CAROLINE REES | PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER
As the President and Co-Founder of Shift, Caroline leads our strategic 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, the central contribution of corporate respect for human rights to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals, and the advancement of better ways to measure corporate human rights performance through Shift’s Valuing Respect project.
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. She was deeply involved in the drafting of the Guiding Principles, and she led research and analysis on respect for human rights in the context of global supply chains as well as consultations and field testing on different types of non-judicial grievance mechanisms for victims of corporate human rights impacts.
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 also sits on the Advisory Committee of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, the Advisory Board for Ethical Corporation and the Expert Network of the UN Global Compact. She is a member of the Practitioners Council of Harvard Business School’s Impact Weighted Accounts Project and of the Advisory Panel to the Capitals Coalition, and shares a seat with Shift’s Vice President Rachel Davis on the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Human Rights Advisory Committee.
Caroline’s prior British foreign service career covers 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.