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John G. Ruggie is the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government and an Affiliated Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. Trained as a political scientist, Professor Ruggie has made significant intellectual contributions to the study of international relations, focusing on the impact of economic and other forms of globalization on global rule-making and the emergence of new rule-makers. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and surveys published in Foreign Policy magazine have identified him as one of the 25 most influential international relations scholars in the United States and Canada. In addition to his academic pursuits, Professor Ruggie has long been involved in practical policy work. From 1997-2001, he served as United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning, a post created specifically for him by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan. His areas of responsibility included assisting the Secretary-General in establishing and overseeing the UN Global Compact, now the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative; proposing and gaining General Assembly approval for the Millennium Development Goals; UN institutional reforms; and broadly contributing to the effort at institutional renewal for which Annan and the United Nations as a whole were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. In 2005, Professor Ruggie was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, tasked with proposing measures to strengthen the human rights performance of the business sector around the world. In June 2011 the UN Human Rights Council, in an unprecedented step, unanimously endorsed the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” that Professor Ruggie developed through extensive consultations, pilot projects and research. Core elements of the Guiding Principles have been adopted by other international standard setting bodies, national governments and by business enterprises themselves. They now constitute the authoritative global standard in the area of business and human rights. In June 2014, Professor Ruggie received the Harry LeRoy Jones Award of the Washington Foreign Law Society, honoring “an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and application of international law.” Professor Ruggie chairs the boards of two non-profits, New York-based Shift: Putting Principles into Practice; and the London-based Institute for Human Rights and Business. He advises governments and companies on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles. His latest book, entitled Just Business: Multinational Corporations and Human Rights, has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.
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