Michelle Edkins, Managing Director, is the Global Head of BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship team of over 30 specialists covering the Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific. Ms. Edkins is responsible for the team’s engagement and proxy voting activities in relation to the companies in which BlackRock invests on behalf of clients. She also serves on the firm’s Global Operating, Human Capital and Government Relations Steering Committees. She is an alumna of BlackRock’s Women’s Leadership Forum and its Enterprise Leadership Program.
Ms. Edkins is an active participant in the public corporate governance debate and regularly speaks and writes on the importance of good stewardship for company performance. She was named in the NACD (the U.S. National Association of Corporate Directors) Directorship 100 Governance Professionals list for the past six years. She is also a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s First Movers program and a former Chair of the Board of Governors of the International Corporate Governance Network. She currently serves on a number of industry initiatives to enhance governance and sustainable business practices including the Advisory Council of the International Integrated Reporting Council, the U.S. chapter of the 30% Club, a market initiative to increase the number of women on boards and in senior management, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Investor Advisory Group and the CECP’s Strategic Investor Initiative.
Ms. Edkins’ service with the firm dates back to 2009. Prior to joining BlackRock, she was Managing Director at Governance for Owners, an independent partnership offering products that support responsible long-term share ownership. She started her corporate governance career in the UK in 1997 at Hermes Pensions Management, where she spent eight years, initially as the head of the corporate governance team and thereafter as Director of Institutional Relations. An economist by training, Michelle has also worked for New Zealand’s Reserve Bank and the British High Commission in Wellington.
Ms. Edkins earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in economics from the University of Otago, New Zealand, in 1991.