programme set up by Publish What You Pay and does research as well as communications on how to use Open Data in the Extractive industries.

Before joining OpenOil, Paul Dziedzic gained experience in development research, including livelihood studies and has worked on a strategy paper for the Rwandan embassy in The Hague, Netherlands. He has been involved with INGOs and is engaged as a trainer for volunteers in international development programmes.

Paul has studied International Relations and International Organisation at the University of Groningen, with a special focus on non-Western politics and global studies and is currently finishing his Master in Development Studies in Berlin.

He is native in German, fluent in French and Dutch and gets by in Swahili.

Contact: Paul.Dziedzic[at]

Iliusi Vega, Programme Manager

Iliusi Vega joined OpenOil in June 2016 to manage our free mentoring program for the collaborative financial modeling of projects in the extractive industries. She is also involved in the design of forecasting tools to be incorporated to these models and is currently working on promoting this program in Latin America.

Iliusi studied physics at UNAM, Mexico and holds a PhD in applied mathematics by the Freie Universität Berlin. She has worked in the communication of science to children in Mexico and has been involved in NGOs investigating the political and economic relations between Mexico and Germany.

Contact: iliusi.vega[at]

Dr. Olumide Abimbola, Head of R&D

Olumide Abimbola is responsible for maintaining relationships with current OpenOil partners and developing new partnerships.

Prior to joining OpenOil, he worked as trade and regional integration expert at the African Development Bank. He is also a Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale, Germany. He wrote his PhD dissertation on informal trade. He also has a master’s degree in Development Studies and a bachelor’s in Communication Studies.

Contact: olumide.abimbola[at]

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