Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Michael Kobori (MPP ’95)

Vice-President of Sustainability, Levi Strauss & Co.

Michael Kobori has led sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. since 2001. Through his leadership, the company has been a pioneer on sustainability. 

Under Michael’s tenure, the company has brought sustainable products to the market through its Levi’s® Water<Less™ and Waste<Less™ collections and Dockers® WellThread™ collection.  It has engaged consumers in sustainability through its Care for our Planet™ program and clothing take-back programs.  It has advocated industry collaboration through its leadership on the Better Cotton Initiative, Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals group, and Sustainable Apparel Coalition. 

On labor rights, the company was one of the first companies to publicly disclose its manufacturing supplier locations, led the industry in banning sandblasting, and has recently launched its Improving Workers Well Being program, which goes beyond compliance to improve the lives of people who make its products.

Based on its sustainability work, Levi Strauss & Co. was named as one of the most innovative companies in the world in 2014 by FastCompany magazine, which also named Kobori one of its 1000 Most Creative People in Business.

Michael serves on the Board of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Global Advisory Council of the Cornerstone Capital Group, President’s Leadership Council of The Asia Foundation, and is a member of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Leaders Program.

He previously served as Chair and Council member of the Better Cotton Initiative, Board member of the Levi Strauss Foundation, and the Advisory Boards of the ILO’s Better Work program and the Center for Responsible Business at the University of California at Berkeley

Prior to working at Levi Strauss & Co., Michael was a Vice-President at Business for Social Responsibility and spent nearly ten years at The Asia Foundation.

Michael holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also received his undergraduate education in Psychology and Asian Studies.