John Ruggie

Professor of International Affairs
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University


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John Gerard Ruggie is the Berthold Beitz Professor of 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, 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. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a recent survey published in Foreign Policy magazine identified him as one of the 25 most influential international relations scholars in the United States and Canada. He has won awards from the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association.

Apart from his academic pursuits, Ruggie has long been involved in practical policy work, initially as a consultant to various agencies of the United Nations and the United States government. 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 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; advising the Secretary-General on relations with Washington; and broadly contributing to the effort at institutional renewal for which the Secretary-General and the United Nations as a whole were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

In 2005, responding to a request by the UN Commission on Human Rights (now Human Rights Council), Annan appointed Ruggie as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, a post he continues to hold in the new UN administration of Ban Ki-Moon. In that capacity, his job is to propose measures to strengthen the human rights performance of the business sector around the world.