RACHEL DAVIS | VICE PRESIDENT
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.
Rachel sits on the Advisory Board to AIM-Progress, a forum of leading consumer goods manufacturers and suppliers dedicated to promoting responsible sourcing practices. She is also a member of the Expert Advisory Group to the Australian Human Rights Commission on human rights risks in connection with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. In addition, Rachel is a Board member of the non-profit organization Advocates for Community Alternatives, which works with West African communities to defend their human rights and achieve sustainable development alternatives.
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.