As the Vice President and Co-Founder of Shift, Rachel helps shape our strategy and oversees a range of our collaborations with companies, governments, investors, civil society and other partners. Rachel is responsible for driving our work on standards advocacy and with sports associations and co-leading our work with private and public sector financial institutions.
As the Vice President and Co-Founder of Shift, Rachel helps shape our strategy and oversees a range of our collaborations with companies, governments, investors, civil society and other partners. Rachel is responsible for driving our work on standards advocacy and with sports associations, and co-leading our work with private and public sector financial institutions. Rachel has over a decade of experience in implementing the Guiding Principles with a wide range of organizations, and she frequently leads and facilitates engagements with senior audiences around the world.
Prior to co-founding Shift, Rachel was a senior legal advisor from 2006-2011 for the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on business and human rights 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 she is the author of groundbreaking research on the costs of company-community conflict in the extractives industry.
Rachel 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 people’s 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 been the Chair of FIFA’s independent Human Rights Advisory Board since it was established in 2017 and has unique expertise in applying the expectations of the UN Guiding Principles to the activities of global sporting bodies. Rachel also sits on the Advisory Board to AIM-Progress, a forum of leading consumer goods manufacturers and suppliers dedicated to promoting responsible sourcing practices, and on an advisory board to the Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade project, an EU-funded project run by the University of Oslo Faculty of Law. 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.
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.