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27 Sep 2021

In Memory of John G. Ruggie: Tribute by Amol Mehra

John Ruggie’s work was about promise and purpose - where rights and responsibilities were not questions, but expectations.

The United Nations Guiding Principles that he birthed - alongside a wonderful team of dedicated leaders and a broader community who pushed, pulled, cheered, jeered along the way - are without a doubt one of the most significant contributions to work on globalization, business and rights ever. Their reach is evident all around us -  from policies like mandatory human rights due diligence, to trade policy tools, to climate cases.

Perhaps more than that, though, was how John was as a leader. He led with kindness. Even in those moments where we may have stood in disagreement, there was always a sense of respect, of patience, of perspective: 'we may disagree on the road, but we'll meet at the destination.'

The world has a lost a great light. May he rest the same way he lived: in promise and purpose.

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