Matilda Donaldson



As Communications Manager, Matilda works with Shift’s team of experts to provide communications support for Shift’s mission, helping to drive positive transformation in corporate practice.

Matilda brings a wide range of experience working with national and global sustainability NGOs, particularly in the field of sustainable food and farming and supply chains. Most recently, as Organic Cotton Program Coordinator at Textile Exchange, she worked to scale up the production and adoption of organic cotton, as part of Textile Exchange’s mission to accelerate the uptake of preferred fibers and materials to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

Prior to this, Matilda worked in communications roles at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in Geneva, and at the Soil Association, the UK’s leading organic food and farming charity. As a communications intern in the Climate and Energy team at WBCSD, she focused on scalable solutions to the climate crisis. Subsequently, as Press Officer at the Soil Association, she landed critical food, farming, and environment stories in outlets such as the BBC, the Guardian, and the Financial Times, at key moments during the Brexit transition and Covid-19 pandemic.

Matilda holds a BSc in Integrated Environmental Studies from Jacobs University Bremen. She is currently based in the United Kingdom.

Tammy Vallejo



As an advisor, Tammy support Shift’s research and advocacy on mandatory due diligence standards at the European Union and EU member states and helps connect our work on mandatory due diligence and reporting standards. She also works to bring business and civil society perspectives from key sourcing markets into the EU debates.

Prior to joining Shift, Tammy was a policy advisor at Solidaridad Europe. She worked at influencing EU legislative developments on sustainable supply chains, including the proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence and the proposal for a Regulation on deforestation-free products with the aim of making them inclusive of the interest of smallholders. She also participated in the multisectoral gold sector agreement negotiated under the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) where she supported member companies in implementing due diligence in the mineral supply chain.

Tammy has extensive experience in the development of public policy in Ecuador, where she worked as a legal and policy advisor to a number of senior governmental officials. This included working toward the adoption of national legislation premised on the notion of water access as a human right. Working as a consultant for the UNDP to draft key sections of the implementing regulation of the Ecuadorian Environmental Law. Providing legal advice to the Vice-Mayoress of Quito in the exercises of her legislative power in the environmental committee. All these processes involved significant multistakeholder engagement, including with indigenous peoples’ representatives. She also supported negotiations on the restructuring of Quito’s waste management system, securing commitments to assess and address social risks, which included an obligation to conduct a fully participatory process with informal waste pickers.

Tammy holds a Master degree in Public and International law from Melbourne University, and a Master of Globalization and Social Integration from Universidad de Navarra. She has a Graduate Specialization in Environmental Management from Universidad Central del Ecuador and is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law. Tammy is a (non-practicing) lawyer qualified in Ecuador and is an Ecuadorian and French national.

Cynthia Burns



As Chief Operating Officer, Cynthia manages the execution of our strategic plan and oversees Shift’s people, financial and operational activities. She is responsible for developing and implementing the organizational systems, policies and processes that allow Shift to deliver on its mission and realize opportunities for growth.

Cynthia has two decades of nonprofit operations management experience. Prior to joining Shift, she spent seventeen years with the advocacy organization Human Rights First, most recently as Vice President of Operations. Among her varied responsibilities while holding this position, Cynthia directed the annual budgeting process and ensured the organization’s legal and 501(c)(3) compliance. Previous to her tenure as the Vice President of Operations, she filled numerous operational roles at Human Rights First and worked across organizations to improve collaboration and operational efficiency.

Cynthia has a B.A. in Political Science – with a focus on human rights – and Energy and Environmental Policy Studies from Hunter College, graduating summa cum laude. She has also undertaken graduate studies in Public Administration at the University of New Hampshire. Cynthia is a United States national.

Bob Dannhauser



In his role as a Senior Advisor at Shift, Bob focuses on corporate reporting on human rights, the human dimensions of sustainable finance, assessing the “S” in companies’ ESG performance, and the interconnections between these areas that ultimately provide useful information and insights to investors. Bob also works with businesses and financial institutions on their implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Before joining Shift, Bob worked extensively with asset owners and asset managers, in client-facing roles for several large asset management companies, as well as on the staff at CFA Institute, a global association of professional investors. At CFA Institute, Bob headed the Standards of Practice team, as well as the Global Capital Markets Policy group responsible for public policy advocacy from centers in Washington, Brussels, London and Hong Kong. Bob also headed the Global Private Wealth Management practice at CFA Institute. His investment governance experience includes service as chair of the CFA Institute 401-k investment committee, as well as on the investment committee overseeing CFA Institute’s $500 million strategic reserves portfolio.

Bob has served as Senior Advisor to The Investment Integration Project, an applied research and consultancy focused on systems-level investing. He is also a frequent speaker and writer on a range of investment issues, including ESG, fiduciary duty and emerging issues in wealth and asset management.

Bob earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from George Washington University, a Master of Business Administration degree from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). He also holds a Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation and Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR) certificate from the Global Association of Risk Managers. Bob is a United States national.

Francesca de Meillac

Francesca de Meillac | SENIOR ADVISOR


As Senior Advisor at Shift, Francesca works with companies and financial institutions to support their implementation of the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs).

Francesca was previously Principal Consultant at Environmental Resources Management (ERM), where she led ERM’s UK human rights team, and global technical community on modern slavery and human rights. Francesca advised multinational companies to assess and address human rights risks, build internal capacity and develop and implement fit-for-purpose policies and management systems. She also worked closely with financial institutions including development finance institutions (DFIs), commercial banks, export credit agencies and private equity on assessing and managing human rights risks in accordance with international standards including the UNGPs, IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles IV.

Prior to ERM, Francesca was Senior Business Advisor at the Ethical Trading Initiative, a leading initiative of companies, NGOs and trade unions promoting respect for labor rights in supply chains. She supported companies to develop and improve ethical trade strategy, implementation and reporting.

From 2012-2016, she was the in-house human rights specialist at BG Group, a multinational energy company. Francesca developed and managed BG Group’s approach to integrating the UNGPs into company processes, and supported BG Group’s country offices on site, on issues including community impacts, grievance management, security and conflict, stakeholder engagement, and social investment.

She has international work experience across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America including on-the-ground experience conducting stakeholder consultation, human rights impact assessments (HRIA), environmental and social due diligence (ESDD) and monitoring. Francesca is also experienced in designing and delivering training and capacity building on social performance, human rights and sustainable finance.

Francesca holds an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and a MA in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University. She is from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anthony Ewing

As a Senior Associate, Anthony contributes to Shift’s work with governments, business enterprises, and other partners to put the Guiding Principles into practice and advises on opportunities to expand the impact of Shift’s work advancing respect for human rights.

Anthony is a business advisor, attorney, and teacher with two decades of experience counseling senior executives in the private and non-profit sectors on crisis management, corporate responsibility, and strategic communication. He has advised clients in a range of industries, including healthcare, technology, financial services, energy and manufacturing. In the non-profit sector, he has worked with the International Labour Organization, the Executive Office of the UN Global Compact, the International Secretariat of Religions for Peace, the International League for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and an international development organization in Central America.

Anthony teaches business and human rights at Columbia Law School. He co-founded the Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum, a platform for collaboration among teachers worldwide, is a member of the Editorial Board of the Business and Human Rights Journal, and is editing a guide on Teaching Business and Human Rights (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., forthcoming 2022).

Anthony holds a B.A. in political science from Yale University and a law degree from Columbia University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. He is a United States national.

Federico Burlon



As Deputy Director of Business Engagement at Shift, Federico engages with business partners to better identify, prioritize and act on salient human rights issues, embedding the UN Guiding Principles in companies’ decision-making processes.

Prior to joining Shift, Federico was Head of Delivery at Impactt. Federico managed a portfolio of clients, supported by a team of consultants. He led human rights assessment and remediation projects in the construction, energy, food and shipbuilding industries. This resulted in positive outcomes such as the return of passports and reimbursement of recruitment fees to workers and the strengthening of companies’ employment practices. Federico led Impactt’s engagement with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy in Qatar as external monitor of worker welfare in the construction of venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He also developed Impactt’s Diagnostics community of practice, delivering for clients as well as building internal capacity to execute human rights assessments around the world, with a focus on worker voice.

Prior to Impactt, Federico was a Sustainability Manager at Tesco plc. He contributed to the roll out of Tesco’s ethical trading programme to the goods-not-for-resale value chain. Federico engaged with hundreds of product and services suppliers and internal purchasing and sourcing teams to raise awareness of human rights issues and to prioritise and address the findings from third-party social audits. He also worked on climate change to develop a roadmap to achieve Tesco’s carbon reduction commitments related to direct and supply chain emissions.

In prior roles, Federico worked with a variety of human rights organisations in the United Kingdom and United States.

Federico holds a MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Macalester College, with a focus on human rights law and international migration. He is a United World College Adriatic alumnus and is from Argentina.

Caroline Rees



As the President and Co-Founder of Shift, Caroline leads our organizational strategy and development and drives our thought leadership work on key challenges and opportunities in advancing corporate respect for business and human rights. Caroline speaks extensively at events around the world and frequently facilitates dialogue and debate amongst companies, governments, investors and civil society. In recent years, Caroline has focused on improving corporate human rights reporting as a catalyst for better human rights risk management, and on improving the data and methods used in evaluating companies’ social performance as part of ESG (environmental, social and governance) analysis. She has written and spoken extensively on the relevance of business respect for human rights, and the UNGPs specifically, to movements that seek to advance sustainability, equality, ESG investing, stakeholder capitalism, and human and social capital.

Caroline previously spent 14 years with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. From 2003 to 2006 she led the UK’s human rights negotiating team at the UN and she ran the negotiations to establish the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on business and human rights. The success of this initiative led to Professor John Ruggie’s appointment and from 2007-2011 Caroline was a lead advisor on his team and deeply involved in the drafting of the Guiding Principles.

From 2009 to 2011 Caroline was also the Director of the Governance and Accountability Program at the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School and she remains a Senior Program Fellow there. Caroline is a Commissioner on the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, the Advisory Group to the Workforce Disclosure Initiative, the Advisory Council to Harvard Business School’s Impact Weighted Accounts Initiative and the Advisory Panel of the Capitals Coalition.

Caroline’s prior British foreign service career covered Iran, Slovakia, the UN Security Council in New York and the European Union in Brussels. Caroline has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Oxford University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Caroline is a British national and speaks English, French and German.

Rachel Davis



Rachel is one of Shift’s co-founders and has led work at Shift over the last decade on standard-setting, human rights and sports, financial institutions, conflict and international law.

As Vice President, Rachel shapes our strategy and oversees a range of our collaborations with companies, governments, investors, civil society and other partners. Rachel leads Shift’s work to influence standard-setters of all kinds to integrate the UN Guiding Principles into the rules that govern business, including engaging with governments and the European Union on mandatory human rights due diligence.

Rachel also has unique experience advising and leading efforts to drive respect for human rights into the operations of global sports governing bodies. Rachel was the Chair of FIFA’s independent Human Rights Advisory Board while it operated, between 2017 and 2021. She has advised the International Olympic Committee on human rights since 2018, including co-authoring recommendations for the IOC on a comprehensive human rights strategy with former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein.

Rachel has more than a decade of experience in implementing the Guiding Principles with a wide range of organizations, including public and private financial institutions and companies from diverse business sectors and geographies, and she frequently leads and facilitates engagements with senior audiences around the world. She is the co-author of the leading study of the costs of company-community conflict in the extractive sector.

Prior to co-founding Shift, Rachel was a senior legal advisor from 2006-2011 to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on business and human rights, Harvard Professor John Ruggie. She played a pivotal role in the development of the Guiding Principles, advising on all aspects of the relationship between the Guiding Principles and national and international law.

Rachel is also a Senior Program Fellow with the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School and has experience at the highest levels of the Australian legal system and internationally, having clerked at the High Court of Australia and at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. She has a particular interest in Indigenous peoples’ rights, having advised the Australian Federal Attorney-General’s Department on Indigenous affairs and acted as Ruggie’s liaison with the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during his UN mandate.

Rachel has a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School and Bachelors degrees in Law and Politics from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, where she also lectured and published in law. She is a (non-practicing) lawyer qualified in New South Wales and is an Australian and British national.

Ashleigh Owens



As Deputy Director / Financial Institutions Lead, Ashleigh engages directly with financial institutions, companies and investors as they embed respect for human rights into their operations and business relationships. She also leads on pieces of research under our Valuing Respect Project, which is focused on developing better ways to evaluate business respect for human rights. Ashleigh has a breadth of experience approaching the Guiding Principles from business, legal and academic perspectives and brings a holistic view to Guiding Principles implementation.

Ashleigh was previously Executive Director at Ernst & Young’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services. At EY Japan, she led a team of consultants supporting policy-making, educational program and governance design, stakeholder dialogue and due diligence strategies for multinational and domestic companies across a variety of industries.  As founder of the EY Human Rights Network, she led the enhancement of EY’s human rights capabilities across EY’s global network. In her role she was a frequent speaker and moderator of dialogues at multi-stakeholder fora and functioned as a connector between civil society, government and corporate actors with a common goal of empowering business to respect rights.

From 2012 to 2014 she conducted research at the United Nations University in the field of Sustainability Science, specializing in business and human rights. She prepared research for the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and spent time at the UN Global Compact New York and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ashleigh later sat on the UN Global Compact’s Human Rights and Labour Working Group and drafted the Global Compact’s 2015 Guide on How to Develop a Human Rights Policy.

Ashleigh is a lawyer qualified in Australia and England & Wales and specialized in intellectual property law, labor law and public international law. She has advised governments and companies on state human rights obligations, companies on the nexus between bilateral investment treaties and human rights and fellow lawyers on integrating the Guiding Principles into legal advice. In 2007 she won the Intellectual Property Society of Australia & NZ prize.

Ashleigh has authored or contributed to a number of publications including: Business and Human Rights: Corporate Japan Rises to the Challenge (joint publication between EY Japan and Global Compact Network Japan), Corporate Social Responsibility Can Save Japan (Op-ed in Japan Times), Cumulative Human Rights Impacts (in UN Global Compact/ Maplecroft Business Dilemmas Forum) as well as several legal publications on intellectual property law in Australia and English translations of Japanese High Court judgments. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)’s Division for Prosperity.

Ashleigh has degrees in Law and Asian Studies from the University of Western Australia, with studies also conducted at the University of Vienna and Sophia University in Japan. She has a Masters of Science in Sustainability from the United Nations University and has undertaken the institution’s Leadership for Sustainability program. Ashleigh is an Australian national, and is fluent in Japanese.