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Bio of Special Representative Ruggie

Introduction > Bio of Special Representative Ruggie


John G. Ruggie is the Berthold Beitz professor in human rights and international affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, as well as Affiliated Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School.

From 1997 to 2001 he was United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Chief Advisor for strategic planning to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.  Ruggie’s major responsibilities included designing and overseeing the Global Compact, Annan’s initiative to engage the corporate sector in promoting UN principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environmental sustainability and anti-corruption, which now engages some 4,700 firms worldwide (as of Nov 2008).  He also played a central role in preparing the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, including drafting the summit’s final “Declaration,” which adopted the Millennium Development Goals that have brought renewed energy and focus to the fight against global poverty. 

Prior to joining the UN, he was Dean of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, where he taught for many years; he has also taught at the University of California's (UC) Berkeley and San Diego campuses and directed the UC system-wide Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.  Professor Ruggie is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the International Studies Association's Distinguished Scholar Award and the American Political Science Association's Hubert H. Humphrey Award for outstanding public service by a political scientist.  Ruggie has a BA in politics and history from McMaster University in Canada; a PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley; and a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from McMaster.  Additional information & publications are available on Professor Ruggie's Harvard faculty webpage.