Board of directors
Sylvia Escovar Gómez , Chair
Sylvia Escovar Gómez 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 and a Master’s in advanced econometrics from La Sorbonne University in France. 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 January 2021. 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, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá, Compañía de Medicina Prepagada Colsanitas S.A. and Organizacion Corona S.A.
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).
Mr. Papadimitriou has been a member of our board of directors since May 2018. Mr. Papadimitriou holds an Economics and Finance degree from Geneva University and post graduate Diploma in European Studies also from Geneva University. Mr. Papadimitriou 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. Mr. Papadimitriou was one of the original “friends and family” investors in GeoPark in its early days in 2004. Mr. Papadimitriou is currently CEO of General Oriental Investments S.A., the Investment Manager of the Cavenham Group of Funds. Previously he was CEO of Cavamont Geneva. 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). Mr. Papadimitriou 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.
Somit Varma 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. Currently, he is Chairman of the Energy and Infrastructure Council of EMPEA, the global industry association for private capital in emerging markets. Mr. Varma earned his MBA at Boston University before attending the Executive Development Program at Harvard Business School.
Carlos A. Gulisano
Dr. Gulisano is a respected leader in the fields of petroleum geology and geophysics in Latin America and has over 30 years of successful exploration, development and management experience in the oil and gas industry. Dr. Gulisano has worked with YPF, Petrolera Argentina San Jorge, Chevron and GeoPark and has been a leader on teams credited with significant oil and gas discoveries (including the giant Trapial Field in Argentina). He has worked in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, and USA. Dr. Gulisano holds a B.Sc in Geology, a postgraduate degree in Petroleum Engineering and a PhD in Geology from the University of Buenos Aires and has authored and co-authored over 40 technical papers. He is a former adjunct professor at the Universidad del Sur, a former thesis director at the University of La Plata, and a former scholarship director at CONICET (the national technology research council) in Argentina. Dr. Gulisano has been a key element of GeoPark’s growth as an adviser since 2002 and as the Managing Director from February 2008 until June 2010. In 2020, Carlos Gulisano was awarded the Pellegrino Strobel Prize, Argentina’s foremost geology and geophysics prize, by the School of Exact and Natural Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).
PEDRO E. AYLWIN , Director of Legal and Governance
Pedro Aylwin has served as a member of our board of directors since July 2013 and as our Director of Legal and Governance since April 2011. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Aylwin worked for us as an advisor on governance and legal matters. He holds a degree in law from the Universidad de Chile and an LLM from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Aylwin has extensive experience in the natural resources sector. He is also a partner at the law firm Aylwin, Mendoza, Luksic, Valencia Abogados in Santiago, Chile, where he represented mining, chemical and oil and gas companies in numerous transactions. From 2006 until 2011, he served as Lead Manager and General Counsel at BHP Billiton, Base Metals, where he was in charge of legal and corporate governance matters on BHP Billiton’s projects, operations and natural resource assets in South America, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia.
James F. Park , CEO
James Park has served as our Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our Board of Directors since co-founding the Company in 2002. Mr. Park has over 40 years of experience in all phases of the upstream oil and gas business, with a strong background in the acquisition, implementation and management of international projects and teams in North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geophysics from the University of California at Berkeley and previously worked as a research scientist in earthquake and tectonic studies at the University of Texas. In 1978, Mr. Park helped pioneer the development of commercial oil and gas production in Central America with Basic Resources, an oil and gas exploration company in Guatemala. He remained a member of the Board of Directors until the company was successfully sold in 1997. Mr. Park is also a member of the Board of Directors of GoodRock, LLC and is a member of the AAPG and SPE. Mr. Park has lived in Latin America since 2002.