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Newsletter Stories

Friday, 04 June 2021
FSC US Leadership Transition

Dear Forest Stewardship Council Community:

After 13 years at the helm of the Forest Stewardship Council US, Corey Brinkema will be transitioning out of his role as president on June 30, 2021. He has submitted his letter of resignation to the board of directors and it has been accepted.

Over the past year, with the steadily declining health of his parents, Corey has been torn by his commitment to family and the demands of leading FSC US. He had found it nearly impossible to do justice to both.

No single letter can convey the depth of our appreciation for Corey’s leadership, vision and positive impact on the FSC system. During his tenure, FSC witnessed dramatic growth, helping to create benefits for people, organizations and forests across the United States. Today the organization is in its strongest financial position ever. On behalf of the US-based members of FSC and the board of directors, we wish Corey and his family well and offer our sincere gratitude.

The board has convened a transition team to guide the organization in the coming months. Joining us on this team are board members Sarah Billig (Mendocino Redwood Company), Stuart Hale (The Nature Conservancy), Mike Houser (PotlatchDeltic), Shoana Humphries (Independent Consultant), David Williams (Williams-Sonoma Inc.) and Ted Wright (Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands), FSC US staff members Maggie Abel, Amy Clark Eagle and Chris McLaren, FSC Canada’s President and CEO Francois Dufresne and FSC International’s Global Network Director Lieske van Santen.

To find the next president for FSC US, the board will engage an executive search firm and conduct a thorough search for visionary leaders with strong experience. We will also be naming an interim president in the near future to ensure the staff is supported in its vital work.

We are heartened by the dedication to FSC-US from a large and diverse set of environmental, economic and social stakeholders who recognize the benefits to nature, people and climate that FSC represents. While leadership transitions naturally involve uncertainty, we are confident in the transition team, the excellent FSC US staff and the initiatives they’re leading, and the opportunities in front of FSC US.

Investments in consumer and business-to-business marketing are building the FSC brand and making it easier to find and buy FSC-certified products across the US and around the world. Innovative research is quantifying the forest carbon impacts of FSC’s best-in-class forest management standards, while pilot initiatives are making certification and certified products markets more accessible for family forests. And FSC continues to strengthen its standards to better ensure safe and fair working conditions and respect for workers’ and Native Americans’ rights, as well as strong protection for old growth forests. All of this work, and much more, will continue apace.

More broadly, the imperatives of climate change and social justice are bringing new people and organizations to FSC. From nature-based solutions and climate-smart construction to deforestation-free commitments, the organization is presented with many opportunities.
Since it was founded more than 25 years ago, FSC has accomplished more than anyone imagined possible. As the head of FSC’s largest national office in one of the largest consumer and producer markets for forest products in the world, the next president will be offered nearly unlimited potential for positive impact and growth.

On behalf of the FSC US board of directors, we want to close by emphasizing our commitment to excellence and transparency. We will continue to provide updates to the community as we move through this leadership transition - along with opportunities to engage in the process - and we welcome your feedback at any time. We have set up an email address ( and encourage you to contact the Transition Team with questions or input. FSC is a system built on support from thousands of people and organizations. We take that support seriously and commit to keeping you updated and engaged in the months ahead. Thank you.


Brent Davies, Co-chair
Ecotrust, Environmental Chamber

Paul Vanderford, Co-chair
Sustainable Northwest, Social Chamber