Staff Leadership

Sharon Waxman, President & CEO

Sharon Waxman joined FLA in 2015 and serves as the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Before the FLA, Sharon was vice president for policy and advocacy at the International Rescue Committee, a global refugee and humanitarian organization founded by Albert Einstein.

Sharon spent more than two decades in government, serving as deputy to the Undersecretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights at the U.S. Department of State and as a senior national security adviser in the U.S. Senate.

As a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Sharon is an active voice on foreign policy matters. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies and the University of California, Berkeley.

Eric Biel, Senior Advisor

Eric joined FLA in January 2018 after serving as associate deputy undersecretary in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) from 2012 to 2017.

After leaving ILAB, Eric worked on projects with business and civil society groups, spoke frequently on trade, labor, and business and human rights issues, and served on the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on the Future of the U.S. Workforce.

Eric held positions in the private sector from 2000 to 2011, including managing director for Corporate Responsibility at Burson-Marsteller; deputy Washington director at Human Rights First; and senior vice president at Fontheim International.

He has also served as deputy undersecretary for Trade Policy and head of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce; executive director of the bipartisan Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy; and international trade counsel at the Senate Finance Committee.

Eric teaches a “Business and Human Rights in the Global Economy” course at Georgetown University Law Center, teaching there since 2008.

Eric has a joint legal and graduate degree from Yale Law School and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. He earned his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Renee Bowers, Senior Director, Social Compliance

Renee oversees factory-level monitoring and company accreditation and leads FLA’s Fair Compensation program.

Prior to joining FLA, she worked with stakeholders to develop and uphold criteria for fair wages, sustainable purchasing practices, and ethical production as the executive director of the Fair Trade Federation, an association of businesses dedicated to supporting artisan and farmer communities through fair trade practices.

Renee spent seven years working with producers in India and Sri Lanka to build business capacity and ensure sustainable practices on the ground as a fair trade buyer.

She was a senior research fellow with the American Institute of Indian Studies. She holds a graduate certificate in Socially Responsible and Sustainable Apparel Business from the University of Delaware.

Bill Furmanski, Senior Director, Communications

Bill joined the FLA in September 2018 after more than a decade at Truth Initiative, where he led corporate communications, editorial strategy, and strategic partnerships.

Bill’s 18 years in public health included coordinating communications for a tobacco cessation policy project at the American Cancer Society and a lead role in the launch of several national anti-tobacco marketing campaigns, including the award-winning truth prevention campaign. Bill began his nonprofit career at an association of consumer credit counseling agencies, where he managed public relations and marketing.

Bill, a native of New Jersey, is a graduate of Seton Hall University. 

Shelly Han, Chief of Staff & Engagement Director

Shelly joined FLA after serving as a senior policy advisor to members of the U.S. Congress at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe from 2006 to 2016. Working with NGOs around the world, she drafted legislation, organized hearings, and launched advocacy campaigns to combat corruption, support human rights defenders and journalists, and advance online freedom.

She worked on trade, national security, and immigration policy positions at the Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security from 2000 to 2006. Earlier in her career, Shelly worked in the private sector helping companies do business—and do the right thing—in international markets.

Shelly has a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University. Her undergraduate degree in Political Science and East Asian Studies is from the University of Arizona. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Richa Mittal, Senior Director, Agriculture and Supply Chain Innovation

Richa is an expert in labor standards due diligence and problem resolution in complex upstream supply chains.

At FLA, Richa has led projects on traceability, child and forced labor, responsible recruitment, and gender and youth in manufacturing and agricultural supply chains in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America since joining the organization in 2003.

She is the architect behind critical FLA initiatives, including the FLA Agriculture Program, the Supply Chain Traceability Program, and the Fair Labor Agriculture Alliance – a platform focused on collective remediation in the agriculture sector.

Before joining FLA, Richa conducted research and managed a health program for garment workers in Bangladesh, run jointly by the University of Michigan and Michigan International Development.

Richa has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the United States, and Human Ecology from the University of Delhi in India.

FLA has a diverse professional team located around the world.