SASB founder Jean Rogers steps down

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Dr. Jean Rogers, the founder and former CEO of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, stepped down from her role as chair of the SASB Standards Board, passing on the post to vice-chair Jeffrey Hales, a professor of accounting at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Rogers founded SASB in 2011 and served as CEO until May of last year, when the organization went through a restructuring to improve its governance and accountability. She then transitioned to the role of chair of the SASB Standards Board, spearheading its technical standard-setting efforts as it began work to codify its provisional standards. During her tenure, SASB developed provisional sustainability accounting standards for 79 industries across 11 sectors and founded an Investor Advisory Group. SASB also launched a Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential, and published an annual quantitative analysis of sustainability disclosure in SEC filing. In addition, SASB formed a collaborative initiative with Fordham University in New York to advance sustainability accounting through education, research and public events.

“In bringing the standards to the point of codification for use by corporations and investors around the world, Jean has helped usher in an era of improved company reporting, better informed investors, and more efficient markets,” said SASB in an email Monday to its members. “Jean has built a significant legacy at SASB, and we are glad to work with her through the codification period before she moves on to her next venture!”

Rogers said she plans to spend more time with her 12-year-old daughter, who recently made a newsworthy discovery about a local rock formation. "SASB has come a long way since I started it in 2011," Rogers told Accounting Today. "It has been an honor to work on infrastructure for the capital markets. Having done the heavy lifting to develop processes for standards setting as well as to develop the standards themselves, SASB is entering a new phase of implementation. Jeff’s skills will be central to the conversations going forward. It’s all about controls and assurance. Closer connection with the accounting profession is needed. Jeff’s leadership as well as SASB's new partnership with Fordham are central."

Her successor has long experience with the board. Before becoming vice-chair, Hales served for five years as chair of the SASB Standards Council—a precursor to the Standards Board—and worked with the Financial Accounting Standards Board as a Research Fellow and a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Committee.

To help with the transition, Roger will make herself available as a consultant until Aug. 1, 2018, as SASB prepares to codify its provisional standards. From there, SASB plans to focus on maintaining and continually improving the standards through independent research and feedback from corporations, investors and other market participants.

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