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"Your appointment is especially heartening in that it confirms that the issue of corporate responsibility, and the challenge of reconciling public priorities with private interests, are of central importance to society today."

-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a letter to John Ruggie

 

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October 2002 Director's Welcome

 
 

John G. Ruggie, CBG Director1 October 2002

Dear CBG Faculty, Fellows, Staff and Friends:

Not long after my appointment as CBG Director, my former boss, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, sent a warm congratulatory note. In it, he captured the essence of CBG. He wrote, "Your appointment is especially heartening in that it confirms that the issue of corporate responsibility, and the challenge of reconciling public priorities with private interests, are of central importance to society today."

Now that the new academic year is fully underway our activities are in full stride, demonstrating yet again the diversity of our commitment and the breadth of our expertise. This fall, CBG faculty are teaching 29 graduate-level courses and chairing five different Executive Programs. We have successfully launched three regular seminar series, hosted two public forum events, and this past weekend the Young Faculty Leaders Forum, led by Prof. Richard Light and Senior Fellow Tom Healey, completed its first executive session. Last week we graduated the first class of 58 government officials in the China's Leaders in Development Program, and over the course of the past month we have welcomed 23 new fellows and senior fellows.

And, in what may fall into a first-ever category, the Directors of four KSG Centers (CBG, Hauser, Shorenstein, and Public Leadership) are cooperating to develop a major KSG program on corporate social responsibility. Needless to say, the recent epidemic of corporate malfeasance has also generated a great deal of interest in the issue of corporate governance. We hosted a forum on September 16th, on "Corporate Fraud and Rattled Investors," which served as a launching point for some of this work.

So, Mr. Secretary-General, we hear you. We are writing and publishing, teaching and training, advising and counseling, and hosting and convening in continual efforts to shed light on the dynamics of public/private relationships and inform and influence decision making globally.

When I was at the U.N., I worked with Kofi Annan to establish the Global Compact, an initiative that brings together public, private and civil society actors to foster partnerships in pursuit social goals. As CBG Director, I hope to deepen our understanding of productive collaboration among the various sectors of society, at home and abroad; to examine changing social expectations about the corporation; and to further our fabulous research efforts on devising "smart" regulatory policy. There is much to do, and I encourage your involvement.

Cheers.

 John Ruggie signature

John G. Ruggie

Frank and Denie Weil Director, Center for Business and Government
Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs

 
 
 
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