DAVID VERMIJS | DEPUTY DIRECTOR, BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT EUROPE AND SENIOR ADVISOR
As Shift’s Deputy Director of Business Engagement in Europe and Senior Advisor, David engages with our partners on an everyday basis, focusing particularly on helping companies identify, prioritize and mitigate human rights risks as part of human rights due diligence. David has also supported the development of several practical guidance tools with a range of our international partners. As Shift’s team member in the Netherlands, David is also our primary liaison with the Dutch government and Dutch companies and civil society on business respect for human rights.
David has over a decade of experience advising multinational corporations, governments, NGOs and others on business and human rights. Prior to joining Shift, David provided research assistance to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for business and human rights John Ruggie. As part of his contributions, David field-tested human rights due diligence with a group of Dutch companies and their stakeholders, and he supported research on company-led grievance mechanisms.
From 2008 to 2010, David was the lead consultant on an 18-month project, the Business and Human Rights Initiative, under the umbrella of the Global Compact Network Netherlands. The initiative was a collaboration between 10 Dutch multinationals – ABN AMRO, AkzoNobel, Essent, KLM, Philips, Rabobank, Randstad, Shell, TNT and Unilever – and led to the publication of a ground-breaking business guidance tool, How to Do Business with Respect for Human Rights, in 2010. Through his work at Shift, David led the update of this publication from 2014 to 2016 with the support of the Dutch government under their National Action Plan on implementing the Guiding Principles.
Another major guidance tool David has helped develop addresses due diligence on child labor, published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) in 2015. The guidance was the result of a multi-year, multi-stakeholder, multi-country project led by David involving the ILO, IOE, companies, unions, NGOs and other stakeholders.
David was previously a Research Fellow at the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, including assisting in teaching on business and human rights, global governance, corporate governance and leadership. David sits in a personal capacity on the board of the Dutch Social and Economic Council International Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. He has a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. David is a Dutch national, speaks English and Dutch and is proficient in Spanish and German.