John Ruggie is the Berthold Beitz professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, an aaffiliated professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and faculty chair of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative. Trained as a political scientist, Ruggie has made significant intellectual contributions to the study of international relations, focusing on the impact of globalization on global rule-making. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, he has received the International Studies Association’s Distinguished Scholar award, the American Political Science Association’s Hubert Humphrey award for “outstanding public service by a political scientist,” a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Harry LeRoy Jones Award from the Washington Foreign Law Society for “an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and application of international law;” the World Order Under Law Award from the American Bar Association, and the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin A.SK Social Science Award “given every two years to honor social science researchers whose work significantly promotes economic and political reform.”
Apart from his academic pursuits, Ruggie has long been involved in practical policy work. From 1997-2001, he was United Nations assistant secretary-general for strategic planning—a post created specifically for him by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan. His responsibilities included establishing and overseeing the UN Global Compact, now the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative; proposing and gaining General Assembly approval for the Millennium Development Goals; advising Annan on relations with Washington; and broadly contributing to the effort at institutional renewal for which Annan and the United Nations as a whole were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. From 2005-2011, Ruggie served as the UN secretary-general’s special representative for business and human rights. The final product of his mandate was the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.