Acting CEO

Founder of Position Ltd, Ron has enacted IP business designs from his early years in the South Pacific as chief economist of an island country. Ron's work in 40 developing countries has included many designs for business positioning to increase income of the lowest income producers. Ron designed the business strategy for the Ethiopian Fine Coffee Initiative. Previously, CEO of an IP business company and co-founder of the African IP Trust.


Thomas Smith

Acting Chief Financial Officer

With over 15 years corporate finance experience, Thomas has worked for global consulting firms including Deloitte, KMPG and LEK. With thorough M&A experience in a range of industries, his other roles have included; Finance Director of an agriculture company, Business Advisor for Virgin Startup, Strategy Manager in a FTSE 100 company and the Finance Director of the Airline Group.


Isaac Ole Tialolo

Chairman, Maasai IP Initiative

Respected Maasai elder and businessman, with years of experience working with Maasai communities and managing their public affairs in Kenya. Since 2009 Isaac has worked as chairman of MIPI to increase understanding of Maasai IP by his people.


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Stephen Scharf

Business Advisor

Formerly a Partner at O'Melveny & Myers LLP, Stephen remains 'Of Counsel' to the distinguished international law firm. In the Position team Stephen advises the Board and CEO, bringing extensive business expertise built from his career developing complex transactions involving the finance, production and and distribution of motion pictures, and the formation, capitalization, purchase, and sale of entertainment companies. 




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IP Investment Advisor

                                  Founding Partner of Beringea, responsible for the growth, development & management of the private equity business in UK and US for 20 years. Malcolm holds a number of board positions including ProVen VCT plc, sits on investment committees of Beringea’s 4 venture capital funds, he is non-executive director on several portfolio company boards.



Business Model Execution Advisor

Founder of social business Divine Chocolate, with extensive experience in successfully scaled ethical trade, cooperative and business management. Pauline is a Fulbright Scholar and MacArthur Foundation NGO fellowship awardee for her work in African trade. 


Getachew Mengistie

IP lawyer and consultant

                                   Getachew was the first Director General of the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO). Getachew led the collaboration with Ron Layton for the Ethiopian Fine Coffee Initiative. Currently working with the World Intellectual Property Office across Africa.

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Michael Frankel

IP lawyer and consultant

                                     Partner and founder of Frankel Lawyers, practising law for over 36 years. Michael was awarded an Order of Australia for his groundbreaking work on behalf of the Australian Aboriginal peoples, achieving protocols to protect their IP. Michael has been instrumental in the founding work of the African IP Trust and continues to advise PBL on the Maasai.

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Former Director of Global Marketing at Ford Motor Company and CEO of Volvo, NA. Anne is a world-class expert in brand strategy development as applied to the WONS product range. She has trained stakeholders in Ethiopia, Uganda and Zanzibar for Light Years IP. 

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Associate General Counsel at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, former Microsoft IP General Counsel, as well as a former Director of the Global Intellectual Property Issues Division of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Dick has served on the board of Light Years IP, bringing both legal and field expertise to the enactment of Intellectual Property solutions.  

Lord Boateng and Diane Watson

Lord Boateng and Diane Watson


The group is co-chaired by Lord Paul Boateng, a member of the House of Lords, and Congresswoman Diane Watson. Advisory members include Mark Florman, former CEO of the British Venture Capital Association. A growing network of support from government and business leaders enables the African IP Trust to take on the challenges posed when IP income is taken away from those in less powerful positions.


Chief Marketing Officer of Samsung Electronics America, has been at the forefront of marketing innovation and experimentation his entire career. Mark has played a significant role in the development of brand materials for the Maasai brand so licensing proposals could be presented by Position Business Ltd for new licenses by major corporations.

Photography by Annie Sprat