The Board of Directors is the highest decision-making body of the organisation which is charged with the following key tasks:
- Overall policy direction of the organisation
- Supervision of quality
- Supervision of finances
- Appointment of Committees and their members
The Board consists of a minimum of 7 individuals appointed in a manner that safeguards impartiality and enables the participation of all parties significantly concerned in the development and principles regarding the content and functioning of the work undertaken.
The Board appoints an Executive Committee of a President, Vice President and Treasurer/Secretary to provide closer supervision and support to the senior management.
Current Board Members
Dr. Flor Mónica Gutiérrez Alcántara, Mexico
Dr. Gutiérrez has a Masters’ degree in Engineering, a PhD in Operations Management and many years of professional experience in the management of quality, innovation, audits and conformity assessments. Currently Coordinator for Quality Management at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) managing the certification and accreditation program for research laboratories, she continues to lecture and provide training to auditors and academics as well as supervising postgraduate research theses. In addition, Dr. Gutiérrez is involved in the development of various ISO Standards in the fields of: Quality Management, Innovation Management, Auditing, Education, and Conformity Assessment and is presently Head of Delegation for several ISO Technical Committees. Dr. Gutiérrez is also appointed by the Mexican Government to manage the Mirror Committees for Education (ISO TC 232) and Biodiversity (ISO TC 331).
Dr. Gutiérrez joined the IOAS Board in October 2021.
Francis Blake, UK
Francis is currently semi-retired, but still involved in occasional consultancy work, with eg COSMOS, Tun (Iceland) and Standard Life Ethicals Funds Advisory Group. A published expert on organic farming and management, he has over 30 years’ experience in representing the organic agricultural movement in the UK and internationally through past appointments as IFOAM EU group President, Chair of COSMOS, and Standards Director and policy advisor for the Soil Association. He is also co-owner of Nine Springs Natural Health Centre and of Flaxdrayton Farm Workshops. His wide range of technical expertise covers all areas of organic production, processing, legislation and standards including aquaculture, forestry, cosmetics, textiles, ethical and fair trade; governance and CSR, sustainable building and development and complementary health. Francis joined the IOAS board in 2015, and the board of the new Alliance for Organic Integrity in 2019.
Herman Van Boxem, Belgium
Herman is an organic food and farming expert who started his career as an agricultural engineer and worked at the Flemish VELT association on organic gardening. His special interest in soil, plant production, pesticides and knowledge of contamination led to his pioneering work as a co-founder of the first organic control body in Flanders in 1986 and co-initiating the Belgian organic umbrella and label “Biogarantie.”
During his 22 years of employment with the European Commission he contributed to the first European Action Plan on Organic farming and to establishing the Regulations 834/2007, 889/2009 and 1235/2009. As the EU DG AGRI’s delegate and representative, Herman dealt with the Codex Guidelines on organic production to the Codex Alimentarius Commission on Food Labelling, as well as contributing to the FiBL & Co Anti Fraud Initiative and the IFOAM - FAO - UNCTAD Organic Equivalence and Harmonisation think-tank.
After retiring from the EU in June 2019, Herman continues to have a keen interest in organic agriculture and in emerging perspectives such as agro-ecology and in food, environmental and societal policies and to share his expertise of the smart use of targeted sampling and pesticide residue analyses as a means of detecting fraudulent practices in organic production. Herman joined the IOAS Board in October 2022.
Kathryn Lockyer, New Zealand
Kathryn has been working for the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand since 2008 and has a deep understanding of accreditation activities, with responsibility for ensuring that assessments are undertaken of over 130 CABs covering in excess of 140 schemes in the areas of management systems, inspection, product certification, personnel and GHG verification. This is on top of personally undertaking assessments of organisations providing organic certification, and prior experience as a certification body auditor for 14 years.
She is also a current member of APAC’s MRA Management Committee, Chair of the Technical Committee (TC2 – certification & verification/validation), newly appointed as a member of APACs Executive Committee and is a New Zealand member of ISO/CASCO Committee on conformity assessment, this results in strong background in Accreditation and Certification mixed with the ability to be creative and realistic without compromising the integrity of the system.
Michael Sligh, USA
Michael Sligh, is currently serving as board member to the newly formed Alliance for Organic Integrity, National Governing Council of the Organic Farmers Association in the USA and senior advisor to the National Organic Coalition.
He is a former Policy Director for Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA), where he managed policy, research and education regarding agricultural best practices for organic, agro-biodiversity, identity preserved and a range of food justice and other value-added food labelling, policy and marketing issues for 33 years. Prior to this served he two years in agricultural development work in the WIndward Islands.
Michael has more than 40 years’ experience in agricultural practices and policy analysis, including both domestic and international work. He is a part-time family farmer and a trained anthropologist. He has helped found and run numerous agricultural organisations, including as the founding Chair of the USDA/National Organic Standards Board, founder of Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, founder of National Organic Coalition, founding partner of Agricultural Justice Project, a founding member of Domestic Fair Trade Association and the Organic Farmers Associaiton. He lives, farms and works from North Carolina.
Peggy Miars, USA
Peggy has over 25 years management experience helping to advance the organic agriculture movement in the United States, with involvement in marketing, communications , strategic planning and implementation to fiscal accountability. Previously CEO of Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) which provides expert, independent and transparent verification of input materials as well as education and technical assistance. Peggy’s breadth of understanding of the organic industry has evolved from her previous work with certifiers and retailers; Executive Director for California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), Marketing Manager at Earthbound Farm and Marketing Director at Whole Foods Market. A previous President and member of the World Board of IFOAM – Organics International, Peggy joined the IOAS board in 2015.
Sarah Compson, UK
Sarah sits on the World Board of IFOAM Organics International alongside her roles as International Development Manager for the Soil Association and as Organic Cotton Liaison for Textile Exchange. She has a background in researching and developing new standards and working with a range of stakeholders internationally to develop innovative solutions to key challenges facing the organic sector. She is currently Chair of IFOAM Organics Europe's Interest Group of Organic Processors and Traders, Member of the EU Commission's cotton, flax and hemp Civil Dialogue Group, member of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Standard's Committee, and Chair of the Organic Cotton Round Table. Sarah joined the IOAS Board in October 2021.
Vitoon Panyakul, Thailand
Vitoon Panyakul has been working with the Thai organic movement since 1991. As an organic pioneer, he helped to establish several organisations active in organic agriculture promotion like the Green Net Cooperative (organic and fair trade distributor and exporter), the Earth Net Foundation (non-profit foundation working to support small-scale farmers for organic conversion in Asia region), the Organic Agriculture Certification Thailand (organic certification body active in southeast Asia region), and the Thai Organic Trader Association.