Board of directors
Sylvia Escovar Gómez , Chair
Sylvia Escovar Gómez has been a member of our board of directors since June 2020 and was appointed as new Chair on June 8, 2021. She is one of the most respected and admired business leaders in Latin America. An economist by training, she received her undergraduate degree from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. She has had a long and prestigious career in both the public and private sectors, having worked for the World Bank, the Central Bank of Colombia and the Colombian National Department of Planning. Previously, she served as Deputy Secretary of Education and Deputy Secretary of Finance for Bogota’s government as well as Vice President of Finance of Fiduciaria Bancolombia.
Ms. Escovar was the CEO of Terpel S.A., a fuel distribution company that operates in Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic from 2012 until December 2020. In 2014, Ms. Escovar was named the top businessperson of the year by Portafolio, Colombia’s leading financial daily. In 2018, she received the National Order of Merit for spearheading private sector support for peacebuilding and reconciliation in Colombia. And in 2020, she was the only woman on the Corporate Reputation Business Monitor’s list of Colombian leaders with the best reputation to rank in the top 10. Ms. Escovar’s other Board memberships include Grupo Bancolombia, Empresas de Teléfonos de Bogotá, Organización Corona S.A. and Compañía de Medicina EPS Sanitas where she acts as Chairperson in the board with strategic and external relations functions.
ANDRÉS OCAMPO , CEO
Andrés Ocampo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Universidad Católica Argentina, has more than 17 years of experience in business and finance and has served as our Chief Financial Officer since November 2013. He joined GeoPark in 2010 and was the Director of Growth and Capital from January 2011 through October 2013. Andres has been instrumental in helping GeoPark reach some of its greatest milestones, including its entry into Colombia and Brazil, the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, the acquisition of Amerisur Resources and the recent significant acreage expansion in Colombia. On March 8, 2022 our board of directors appointed Mr. Ocampo to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective July 1, 2022, by virtue of his wide experience in business management and finance together with his character, vision, knowledge of the Company and his proven ability to lead successful teams. Before joining our company, Mr. Ocampo worked at Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and Citigroup, focusing on the oil and gas and commodities industries.
Mr. Bedingfield is a qualified SEC financial expert and has assumed the role of Chairman of GeoPark’s Audit Committee. Until his retirement in June 2013, Mr. Bedingfield was one of Ernst & Young’s most senior Global Lead Partners with more than 40 years of experience, including 32 years as a partner in Ernst & Young's accounting and auditing practices, as well as serving on Ernst & Young’s Senior Governing Board. He has extensive experience serving Fortune 500 companies; including acting as Lead Audit Partner or Senior Advisory Partner for Lockheed Martin, AES, Gannett, General Dynamics, Booz Allen Hamilton, Marriott and the US Postal Service. Since 2000, Mr. Bedingfield has been a Trustee, an Executive Committee Member, and the Audit Committee Chair of the University of Maryland at College Park Board of Trustees. Mr. Bedingfield served on the National Executive Board (1995 to 2003) and National Advisory Council (since 2003) of the Boy Scouts of America. He also served on the Board of Governors of the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. Since 2013, Mr. Bedingfield has also served as Board Member and Chairman of the Audit Committee of NYSE-listed Science Applications International Corp (SAIC).
Constantin Papadimitriou has been a member of our board of directors since May 2018. He is a respected and successful international investor and businessman, with more than 30 years of investment experience in global capital markets and in resource and industrial projects and was an early investor in GeoPark. Mr. Papadimitriou is currently the Head of General Oriental Investments S.A., the Investment Manager of the Cavenham Group of Funds. During his tenure at the Cavamont group, Mr. Papadimitriou was responsible for Treasury Management, the Private Equity Portfolio as well as representing the group on the Boards of associated companies including investments in the oil and gas, mining, real estate and gaming sectors (including Basic Petroleum, a Nasdaq-listed Guatemalan oil and gas company). He is also founding partner of Diorasis International, a company focusing on investments in Greece and the broader Balkans and he also chairs the Greek Language School of Geneva and Lausanne. Mr. Papadimitriou holds an Economics and Finance degree and a post-graduate Diploma in European Studies from Geneva University.
Somit Varma has been a member of our board of directors since August 2020. He has been a proven and respected investor in oil, gas, mining and infrastructure projects across the globe for more than three decades. During his time at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), he was the Global Head of Oil, Gas, Mining and Chemicals, Chairman of the IFC Oil, Gas, Mining and Chemicals Investment Committee and Chairman of the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership.
From 2011 until July 2020, Mr. Varma was a Managing Director of the Energy Group at Warburg Pincus LLC, one of the world’s premier private equity firms. Throughout his tenure at Warburg Pincus, Mr. Varma served on the boards of several international energy companies where he worked with management teams on a diverse set of issues including new acquisitions, strategic partnerships, capital allocation, risk management, succession planning, and growing and mentoring teams. Mr. Varma is Chairman of the Energy and Infrastructure Council of EMPEA, the global industry association for private capital in emerging markets. He currently is also an advisor to a global private equity firm and a family office. Mr. Varma earned his MBA at Boston University before attending the Executive Development Program at Harvard Business School.
Brian F. Maxted
Brian F. Maxted holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Sheffield, and a Master’s degree in Organic Geochemistry and Petrology from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Mr. Maxted is a proven oil and gas explorer, private equity entrepreneur and public company leader in the upstream E&P business, with a global track record of significant basin and play discoveries over 30 years. He spent the first part of his professional life from the late 1970s working for BP in locations including Europe, Africa, North America and South America, where he was involved in the discovery of Colombia’s giant Cusiana and Cupiagua oil fields in the early 1990s. During the second half of his career from the mid-1990s through the 2010s Mr. Maxted held various exploration leadership roles for US-based independents, including Triton Energy and Hess Corporation. In 2003, Mr. Maxted became a founding partner and later the CEO/CXO and board director of Kosmos Energy. Mr. Maxted retired from Kosmos in 2019 and established Limatus Energy Advisory Limited to provide strategic counsel to upstream E&P companies. In addition, he led the formation of Lapis Energy, focused on carbon solutions in the US Lower 48, the UK/EU and Asia-Pacific, where he currently serves as chairman of the board.
Carlos E. Macellari
Carlos E. Macellari holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina and a Master’ and a PhD in Geology from the Ohio State University. He has over 30 years of successful exploration, development and management experience in the oil and gas industry. Dr. Macellari has worked for Tecpetrol, Repsol YPF, Hocol., Benton Oil & Gas, Enron Oil & Gas International and Pecten International (Shell Oil). As Director of Exploration and Development for Tecpetrol, he led the subsurface team responsible for making Fortín de Piedra the largest gas producing block in Argentina, and the discovery and development of the Pendare Field in Colombia. As Worldwide Director of Geology also led the technical group behind Repsol’s exploration success in locations such as Libya, Algeria, Pre-Salt Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela and Peru. He has published over 40 technical papers and has been guest lecturer in numerous international forums. He is the founder of the Journal of South American Earth Sciences, has lectured several courses in the USA, Colombia, Spain and Argentina and is currently a professor for postgraduate students at Universidad Nacional de La Plata. At present he is an independent consultant on oil and gas exploration and production after founding and managing Andes Energy Consulting, and since 2020 he has been a board member at Inverban, Tecpetrol Investments, Tecpetrol Servicios and Suizum.
Marcela Vaca has more than 20 years of experience in planning, legal, environmental and social articulation and management of hydrocarbon exploration and production projects in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America. She joined GeoPark in 2012 and currently serves as General Director, responsible for overseeing all the Company's assets. Under her leadership, GeoPark has become one of the leading oil and gas companies in Colombia. She plays a crucial role in advancing GeoPark’s diversity, equality and inclusion efforts, and promotes female empowerment as a key to the economic development of Latin America. Prior to joining our Company, for nine years Ms. Vaca was the CEO of the Hupecol Group, where her achievements included leading the development of the Caracara field and the construction of the Jaguar–Santiago Pipeline. From November 2000 to June 2003 she worked as Legal, Administrative and External Affairs Manager at GHK Company Colombia. Bloomberg Linea includes Ms. Vaca in its 500 most influential people in Latin America, and in 2020, 2021 and 2022 Forbes named her as one of the 50 most powerful women in Colombia. Ms. Vaca was a member of the board of directors of the Colombian Oil Association (Asociación Colombiana de Petróleo) from 2010 to 2021 and served as Chair of the board until March 2022. She graduated in Law with a specialization in Commercial Law from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia and is a Fulbright Scholar with a Summa Cum Laude Master (LLM) from Georgetown University in the USA.
James F. Park
Since co-founding GeoPark in 2002, James F. Park served for 20 years as our Chief Executive Officer until his retirement effective June 30, 2022. Mr. Park initially funded, built the team, and led the strategy and growth of GeoPark from its small footprint at the southern tip of South America into becoming one of the leading oil and gas companies operating across Latin America today. He continues to serve as Vice Chair of our board of directors and advisor to the team. Beginning as a drilling rig roughneck in his teenage years, Mr. Park has 50 years of experience in all phases of the upstream oil and gas business, with a record of achievement in the acquisition, technical operation, and management of international projects and teams across the globe, including projects in North America, Central America, South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East — and with a successful emphasis on people, communities, and the environment. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics from the University of California at Berkeley and previously worked as a research scientist focused on earthquakes and tectonics at the University of Texas. Mr. Park is a member of the board of directors of GoodRock LLC and is a former board member of the boards of directors of the humanitarian non-profit, SEE (Surgical Eye Expeditions) International, and the service and advocacy non-profit, Girls, Inc. He is a member of the AAPG and SPE, has a degree in environmental management, and has lived in Latin America since 2002.