Board of Advisors


Ambassador Paul Durand has had extensive international experience in both the private and public sectors. From 1992 to 1995, Ambassador Durand was Canada’s Ambassador to Costa Rica, with concurrent accreditation to Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. From 1995 to August 2000, he was Director General responsible for Canada’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In August 2000, he was appointed Canada’s Ambassador to Chile. In August 2001, he was appointed Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington and Canada’s National Coordinator for the Summits of the Americas process, positions that he held until 2006. From 2007 until 2009 he was the resident representative of the OAS in the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Durand has participated in numerous electoral observer missions in Central and South America, and was appointed to lead the OAS observer mission to the 2006 elections in Costa Rica, as well as the OAS Mission to observe the referendum on free trade in Costa Rica in 2007. In Canada’s diplomatic service, Mr. Durand specialized in Latin America, but also served in East Africa and South Asia (India and Nepal). He worked for the Canadian International Development Agency and also as a foreign policy advisor in the office of the Canadian Prime Minister (Privy Council Office), before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Ambassador Durand was a director and officer of Brazil Minerals between 2012 and  2017, and is a director and officer of Jupiter Gold Corporation.

He was educated in Canada, obtaining a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of Toronto; he also pursued further studies in International Relations and Economics at Northwestern University in Chicago and Carleton University in Ottawa. He joined the Canadian government after working in international banking in Latin America (Colombia, El Salvador), the Caribbean (Bahamas) and the U.S.


General Antônio Florêncio da Silva was most recently a 2-star General in the Brazilian Army. General Florêncio held many posts as commander in various units throughout his career, culminating with being the Commander-in-Chief of the Second Military Zone in Brazil, headquartered in Campo Grande, state of Mato Grosso. He graduated as an Army officer from the Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras em Resende, state of Rio de Janeiro, in 1972. He pursued advanced Army Officer specialization in the branch of Communications in the School of Advancement of the Brazilian Army in Rio de Janeiro, graduating in 1981. He further pursued advanced studies in Command and Joint Chiefs at the Army School of Command. Already as a general, he studied politics and strategy at the doctorate level at the Superior War College in Rio de Janeiro, the highest-level military and geopolitical training in Brazil. He was Chief of Staff of the Army in Brasilia, Distrito Federal. General Florêncio was also the Director of Munitions and Supplies for the Brazilian Army and in that capacity was in charge of all acquisitions including munitions, combat vehicles, military gear and battlefield equipment. He was a military observer as part of the United Nations mission to El Salvador and later a Chief of Operations and Vice Commander in the Region of San Vicente, El Salvador for the United Nations contingent.

After his retirement from the Army, General Florêncio has been a consultant for SAAB Bofors Dynamics in their missile program and for Brazilian construction companies. He received numerous medals of valor in Brazil including: Ordem do Mérito Militar – grau Comendador; Ordem do Mérito Aeronáutico – grau Comendador; Medalha Militar de Ouro; Medalha do Pacificador; Medalha Marechal Hermes Aplicação em Estudos – prata uma coroa; Medalha da Vitória; Medalha Marechal Mascarenhas de Moraes; Medalha Tenente Max Wolf Filho; Medalha Marechal Zenóbio da Costa; and Medalha Insígnia do Mérito Policial Militar do Estado do Mato Grosso do Sul. His international medals include the United Nations Medal – ONUSAL, and the Order of Merit of Guiana.


Mrs. Vogler has 15 years of experience as a Brazilian attorney specializing in corporate contracts and tax laws, and with further experience in labor law. She is licensed with Brazil’s Bar (OAB-RS) and also approved by the State Bar of California to practice Brazilian law in the U.S. Her clients include companies and individuals with businesses in Brazil. Mrs. Vogler was chief legal counsel to a well-known and respected Brazilian congressman, deputado federal Nelson Marchezan Júnior. She has argued cases at appelate Courts, including the Brazilian Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal).

Mrs. Vogler has a Master’s degree in Law Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Brazil. Her undergraduate degree in Law is also from PUCRS. In addition, she pursued further specialization in business and tax law.

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