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Management
Heidi Welsh,
Co-founder & Executive Director
Peter DeSimone,
Co-founder & Deputy Director
Board of Directors
Please click here for a full list of our board and biographies
Analysts
David Hauck | Sol Kwon | Jane Meacham | Sara Murphy | Julia Beth Proffitt |
W. Trexler Proffitt Jr.
| Rosanna Landis Weaver | Susan Williams | Robin Young |

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Heidi Welsh,
Executive Director

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Heidi Welsh, the founding executive director of the Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2), has analyzed and written about corporate responsibility issues for more than two decades. She oversees Si2's operations and research. Welsh was the lead author of Si2's two studies about the corporate governance of political spending in the S&P 500, published in 2010 and 2011 with the IRRC Institute. Previously, Welsh helped author seasonal and annual reports on proxy voting trends starting in 1987 at the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC), closely followed social and environmental shareholders resolutions and their results, and for 16 years ran the monitoring program examining corporate compliance with the MacBride principles for fair employment in Northern Ireland. She co-authored the Carbon Disclosure Project's 2007 report on S&P 500 companies and also set up a global sustainability metrics project for RiskMetrics analyzing 1,800 of the world's biggest companies. Welsh also served on the Global Reporting Initiative's Electric Utility Sector Working Group in 2008-09 and participated in an Oxford University assessment of Northern Ireland's affirmative action legislation. Welsh received her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude, with a concentration in science, technology and public policy, from Carleton College. She holds a master's degree from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.


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Peter DeSimone,
Deputy Director

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Peter DeSimone is Si2's deputy director and helped cofound the organization in 2009. He has worked on investor responsibility issues since 1995, beginning at the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) with work on the challenges and opportunities posed by a post-apartheid South Africa, analyzing U.S. investor efforts on divestment and engagement. He also developed proxy voting guides for domestic and emerging markets in the 1990s. He has advised institutional investors about voting on shareholder resolutions, covering both social and environmental issues, with a particular emphasis on international labor and human rights, diversity and equal employment opportunity. He investigated sweatshop abuses in corporate supply chains starting in 1996, conducted field research in more than 20 countries and coauthored the 1998 landmark study, The Sweatshop Quandary, Corporate Responsibility on the Global Frontier, supported by the Ford Foundation. DeSimone led RiskMetrics Group's labor and human rights research and worked with Welsh on a global sustainability assessment project, while also launching a corporate engagement service for investors. In 2009-11, DeSimone was director of programs for the Social Investment Forum (now US-SIF) and produced SIF's first integrated annual sustainability report in compliance with the Global Reporting Initiative. DeSimone has participated as an Organizational Stakeholder in GRI, and in 2009-2011 he participated in the Airport Operators Sector Supplement. He is an honors graduate of The American University with dual majors in international development studies and economics.


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David Hauck,
Analyst


David Hauck has a broad range of experience in assessing companies' environmental and social performance and has covered climate change issues at Si2. During his 15 years at the Investor Responsibility Research Center, Hauck headed IRRC's South Africa Review Service which produced in-depth reports on the labor practices and community activities of more than one hundred companies with operations in that country. He also developed the first customized software application that combined IRRC's proxy research with the voting guidelines of individual institutional investors to streamline proxy voting and meet Erisa reporting requirements. Later, at Green Seal, he worked closely with environmental organizations, research scientists and leading manufacturers to develop criteria that were used to identify environmentally preferable products. As part of the product certification process, Hauck conducted factory site visits and worked with national testing labs to develop protocols that would ensure certified products continued to meet the environmentally preferable criteria. In recent years, he has worked with the Sierra Club on its innovative Cool Cities/Cool Counties campaign that seeks to address climate change by encouraging local governments to commit to substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; create detailed action plans that lay out how the reduction goals will be met; and then conduct annual greenhouse gas inventories to measure progress towards those goals. Hauck received his government degree from Oberlin College and focused on public policy at the University of Michigan, where he received an M.A. in political science.


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Sol Kwon,
Analyst


Sol Kwon has researched and written about corporate responsibility issues for more than eight years. Kwon started her career at a boutique financial services firm, Trans-National Research Corp., in New Jersey, where she helped conduct macroeconomic research on emerging market countries for institutional investors. She joined IRRC's Social Issues Service in 2002 and analyzed and wrote about sustainability reporting, global health pandemics, climate change, and defense contracting. Between 2006 and 2010, Kwon was the Lead Analyst for Corporate Governance at the Capital Stewardship Program of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, where she worked with labor pension fund trustees on responsible investing and corporate governance reform campaigns. Kwon worked in the Finance and Strategy Practice of the Corporate Executive Board from 2010 to 2011 as a Strategic Research Consultant, helping corporate executives solve critical management-related problems. In January 2012 she became Associate Director at the Center for Political Accountability, a non-partisan group that promotes greater disclosure of corporate political spending. Kwon earned her B.A. in International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University and holds an M.B.A. from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.


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Jane Meacham,
Analyst


Jane Meacham has two decades of experience covering corporate disclosures and, more recently, corporate responsibility issues. Until February 2010 she worked on the Sustainability Solutions team at RiskMetrics, analyzing the insurance and communications equipment sectors for responsible investing, business and environmental practices. Meacham also served as editor for all RiskMetrics Sustainability Solutions client publications. She joined RiskMetrics in 2008 to monitor international labor and human rights standards and other sustainability risk factors at companies, to produce impartial research reports for institutional investors. Meacham has worked on the Global Reporting Initiative's Media Sector Supplement Working Group, developing sector-specific sustainability disclosure standards. Previously, Jane worked for nearly 20 years as an editor and manager for Dow Jones & Co., the international business information publishing company. Jane's assignments with Dow Jones included writing and editing in newsrooms in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York, in positions of increasing responsibility. In her last role at Dow Jones, Jane managed a wire-service newsroom in Washington, D.C., with a staff of up to 30 reporters and editors that offered real-time news from corporate disclosure documents for hedge fund managers and other sophisticated investment professionals.


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Sara Murphy,
Analyst


Sara Murphy is an independent consultant and freelance journalist. She writes articles and research reports on how social and environmental factors affect investment analysis and decision-making. Murphy began her career 15 years ago working for NGOs in the international development and disaster response fields. In 2001, she transitioned into SRI research for the Corporate Benchmarking Service of the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC), where she specialized in bioengineering and defense contracting research. After leaving IRRC, Sara spent several years at The Cadmus Group, an environmental consultant whose primary client was the EPA. In 2005, Murphy moved to Europe to work as a senior sustainability analyst for a large SRI fund management team, where her primary role was to define the investable universe on the basis of sustainability criteria. Murphy launched her consultancy after she moved back to Washington, DC in 2011. She covers a broad range of topics, but has a particular focus on the social and environmental factors at play in extractive industries. Murphy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia in French and Spanish, and a Master of Arts degree from George Mason University in Economics. She currently serves on the Board of p.h. balanced films, a non-profit film and research organization that makes documentary films designed to educate consumers about social concerns in the global supply chains of common consumer goods.


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Julia Beth Proffitt,
Analyst


Julia Beth Proffitt has worked with Si2 since its founding in 2010. Proffitt is currently serving as associate dean and house prefect at Franklin & Marshall College, where she also has taught courses in organizational behavior and decision-making. In addition to her academic career doing research, writing, teaching, and administration, Proffitt has worked in market research, museum education, and as an analyst for IRRC in the early 1990s. She earned a doctorate from Northwestern University as well as a bachelor's degree from Yale University.


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W. Trexler Proffitt Jr.,
Analyst


W. Trexler Proffitt Jr. is the Miers Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies and Business at Muhlenberg College, a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. His teaching experience centers on management and strategy, entrepreneurship, negotiation, business and society, corporate social responsibility, and social entrepreneurship. His research examines governance and accountability of large firms, looking specifically at shareholder activism from a historical and social movement perspective. He is also studies local food systems, small business capital formation, and alternative financing techniques. Proffitt worked for five years at IRRC before graduate school. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in organization behavior from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and his B.A. in American history from Yale University.


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Rosanna Landis Weaver,
Analyst

Rosanna Landis Weaver has been working in the governance and compensation fields since 1992. She began her work in governance with a position in the Corporate Affairs office at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, supervising research on corporate governance and management practices. She has served as a panel member at a number of conferences including: the Practicing Law Institute's Corporate Governance Institute; and an Investor Relations Business conference on "Understanding and Responding to Shareholder Activism" and appeared on "Your World with Neil Cavuto." She joined the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) in 1999 and served as an expert on labor shareholder activism, writing reports on labor fund activism, executive compensation shareholder proposals and golden parachutes. At Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), she worked on the executive compensation team as a senior analyst until 2010, with a particular focus on change of control regarding single triggers, modified single triggers and excise tax gross-ups. At ISS, Ms. Weaver also participated in policymaking and meetings with corporations and analyzed "say on pay" resolutions. From 2010 to 2012 she was governance initiatives coordinator at Change to Win. Ms. Weaver holds a BA in English from Goshen College and a Masters in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame.


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Susan L. Williams,
Analyst


Susan Williams has more than 25 years of experience researching, writing and analyzing energy, environmental and corporate responsibility topics for institutional investors. Since 2009, Williams has been an independent consultant, focusing on sustainability and energy issues for Si2, the IRRC Institute, the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) and People 4 Earth Foundation. She previously was a research manager at RiskMetrics Group. Williams began her career in corporate responsibility with the IRRC Social Issues Service in 1984 and continued to provide proxy analysis through IRRC's acquisition by Institutional Shareholder Services and RiskMetrics. From 1982 until 1984, she also worked with energy and environmental consulting firms in the Boston area. Williams is the lead author of more than a half-dozen books and publications, including a recent report on hydraulic fracturing of shale gas and a series spanning a decade of renewable energy development in the United States. Her findings have been reported in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Economist and other leading newspapers. She also has published work on environmental issues, including large-scale hydroelectric development in northern Quebec and recycling, and has contributed to various journals, including Issues in Science and Technology. Williams has produced in-depth reports and company-specific analyses for institutional investors on a variety of additional corporate responsibility issues, including fair employment domestically and in Northern Ireland, equal credit opportunity, economically targeted investments, and links between executive compensation and social performance. Williams graduated cum laude with a B.A. in American Studies from Williams College, where she also received highest honors from the Environmental Studies Program.


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Robin Young,
Analyst


At Si2, Robin Young has co-authored Si2's two studies on corporate political spending in 2010 and 2011 and overseen Si2's proxy season coverage of related shareholder resolutions. Previously, he was a senior analyst for IRRC, ISS and RiskMetrics from 2005 to 2009. He has covered a wide range of corporate governance issues, including evaluation of company specific compensation plans, management and shareholder sponsored corporate governance issues with special emphasis on mergers, acquisitions and recapitalizations, as well as management and shareholder proposals related to executive compensation. While at RiskMetrics he also helped collect and verify evergreen and overall dilution data and was a contributing writer to several dilution studies. He helped manage overseas teams and perform quality control checks on data collected by these divisions, as well as helping to maintain and manage the organizations' databases of shareholder proposals. He also worked for RiskMetrics' ESG group, covering political contributions and predatory lending. In addition to writing background materials and company analyses on these topics, Young contributed to custom consulting projects for several clients, developing cases for them on corporate engagement. Before coming to IRRC, Young also worked as loan officer for mortgage businesses. He holds B.A. in political science from Colorado College.




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