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Shift

“Shift is transforming the impact of business on society. The team at Shift is unparalleled in their ability to work with all stakeholders to translate the principle of corporate respect for human rights into everyday practice in alignment with the Guiding Principles.”

John Ruggie, Chair of Shift and author of the Guiding Principles

Our Story

It was June 2011 and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights had just been unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. Our founders, Caroline Rees and Rachel Davis, had spent over five years working on the development of the Guiding Principles as part of the team supporting their author, John Ruggie, then the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights. This was a big day and a major step forward for the business and human rights agenda.

With the era of their development at a successful conclusion, the focus turned to the Guiding Principles' implementation. Shift was founded as a non-profit organization just days after the endorsement of the Guiding Principles at the UN to help deliver on their promise. Our mission is to put the Guiding Principles into practice in order to support greater respect for the human rights of all people affected by business. Since day one of our existence, our team of experts has worked with a huge range of organizations and individuals to make that vision a reality.

Brief introduction to Shift from President and Co-Founder Caroline Rees

Our Funding

Shift is a US-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We are funded primarily by governments, both for advisory work with individual government departments under our Government Engagement program as well as bigger projects under our International Partnerships program, like our cross-cutting reporting program and for our Education and Outreach program.

Our primary funders are:

  • United Kingdom - Department for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Norway – Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Netherlands – Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Sweden – Ministry for Foreign Affairs
  • Open Society Foundation

We also derive revenue from our Business Learning program, which covers advisory support provided under that program as supporting our broader work.

Where we work with a partner like an international organization or a multistakeholder or industry initiative, we typically receive funding directly from them for the project.

We can accept donations to which we apply a set of Board-approved criteria.

Our Team

Caroline Rees

Caroline Rees

President and Co-Founder
New York City

Rachel Davis

Rachel Davis

Managing Director, Co-Founder and Treasurer
New York City

John F. Sherman III

John F. Sherman III

General Counsel, Senior Advisor and Secretary
Boston

Barbara Koneval

Barbara Koneval

Operations Manager
New York City

David Kovick

David Kovick

Senior Advisor
New Hampshire, USA

Julie Schindall

Julie Schindall

Senior Advisor
Berlin

Tomislav Ivančić

Tomislav Ivančić

Advisor
London

Mairead Keigher

Mairead Keigher

Advisor
London

Lloyd Lipsett

Lloyd Lipsett

Advisor
Montreal

David Vermijs

David Vermijs

Advisor
Amsterdam

Michelle Langlois

Michelle Langlois

Project Associate
New York City

Anna Triponel

Anna Triponel

Project Associate
London

Our Board of Trustees

Caroline Rees

Caroline Rees

President and Co-Founder

Professor John Ruggie

Professor John Ruggie

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Dr. Dewi Fortuna Anwar

Dr. Dewi Fortuna Anwar

Board Member

Maria Livanos Cattaui

Maria Livanos Cattaui

Board Member

Herbert M'cleod

Herbert M'cleod

Board Member

Edward E. Potter

Edward E. Potter

Board Member

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