Page Content


9:00 – 9:05 AM

Welcoming Remarks by the Chair & Moderator

Chiara Bronchi, Practice Manager, Fiscal Policy and Sustainable Growth Unit, Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice, The World Bank


9:05 – 9:55 AM

First Session – Setting the Stage

Presentation by the authors of the toolkit highlighting important points from the toolkit and why this format was chosen

  • Jacques Sasseville, UN
  • Nestor Venegas, OECD

Panel Discussion: Why developing countries need more tax treaty negotiation expertise

  • Margaret Moonga Chikuba, Chief Economist at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Investment, Government of Zambia & Member of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters
  • Martin Hearson, International Tax Program Lead for the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) & Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies
  • Patricia Brown, Director, Graduate Program in Taxation and Lecturer in Law, School of Law, University of Miami 


9:55 – 10:10 AM

Second Session – Overview of The Web-based Toolkit and Additional Resources

Demo of the web-based toolkit and the e-learning module by the PCT Secretariat

  • Fabio Thoma, Coordinator, The Secretariat of The Platform for Collaboration on Tax

Presentation on tax treaty service by Tax Inspectors Without Borders

  • Andrew Dawson, Advisor, Tax Treaty Unit, OECD
  • Rusudan Kemularia, Head of TIWB Secretariat, OECD


10:10 – 10:20 AM



10:20 – 11:25 AM

Third Session – Feedback Roundtable 

Roundtable discussion with negotiators from developing countries with a focus on how to improve the toolkit further with additional information and documents


  • Cory Hillier, Senior Counsel (Tax Law), IMF


  • Claudia Consuelo Vargas Cifuentes, Adviser, International Affairs, The Tax Administration of Colombia – DIAN
  • Kajesomo V Kehinde, Senior Manager (Tax), Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria
  • Liselott Kana, Head of International Taxation, Servicio de Impuestos, Ministry of Finance, Chile
  • Mari Khurtsidze, Head of International Taxation Division, Ministry of Finance, Georgia
  • Ron van der Merwe, Consultant for ATAF, Former Member of UN, OECD and SADC Tax Committees

Q&A with the audience


11:25 – 11:30 AM

Concluding remarks & summary of discussions by Chair 

First Session:

Jacques Sasseville

Jacques Sasseville is currently a consultant for the Financing for Sustainable Development Office of the United Nations (DESA), where he worked as Inter-regional Adviser between 2017 and 2019. From 1990 to 1993, he worked at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as Principal Administrator and subsequently Deputy Head of the Fiscal Affairs Division. He returned to the OECD in 1995 and was Head of the Tax Treaty Unit, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, until 2017. He previously worked for the Federal Government of Canada as Counsel in the Tax Counsel Division (Department of Justice) and as Chief, Tax Treaties (Department of Finance). 

Néstor Venegas

Néstor Venegas, a native of Santiago, Chile, started his professional career as an associate lawyer in one of Chile’s largest law firm. Afterwards, for eleven years, he worked for the Chilean tax authority (SII) as a member of the team that negotiates tax treaties and advises the competent authority on their interpretation and application. During that period, he was also the delegate for Chile in a number of OECD working groups on international tax matters. Since 2018, he is a technical adviser in the Tax Treaty Unit (Tax Treaties, Transfer Pricing & Financial Transactions Division) of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. Mr. Venegas graduated from the Law School of the University of Chile in 2005, was admitted to the Chilean bar in 2006 and obtained an LL.M. on International Taxation in the New York University in 2012. 

Margaret Moonga Chikuba

Margaret Moonga Chikuba is the Chief Economist at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Investment, Government of Zambia and Member of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. She held several positions at the Tax Policy Division, contributing to the formulation of the country's tax policy. In the recent past, Ms. Chikuba has played a significant role in tax treaty negotiations, especially in spearheading the renegotiation of the most old and sensitive tax treaties that Zambia has signed. Ms. Chikuba has a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies, University of Zambia, Lusaka and Master’s Degree in Development Economics, Williams College, Williamstown, USA

Martin Hearson

Dr. Martin Hearson is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, where he is International Tax Programme Lead for the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). His research focuses on the politics of international business taxation, and in particular the relationship between developed and developing countries. He uses field interviews, archival documentation and novel datasets to study how international tax agreements are negotiated. Before joining ICTD, Dr. Hearson was a fellow in international political economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and before that he spent a decade working in the charity sector. He is the author of “Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension to Global Tax Politics,” forthcoming with Cornell University Press.

Patricia Brown

Patricia A. Brown is Director of the Graduate Program in Taxation and Taxation of Cross-Border Investment and is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of international taxation, with specialties in tax treaty policy and interpretation and the international taxation of financial products and institutions.

She began her career in 1987 at the Wall Street office of the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton where she specialized in the tax treatment of cross-border financial transactions and financial institutions. In 1994, Ms. Brown joined the U.S. Treasury Department as an Attorney Advisor in the Office of International Tax Counsel. Her initial assignments built on her experience in the New York and London financial markets.

Outside the financial community, Ms. Brown is best known for overseeing and coordinating the U.S. tax treaty program as the Treasury Department's Deputy International Tax Counsel (Treaty Affairs). In addition to ensuring consistency in terms of negotiations and interpretation, she was personally involved in the negotiation of all U.S. tax treaties and protocols that entered into force between 1999 and 2008.

As a result, she has worked closely with government officials from every inhabited continent, from large and small countries, and from developed and developing countries. For much of 2005, she was Acting International Tax Counsel, during which time she was directly responsible for all international tax matters within the Office of Tax Policy.

Since 2007, she has served as a full-time consultant to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, developing guidelines and procedures for the cross-border taxation of portfolio investors. Ms. Brown has also lectured and spoken extensively on a variety of topics relating to tax treaties and cross-border financial transactions.

She received her B.S.F.S., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and her J.D. from the University of California (Berkeley), where she was made a member of Order of the Coif.


Second Session:

Fabio Thoma

Fabio Thoma is the Coordinator of the Secretariat of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) a joint initiative of the IMF, the OECD, the UN and the WBG. In this capacity, Mr. Thoma supports the coordination and implementation of the Platform’s work plan and the engagement with stakeholders. He furthermore manages the Online Integrated Platform (OIP) of the Platform as well as the website. Prior to his current position, Mr. Thoma worked for the World Bank Turkey country office as a data and economist consultant in Ankara, and, from 2016 to 2018, as an M&E consultant for the World Bank’s IFC multi-regional office in Istanbul, Turkey. He further worked for the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) as an M&E consultant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Fabio holds a Master’s degree in International Development from Sciences Po Paris and Free University in Berlin and currently studies a Masters in Data Science at Mannheim Business School, Germany.

Andrew Dawson

Andrew Dawson is an advisor in the OECD’s Tax Treaty Unit, which he joined in 2018. Before that he worked for the UK Government, where he was head of the tax treaty team in the UK’s revenue department, responsible for negotiating the UK’s tax treaties. While in that role, Mr. Dawson led negotiations with around 65 countries. During this time, he was also chair of the OECD’s Working Party 1, which is responsible for maintaining and developing the OECD model tax convention. Mr. Dawson began his career as a teacher of economics, after which he joined the Confederation of British Industry in their economic policy department. From there he moved to the public sector and has spent most of that time in tax, mainly with the revenue department, but also with the UK Treasury and the Foreign Office, spending four years in the economic section of the British embassy in Washington DC.

Rusudan Kemularia

Rusudan Kemularia, a Georgian national, has spent over a decade working in international tax and fiscal policy. In 2019, Ms. Kemularia joined the Tax Inspectors Without Borders team in Paris to lead a review of the initiative. Prior to joining the OECD, from 2010-2012, Ms. Kemularia was Georgia’s Vice Minister of Finance, leading tax reforms and work in all areas of public finance, including tax and customs policy and administration, as well as development of public services. In addition to her ministerial role, she was appointed as a Secretary to the Parliament and Co-Chair of the Tax Dispute Resolution Counsel. She negotiated numerous double taxation avoidance treaties and implemented anti-avoidance regulations (e.g. transfer pricing rules) in Georgia.

From 2008-2009, Ms. Kemularia also worked as a Rector of the Finance Academy, as well as Head of the Legal and Financial Policy Departments. She has worked as General Counsel of the Millennium Challenge Corporation-funded project in 2012-2019. In addition to her extensive professional career, Ms. Kemularia has been Assistant Professor at Caucasus School of Law and Tbilisi State University.

Ms. Kemularia holds a Master’s degree in public policy from BSG, University of Oxford and LL.M in public law from Bielefeld University. She is a qualified tax lawyer, holding a law diploma from Tbilisi State University. Ms. Kemularia is a recipient of the prestigious Oxford - Weidenfeld Hoffmann Scholarship.


Third Session:

Cory Hillier

Cory Hillier is a tax lawyer and is currently appointed as Senior Counsel in the Legal Department of the IMF. Mr. Hillier is involved in providing high-quality legal advice in relation to taxation in the context of IMF technical assistance (TA), surveillance, and financial assistance programs. He has experience providing legal advice on, and drafting legal instruments in, all major areas of tax law, including corporate and personal income tax, general consumption taxes, taxation of the financial sector, tax administration and procedures, and international taxation. He is also extensively involved in the IMF’s legal and international tax policy work, including at the G7 and G20 level.

Claudia Consuelo Vargas Cifuentes

Claudia Vargas is the Advisor (international affairs) to the General Commissioner at the Tax Administration of Colombia – DIAN.

Kajesomo V Kehinde

Kajesomo Kehinde is a Senior Manager (Tax) and Head, International Tax Policy Division of Tax Policy and Advisory Department, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). He is a member of the technical team in charge of negotiation of tax treaties for Nigeria from 2015 to date. He is also part of the team that had the responsibility of developing domestic policies to implement the OECD BEPS outcome and other international tax rules in Nigeria. Mr. Kehinde represents Nigeria in several OECD groups, including the Working Party 1, Working Party 11, the Ad-hoc Group on MLI and the Conference of the Parties on MLI. Mr. Kehinde is a member of the ATAF tax treaty mentoring team. and ATAF representative on the United Nations (UN) Sub-committee on tax treaties. He has facilitated several courses, seminars and workshops on International Tax and Transfer Pricing organized by FIRS, and other local and international courses, seminars and workshops organized by other bodies.

LiseLott Kana

LiseLott Kana is the Head of the Department of International Taxation, Internal Revenue Service, Chili. Her previous positions include: Head of the Department of Free Trade of the Americas, Directorate of International Economic Relations, Ministry of External Relations; Member of the Foreign Investment Committee, Ministry of Economy; and Analyst, Tax Department, Arthur Andersen & Co., London. Ms. Kana has a Bachelor of Law Degree, University of Stockholm, Sweden, and a Master of Laws Degree, London School of Economics, London. Ms. Kana was a member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters and the Coordinator of the Subcommittee on Services of that Committee. Ms. Kana has been a key participant in the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project to reform the international tax system, including revising the OECD model income tax treaty.

Mari Khurtsidze

Mari Khurtsidze is the Head of International Taxation Division at the Ministry of Finance of Georgia since 2011. She oversees elaboration of international tax policy of Georgia. Since 2011 Ms. Khurtsidze has been an authorized person (Head of Delegation) for the negotiations of the Tax Treaties. On behalf of the Government of Georgia, she concluded more than 20 Double Tax treaties. In addition, since 2016 she has been responsible for the implementation process of four minimum standards of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project’s (OECD) in Georgia.

Since 2015 Ms. Khurtsidze has been a delegate of Georgia at OECD WP 1 and ad-hoc group on the development of Multinational Instrument, Forum of Harmful Tax Practice and at the Bureau of this Forum, FTA MAP Forum and Steering Group of this Forum, Joint WP 6 –   WP 10 Group on Country-by-Country Reporting and WP 2 on Tax Policy Analysis and Tax Statistics. 

In 2017-2018 she was elected member of Addis Tax Initiative (ATI). Since 2020, she is an elected member of Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) Post 2020 Task Force. In 2013-2016 she was central point of contact of Georgia at the Global Forum on Transparency and   Exchange of Information (OECD) and directly in charge of the implementation process of EOIR standard in Georgia introduced by the GF (OECD).

Before working for Ministry of Finance of Georgia, Ms. Khurtsidze worked on different positions at Public Defender’s Office of Georgia and Bank of Georgia. She graduated from Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Law, specialized in International Law (Diploma with honors) in 2006.

Ron van der Merwe

Ron van der Merwe is currently a consultant for ATAF. He is retired from SARS International Tax Division and he also served as a member of UN, OECD and SADC Tax Committees.