John G. Ruggie is the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Affiliated Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law.
Trained as a political scientist, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, and awards from the American Political Science Association, International Studies Association, and the Berlin Social Science Center. 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, 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; and broadly contributing to the effort at institutional reform and renewal for which Annan and the United Nations as a whole were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.
In 2005, Annan appointed Ruggie 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 global business sector. 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, business enterprises, and FIFA, the global governing body of football.