John G. Ruggie, Former Faculty Chair

John G. Ruggie headshot.The late John G. Ruggie was the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, Affiliated Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and Faculty Chair of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative through 2021. Trained as a political scientist, Ruggie made significant intellectual contributions to the study of international relations, focusing on the impact of globalization on global rule making. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, he received the International Studies Association's “Distinguished Scholar” award, the American Political Science Association's Hubert Humphrey award for “outstanding public service by a political scientist,” a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Harry LeRoy Jones Award from the Washington Foreign Law Society for “an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and application of international law;” and the World Order Under Law Award from the American Bar Association. He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from McMaster University and the University of Waterloo, both in Canada. A survey published in Foreign Policy magazine identified him as one of the 25 most influential international relations scholars in the United States and Canada.

Apart from his academic pursuits, Ruggie was 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 was United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning – a post created specifically for him by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan. His responsibilities 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 Annan on relations with Washington; and broadly contributing to the effort at institutional renewal for which Annan and the United Nations as a whole were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. From 2005-2011 Ruggie served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights. His mandate was to propose measures to strengthen the human rights performance of the business sector around the world. The final product of his mandate, developed through nearly 50 international consultations, extensive research and pilot projects, was the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed unanimously by the UN Human Rights Council. In the words of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, they constitute “the global authoritative standard, providing a blueprint for the steps all states and businesses should take to uphold human rights.”

Professor Ruggie chaired the board the New York-based non-profit Shift: Putting Principles into Practice. He also advised governments, companies and civil society organizations on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles. Most recently, he was tasked by FIFA, the governing body of international football, to align its policies and practices with the Guiding Principles. His latest book, entitled Just Business: Multinational Corporations and Human Rights, has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.

Jane Nelson, Director

Jane Nelson headshot.Jane Nelson is Director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She was a director and then senior advisor at the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum from 1993 to 2012, and has been a senior associate with the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University and an adviser and track leader at the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2001, she worked with the United Nations Global Compact in the office of the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, preparing his report for the General Assembly on cooperation between the UN and the private sector. Prior to 1993, Nelson worked for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Africa, for FUNDES in Latin America, and as a Vice President at Citibank working for the bank's Financial Institutions Group in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She has co-authored five books and over 90 publications on corporate responsibility, public-private partnerships and the role of the private sector in sustainable development, including five of the World Economic Forum's Global Corporate Citizenship reports. She serves on the Boards of Directors of Newmont, the Abraaj Group, FSG, and the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative, on the Economic Advisory Board of the International Finance Corporation, and on advisory councils for Bank of America, Abbott, ExxonMobil, GE, Pearson’s Project Literacy initiative, APCO Worldwide, the Center for Global Development, InterAction and the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on International Cooperation, Public-Private Partnership and Sustainable Development. Previously, Nelson served on the Boards of Directors of SITA (now part of Suez Environnement), the World Environment Center, the UK Environment Foundation, AIESEC, and the International Council of Toy Industries CARE Foundation, and on advisory councils for Merck Vaccines, British Telecom, Youth Business International, Henderson Fund Managers, UNDP’s Inclusive Markets Initiative, the UK Department for International Development, the Danish Ministry for Social Affairs, the Copenhagen Centre, Instituto Ethos in Brazil, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, the Ford Foundation’s Corporate Involvement Initiative, the International Council on Mining and Metals, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, and the Global Business Coalition Against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (now GBCHealth). Educated in Zimbabwe, the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom, Nelson is a former Rhodes Scholar, a 2016 Arthur Vining Davis Aspen Fellow, and a recipient of the Keystone Center's 2005 Leadership in Education Award and the Academy of Management’s 2015 Best Book Award for the Social Issues in Management Division.

Fellows Team

CRI is honored to work with an outstanding team of Senior Fellows and Research Fellows. Learn more about our non-resident Fellows Team and why we are indebted to their expertise.