Announcement - President & CEO

APSCA Appoints New President & CEO to Advance Competency and Ethics in Social Compliance Auditing

WASHINGTON, USA, October 11, 2023: The Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Ms. Colleen Vien as its incoming President and Chief Executive Officer effective November 1.  With a distinguished background in supply chain due diligence, human rights auditing, and extensive experience in multi-stakeholder associations, Ms. Vien is poised to lead APSCA into a new era of growth and influence. An accomplished corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability executive, Ms. Vien has more than two decades’ experience in leading global programs, teams and initiatives aimed at driving positive impacts in implementing responsible business practices.

Internationally ranked as one of the top CSR influence leaders, Ms. Vien has demonstrated exceptional skill in managing social and environmental risks, as well as fostering community relations and employee engagement. She is not only a proficient media and public relations spokesperson but also an inspiring leader known for her adeptness in stakeholder engagement and cross-industry collaboration.

Ms. Vien’s career has been marked by an unwavering commitment to upholding human rights within complex global supply chains. During her decade-plus tenure at Timberland, she held the crucial role of overseeing human rights and environmental standards across the company’s global supply chain. Through proactive engagement and innovative strategies, her team implemented responsible sourcing practices that extended beyond factory walls.

Her active involvement in various multi-stakeholder industry associations, such as Fair Factories Clearinghouse, Social Labor Convergence Project, Social Accountability International, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and the Global Social Compliance Program, is a testament to her ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders and drive meaningful change. Ms. Vien has consistently demonstrated her leadership skills by chairing committees, leading working groups, and facilitating multi-stakeholder initiatives. Her expertise in stakeholder engagement, facilitation, and change management has allowed her to successfully navigate complex challenges and achieve impactful outcomes.

Prior to her appointment at APSCA, Ms. Vien served as Senior Vice President for the Purpose + Impact Group/ESG Team at the global public relations firm Porter Novelli, where she collaborated with Fortune 500 companies on assignments encompassing social impact and environmental assessments, sustainability strategy development, CSR and ESG reporting, and communication strategies. Her experience as a seasoned press and media relations professional adds an additional dimension to her leadership role at APSCA.

Most recently, Ms. Vien has been contributing to the field of ethics and compliance through her freelance work with Ethisphere. In her role as a supply chain due diligence expert, she has actively participated in Ethisphere’s efforts to develop new membership resources. This contribution is particularly relevant in light of the increasing number of international regulations and voluntary standards related to supply chain due diligence. Her work with Ethisphere further exemplifies her unwavering commitment to advancing responsible sourcing practices.

Welcoming the appointment, Avedis Seferian, Chair of APSCA’s Executive Board, said: “We are delighted to welcome Colleen as the new President and CEO of APSCA at this important stage in the association’s development. 

“Colleen’s record speaks for itself, with enormous experience across a range of global roles at a number of leading global businesses and industry bodies.  We couldn’t have asked for a better successor to Rona, our outgoing CEO, who has done such a wonderful job in bringing APSCA to where we are today.

“Colleen’s expertise in transformational change management and cross-industry collaboration will be particularly important as APSCA moves forward with its 2030 Strategy, aimed at future-proofing the profession, enhancing our global impact, and advancing workplace conditions worldwide.”

Ms. Vien said of her appointment: “APSCA has a unique opportunity to solidify its position as the leading industry association for social compliance auditing globally.  

“My career has afforded me invaluable global connections and experiences that I am excited to leverage in this role. 

“I extend my sincere gratitude to the outgoing President & CEO, Ms. Rona Starr, for her tireless efforts in building APSCA and advancing the profession’s global influence.  I am committed to further enhancing this legacy as we confidently stride into a brighter future for all.”

APSCA President  & CEO, Rona Starr announces her retirement

APSCA Executive Board would like to advise our Member Auditors and Firms that Rona Starr, our President & CEO, informed us of her decision to step down from her position after successfully leading the organization for seven years.
The APSCA Executive Board has formed a search committee and engaged the services of Acre, an independent executive search firm, to conduct a worldwide search for the next President and CEO. 

Under Rona’s visionary leadership, APSCA has achieved significant global growth and strategic expansion, establishing a strong foundation in building an independent and professional standards body for social compliance auditors. 

The Executive Board is now looking for a President & CEO to take APSCA forward in this next chapter of growth. The Executive Board extends our heartfelt gratitude to Rona, who will remain in her post until a successor has been appointed.  

APSCA’s Executive Board Chair, Avedis Seferian said: 

“We have been fortunate to have Rona as our leader during APSCA’s critical formative stages and have benefitted greatly from her tireless energy and deep commitment to the organization’s mission. The significant growth and successes APSCA have already achieved would simply not have been possible without her.”

Rona commented:

“This is not the end, but the beginning of a new journey for APSCA. I would like to thank all the many friends I have made and the fantastic support received from APSCA Members and stakeholders during my time as leader of this amazing organization.

“It is because of your ongoing support and valuable contributions that APSCA has achieved its remarkable successes.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside so many talented individuals. 

“As we enter this transition period, I want to assure you that I will remain actively involved to maintain the positive momentum which we have built together. I am committed to ensuring that APSCA continues to deliver outstanding results and remains at the forefront of the global social compliance profession.

“I will wholeheartedly offer my full support and collaboration to whoever is appointed as APSCA’s new leader. APSCA has an extremely bright future, thanks to the hard work of everyone involved with the organization.

“As Winston Churchill said, ‘This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’ 

“I will continue watching with excitement and celebrate the ongoing successes of APSCA.”

For details regarding the position, see Acre’s website  or get in touch with Catherine Harris via email at

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