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 identify him as one of the 25 most influential international relations scholars in the United States and Canada. Apart from 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 worlds largest corporate citizenship initiative; proposing and gaining General Assembly approval for the Millennium Development Goals; UN institutional reforms; and conducting relations with Washington. In 2005, Professor Ruggie was appointed as the UN Secretary-Generals 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 a set of Principles on Business and Human Rights developed by Professor Ruggie over the course of six years of research, consultations and pilot projects. Core elements of these Principles have also been adopted by the OECD, the International Standards Organization, the International Finance Corporation and the European Union. They constitute the most comprehensive and authoritative global standard in the area of business and human rights.