Strategic Plan & Governance Structure

The FSC Global Strategic Plan 2015-2020 clarifies FSC’s identity and role in the global forest system to ensure that our trajectory fits the challenges that the world’s forests and forest stakeholders face. In the 25 years since our founding, we have created a certification system that mobilises the force of the market, offering people a way to create positive impact in forests and communities through their purchasing decisions.


FSC For members
FSC AC / Geoff Howe
FSC global strategy ENG final small.pdf
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Strategic goals

The central idea of this strategic plan is to build upon the FSC multi-stakeholder model and increase our market leverage by aligning our governance, our organizational structure and our value creation activities to deliver even better on our mission.

We will ensure we are operating at the needed scale, moving toward mission-critical outcomes and building on the lessons learned from our own history as well as on the deep experience and wisdom of our members and partners.

The General Assembly of members, held every three years, is the top FSC platform for decision-making. Motions are submitted by our members and are then discussed and voted on by all attendees. 

FSC Global Strategy (French) 


The FSC Statutes are the documents that that govern the organization and the foundation on which it was formed. 

They are updated every three years, through a motion proposed by members at the General Assembly, or if an amendment is required between assemblies, this can be proposed by members through a postal vote.  

  • FSC GA

    Via the General Assembly

    FSC International members are invited to the General Assembly. Delegates also include certification bodies, certificate holders, union representatives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and observers – but only members can submit motions. 

    FSC members discuss and vote on motions that may fundamentally affect the way FSC is run. 

    To ensure that all voices are heard equally, each FSC chamber holds 33.3 per cent of the vote on all FSC matters. Within each chamber, votes are weighted to ensure that North and South each hold 50 per cent of the vote. 

    The FSC General Assembly 2021 will be the 9th assembly of members in the history of the organization. The eighth FSC General Assembly 2017 took place in Vancouver, Canada, from 8 to 13 October 2017. The first general assembly took place in 1996 in Oaxaca, Mexico.

    The Board of Directors are 12 individuals who are elected by, and accountable to, the members.

  • FSC Forests

    Via the FSC Board of Directors

    The FSC Board of Directors is accountable to all members. It consists of 12 elected representatives, with four elected from each of the chambers for a four-year term. 
    In 2012, the Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Kim Carstensen would be the best person to lead the organization, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role. 

  • FSC General Assembly
    FSC AC / Geoff Howe

    Via FSC Policy and Standards Committee

    The FSC Policy and Standards Committee acts on behalf of the BoD with respect to technical matters related to the development or revision of FSC Policies, Standards, Procedures and other normative documents, by providing technical reviews and recommendations for their approval. The PSC consists of 6 FSC members, one from each of the 6 FSC sub-chambers, selected by the BoD based on an application process open to all FSC members.

  • Kim Carstensen

    Via the Director General

    Kim Carstensen is the Director General of the Forest Stewardship Council, a position he has held since October 2012. He was selected to succeed Andre de Freitas with the unanimous support of the FSC Board of Directors, who recognised that Mr. Carstensen’s proven track record as a global leader within the environment and development sectors make him extremely well-suited to consolidate FSC’s position as a global leader in responsible forest certification. 

    Prior to joining FSC, Mr. Carstensen managed FairGreenSolutions, an environmental strategy and sustainable development consultancy that, among other things, helped link the concepts of ‘green economy’ and sustainable development for clients in the global South. 

    His strategic approach to environment and development issues comes from a long history of global leadership at WWF, most recently as the leader of WWF International’s Global Climate Initiative, where he led the organisation’s development of nationally relevant and climate change programmes in the world’s key economies and its push for global climate action across governments and businesses. 

    Prior to this he was the CEO of WWF Denmark, where he worked on issues related to global environment and development policy, and to environment and development projects in the global South. 

    Mr. Carstensen’s broad development experience also comes from his prior role as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Danida (Denmark’s Official Development Assistance Agency), where he participated in broad discussions of development issues in all sectors, and from his academic training as a sociologist. 

Global leadership structure

The Forest Stewardship Council International (FSC International) consists of the entities FSC Asociación Civil (FSC AC), FSC International Center GmbH (FSC IC) and FSC Global Development GmbH (FSC GD). While the latter two are located in Bonn, Germany, FSC AC is located in Oaxaca, Mexico, and is the mother organization of FSC IC and FSC GD. FSC Investments and Partnerships is associated with FSC International and located in Seattle, Washington, U.S.

FSC Leadership

Kim Carstensen, Director General

Frank Harnischfeger, Chief Operating Officer


Global Leadership Team

Kim Carstensen, Director General

Frank Harnischfeger, Chief Operating Officer

Guillermina Garza, Head of Director's Office

Stefan Salvador, Director Policy Operations

Hans Joachim Droste, Chief Policy Officer

Jeremy Harrison, Chief Marketing Officer

Karen van der Westhuizen, Director Communications

Michael Marus, Chief Information Officer and Director of IT

Gemma Boetekees, Director Stakeholder Solutions

Lieske van Santen, Director Global Network

Harrison Ochieng Kojwang, Regional Director, Africa

Bruno Rath, Regional Director Latin America.

Anand Punja, Regional Director, Europe

Cindy Cheng, Regional Director, Asia Pacific

Corey Brinkema, President, FSC US

Mark Smith, Chief Development Officer

Joanna Nowakowska, Deputy Director of Technology and Information Unit (Data Analytics, Evaluation and Learning)