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28 Sep 2021

Vanessa Zimmerman

In Memory of John G. Ruggie: Tribute by Vanessa Zimmerman (CEO, Pillar Two and Former member of Team Ruggie 2006 - 2011)

28 September 2021

It is going to seem strange to remember John Ruggie in rhyme

But I know it would have made him smile another time

He was a great intellect whose forethought, diplomacy and perseverance gave us it all

He was there to rally, to cajole, to mediate, to negotiate where others would fall

To me his legacy means having the chutzpah to be practical but clear

That no one has the excuse to avoid looking and acting to root out fear

It means bringing people together even when they don’t see they can be a pair

To provide them with a common language to collaborate with smarts and care

Rare is a person who can see the big picture without forgetting all of the details

And with whom world leaders, CEOs, students and workers wanted to share their tales

But above all else he was our special one, our cheeky one, our always listening one, our John

And for him my own smile I will always don