BSR Appoints Laura Gitman as First Ever Chief Impact Officer, Matthew Welch as New Chief Operating Officer

BSR bolsters resources and expertise behind its mission to ensure work with companies delivers tangible impact. 

San Francisco (May 17, 2023)—BSR, the sustainable business network and consultancy, announces the promotion of Laura Gitman to Chief Impact Officer, the first in the organization’s 30-year plus history, and the appointment of Matthew Welch as Chief Operating Officer (COO).  

As Chief Impact Officer, Gitman will focus on maximizing the impact of BSR’s work with its network of more than 300 members, both through direct engagement on project work and as a mentor for teams throughout the organization. She also will leverage her 18 years with BSR and lead on executive engagement across issues and industries, drive strategic initiatives throughout the organization, and oversee BSR’s collaborative initiatives and the Center for Business and Social Justice. She also will represent BSR in the marketplace more visibly as a thought leader and innovator in strategic business. 

“Laura has been a fundamental part of BSR as we’ve grown and evolved to meet the sustainable business landscape over the years. As Chief Impact Officer, she will act as a valuable mentor and advisor to our staff worldwide,” said Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR. “We’re looking forward to seeing Laura work closely with BSR members to meet the ambitious and sustainable business commitments they’ve made through tangible, impactful actions.” 

Gitman joined BSR in 2005 and launched both the organization’s financial services team and its New York office. In 2018, she took on the role of COO, leveraging her strengths in strategy, organizational change, and people management. Under her tenure, BSR grew 42 percent in global headcount, transitioned to a remote—and then hybrid—workplace during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and launched BSR’s presence in London, Washington, DC, and Singapore. In addition to her role within BSR, Gitman is an adjunct professor in the Bard MBA in Sustainability program. 

“I am thrilled to create this new role for BSR, and to be back working directly with member companies to create long term business and societal value through their sustainability strategies, especially in such a decisive decade,” said Gitman. “I look forward to innovating new opportunities for impact, and to partnering with our amazing colleagues around the world to integrate and maximize impact in everything we do.”  

In spring 2023, BSR hired Welch to succeed Gitman as COO. Welch will help to scale BSR and its impact through translating strategy into implementation, overseeing delivery of the work, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of operations.  

 “My longtime passion has been growing and scaling social enterprise organizations, and BSR is one of the best,” said Welch. “I am excited to join the team and enable our work today, while preparing us for even greater impact in the years to come.” 

Prior to BSR, Welch was President and COO of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and the Value Reporting Foundation, which pioneered sustainability disclosure standards for the capital markets. Before that, he held COO and senior operating roles at a mix of nonprofit and for-profit organizations in education and health care, where he built products and launched businesses as well as overseeing their operations. 

“BSR is fortunate to welcome Matthew to the BSR team,” said Cramer.  “He has a proven track record of excellence, including developing operational pathways to growth for impact driven organizations. His experience at SASB and the VRF positions him well to enable BSR to continue its growth as the foundation for our ambitious agenda to advance just and sustainable business.” 

For more information on BSR and its work, visit our website

BSR is a sustainable business network and consultancy focused on creating a world in which all people can thrive on a healthy planet. With offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR provides its 300+ member companies with insight, advice, and collaborative initiatives to help them see a changing world more clearly, create long-term value, and scale impact.