Michael Conroy

Chairman of the Board

Nonprofit Representative

As a global expert in market-based certification systems, Michael understands the social and environmental benefits that such systems can create. As founding Board member of Equitable Origin he has played a crucial role in guiding the development of nearly every aspect of the company.

Michael is a former professor of Economics and Latin American Studies who retired after 25 years at the University of Texas at Austin and three final academic years at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He also spent a dozen years as a Senior Program Officer and Program Director at the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, contributing to the development of global voluntary certification systems such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Fair Trade Certified, the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance and the Tourism Sustainability Council. He is a member and former Chairman of the FSC International Board of Directors.

Michael is the author of Branded! How the 'Certification Revolution' Is Transforming Global Corporations, which was judged one of the two best books on business ethics published in English in 2007.

Expertise: Environmental and social certification systems, economics, fundraising