Uniting high-level experience in leading world institutions.
The COSA Board members are uniquely accomplished in nearly every facet of sustainability and guide COSA’s strategic perspectives and the pragmatic innovations to help organizations around the world achieve tangible impacts.
Mary Williams is the former Chairman of Starbucks Trading Company, co-owns a farm in Guatemala and has served on diverse Boards of Directors ranging from the Rainforest Alliance to her own health and education foundation.
Besides being one of the driving forces behind the success of Starbucks, she was one of the first women senior executives in a male dominated industry and is recognized as one of the world’s most astute coffee cuppers (tasters) who is credited with several terms that are now part of the standard lexicon of the industry.
Daniele Giovannucci is a co-founder of the Committee on Sustainability Assessment. His enthusiasm for a pragmatic approach to sustainability stems from 15 years as a business executive in food-related firms prior to a decade at the World Bank where he was an early advocate of market mechanisms to drive sustainability.
Since 1992, he has advised 11 governments and worked on the sustainability issues of more than 40 countries. Mr. Giovannucci has also engaged in the large-scale evaluations and strategies of major development institutions including UN agencies, International Fund for Agriculture Development, the US Agency for International Development, and the International Trade Centre.
Today, he is an ardent advocate for data-driven sustainability discussions and the sustainability potential of companies, having counseled dozens of corporate clients such as Coca-Cola, Mars, Starbucks, and McDonalds. His passion to reduce poverty and environmental degradation focuses especially on the application of advanced technologies and the local democratization of data as knowledge.
He has taught on business and sustainability at several institutions from the University of Pennsylvania to the Centre International de Hautes Études Agronomiques Méditerranéennes and is an IETI Fellow. Downloads of his 70+ books and professional papers rank in the top 1% among the more than 500,000 professional authors tracked by the Social Science Research Network.
Over the last 15 years, Mr. Giovannucci has led or contributed to the strategies of a number of major development institutions and eleven governments. He chaired the global teams formulating the strategic input on Food and Agriculture for the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development and is a member of the UN Forum on Sustainability Standards.
Mark Halle is Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development where he previously served as Executive Director, IISD-Europe.
He began his career in the field of international negotiations, serving in the diplomatic secretariat of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and he then spent five years with UNEP where he worked on its major publications including the World Conservation Strategy (with WWF and IUCN), that fundamentally changed the way nature conservation was approached, abandoning the earlier notion that conservation and development were necessarily in opposition to one another.
Halle then moved to WWF International, serving for three years as assistant to HRH The Prince Phillip (a past president of WWF) and helping to establish and direct the WWF program in China.
In 1984 Mark moved to IUCN to help establish the Conservation for Development Centre which he later directed and that established the foundation for IUCN’s current extensive worldwide presence and its Global Policy and Partnerships program. Mark resides in Switzerland.
Richard Rogers is Managing Director of Rogers MacJohn a firm that helps companies move beyond traditional CSR to become primary agents for delivering societal and shareholder value. He has been recognized for brokering high-value, effective partnerships across public and private organizations that merge social impact into business strategy. Richard leverages insight and experience from over 20 years in industry, management consulting, and philanthropy at industry-leading organizations.
While Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Richard developed and managed a $400m portfolio of grants and corporate co-investments. He previously worked at McKinsey, Kroll, and Kraft Foods. He has advised multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, and Mars in addition to government agencies such as USAID, BMZ, DFID, and the Nigerian, Ethiopian, and Tanzanian Ministries of Agriculture. He has also worked closely with social-sector organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, GIZ, TechnoServe, Sustainable Food Lab, and the Shared Value Initiative led by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer of Harvard Business School. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida.
Han de Groot
Han de Groot is the former CEO of Rainforest Alliance. He led the merger with UTZ Certified, where, as Executive Director for seven years, he built the standard into the world’s largest sustainability program for coffee and cocoa.
Prior to that, he spent a decade in the public sector principally in the European Commission (Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food, where he set up an inter-departmental program on Biodiversity. In his early career, he worked at Oxfam Novib on issues of social justice and poverty alleviation.
Han served on the Supervisory Board for Hivos Triodos Fund, a joint initiative of Triodos Bank and Hivos that funds innovative financial institutions active in the underdeveloped markets of developing countries. He was Board Chair for a Dutch Foundation serving underprivileged children in The Hague and has also served on the board of Global Coffee Platform.
Han holds a Master’s Degree in Development, Agricultural, and Macro Economics from Wageningen University. He lives in the Netherlands where he enjoys boating with friends and family.
Eugenia Dantz is the former Treasurer of a US-based Savings and Loan Association and is a manager for Fantes Inc. a notable online and physical retailer whose global client list includes a who’s who of food and culinary professionals.
Carli Rosencranz is a Senior Director at Walmart Stores, Inc. She leads teams in global sourcing for packaged foods and consumable products. During her tenure, she has played key roles there in high-visibility strategic initiatives focused on innovative vendor and third-party services. Prior to Walmart, she held research and marketing roles in the food industry.
Carli’s sincere caring about sustainability issues initially blossomed ten years ago during her time as Walmart’s coffee buyer where trips to origin instilled in her a deep passion for the concerns of smallholder coffee farmers. She has since worked with local business owners and entrepreneurs in Rwanda to help create sustainable income opportunities for coffee communities through complementary business models. Carli lives in Bentonville, Arkansas with her family.
Allen Gunn distills decades of experience bringing technology to life so that it can serve the needs of users in the most pragmatic manner. He has been a senior executive in numerous technology environments including both larger corporations and Silicon Valley start-ups that include Novell, NetManage and Pensare. His range of skills now coalesce into a common thread: catalyzing social change efforts using innovative and open approaches to capacity building and knowledge sharing.
Gunner has worked in over 50 countries across the globe and with iconic projects such as Digital Freedom Fund, OpenReferral, OpenStreetMap US, Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Rosetta Foundation and Mozilla. He previously served on the Computer Science faculty at Bryn Mawr College and Foothill College. He is the Executive Director of Aspiration in San Francisco where he prioritizes work that supports groundbreaking and open communities of practice.
Ric Rhinehart served from 2007-19 as the Executive Director and CEO of the Specialty Coffee Association. During his tenure he led the organization to become the world’s largest global coffee association. Prior to taking on this position he held senior executive positions in several coffee & tea firms.
Mr. Rhinehart is a frequent analyst and presenter on coffee and tea industry issues and trends. He has served as a delegate to the International Coffee Organization and as Chair of the Private Sector Consultative Board, as a Director for the Coffee Quality Institute, World Coffee Research, and World Coffee Events. He was also a founding member of the American Premium Tea Institute, where he served on the Board of Directors and as President.
Monika Weber-Fahr is the Chief Knowledge Officer and Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group. She has served as the Global Business Leader for Environmental and Social Sustainability Business Advisory Services in the International Finance Corporation (IFC) where she was responsible for IFC-wide strategy and quality assurance in the areas of climate change, labor & social capital, and biodiversity.
She holds a PhD in Business Economics.
Jessica Morris is Senior Vice President & Partner at FleismanHillard, one of the largest global PR networks. Her career has spanned positions in NGOs including the British Refugee Council, the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy and Shelter; government, where she was head of corporate social responsibility for the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs; and corporations, where she was Managing Director of Fishburn’s New York before joining FleishmanHillard. She was the founding Chair of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation and serves on the governing body of OmniWomen and the communications advisory board of Human Rights Watch.
She was an Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs.
Jason Potts (1967-2018) was a founding Board member of COSA. In one of his many publications he expressed a vision for a new global economy founded on the principles of respect and responsibility for our common well-being. It spoke well of his view and his humanity.
“Building this new economy will require many things but … How can we speak of sustainable consumption if the livelihoods of those producing the goods are not protected? How can we speak of sustainable production if consumers have no idea what the effects of their decisions on the ground are? How can we speak of sustainable trade if commercial relationships are not, first and foremost, relationships of care and respect between human beings?”
While at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Canada, Jason initiated the renowned “State of Sustainability Initiatives” and also co-founded international organizations and programs that include the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade and the Sustainable Commodity Initiative (UNCTAD-IISD).
We honor him in memoriam as a devoted member of the COSA Board from its inception.
Experts and Advisors
The independent and internationally recognized of COSA's advisory panel and scientific committee have included some of the words scientists, firms, and partitioners. Their support at COSA's inception set the standard for the rigorous and objective COSA research and enables us to better understanding sustainability and serve the common good.