CAROLINE REES | PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER
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.