Robert T. Michaels Joins the Optical Society as Chief Financial Officer


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

Robert T. Michaels Joins the Optical Society as Chief Financial Officer

Michaels CFO of OSAWASHINGTON, May 20—The Optical Society (OSA) announced today that Robert T. Michaels, CPA, will join the staff as chief financial officer (CFO) next month.  As CFO, Michaels will oversee OSA’s financial operations.

Specifically, Michaels will spearhead accounting procedures, budgets, receivables, tax and treasury, and report on these areas to the OSA Board of Directors, executive director, and other relevant audiences. In collaboration with the deputy executive director/chief operating officer (COO), Michaels will develop the society's budgets in support of the strategic goals and vision of the OSA Board and executive director.  He will also be responsible for directing the financial policies of OSA, including the OSA Foundation, and establishing and maintaining OSA’s accounting principles, practices, internal controls and procedures.

“With Bob’s two decades of financial experience in the association industry, he has exceptional insights into the inner workings of non-profits and the unique challenges and opportunities they face,” said Jayne Somes-Schloesser, OSA deputy executive director/COO. “His perspective will help bring new ideas and approaches to the OSA finance team and will provide the perfect complement to the work that’s already being done.”

Michaels has more than 20 years of experience in the financial sector; most recently, he was vice president of finance at the American Association for Justice (AAJ), formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, in Washington, D.C.  In this capacity, he oversaw all financial functions for AAJ and directed the financial analysis for the attainment of a new headquarters building for AAJ. He also served as the liaison to the budget committee, executive committee and board of governors. 

Prior to that position, Michaels held several progressively responsible finance positions with AAJ, including senior staff accountant and director of finance.  As director of finance, he controlled all aspects of financial management for AAJ and its seven related entities and trusts.  Michaels received his B.A. in accounting from St. Bonaventure University.  He is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Society of Association Executives. 

About OSA

Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit