Defne Gürsoy Sökmen | ADVISOR


As an Advisor, Defne works with companies and other strategic partners to support their implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

Defne has extensive experience researching a range of human rights and international legal issues, including the UNGPs and corporate accountability. Prior to joining Shift, Defne was an independent researcher and consultant on labor rights, where she focused on occupational health and safety, collaborating with a variety of stakeholders, from the ILO to trade unions. Previously, she worked as a researcher on reporting projects for UNESCO, Freemuse and the OSCE, looking at artistic freedom, freedom of expression, and anti-slavery.

Defne is currently a PhD candidate at the Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Her project explores the shift from the corporate social responsibility tools of the liberal economy to those of the financial economy, with a focus on the use and purpose of voluntary social disclosure mechanisms and performance rating systems.

Defne has instructed courses on legal process, ethical lawyering, corporate social responsibility and transnational law in Canada and the UK.

Defne holds degrees in Law from the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London (LL.M, distinction) and Koç University in Istanbul (LL.B, Member of the Istanbul Bar). She is currently the co-managing editor of Transnational Legal Theory, a refereed law review of transnational law.