Business and human rights is at the cornerstone of some of the most difficult challenges corporations, lawyers, investors, civil society representatives and legislators face today. This series of lectures/mini-course will provide an introduction to this rapidly evolving field, and to the developing international movement to encourage companies to take responsibility for their human rights impacts. The series starts with an overview of the governance gap regarding corporate behaviour in the international regulatory framework and covers the rapidly developing norms and regulations designed to improve business conduct. The following lectures will examine the developing responsibility of companies regarding labor issues in their supply chains, and the particularly difficult human rights challenges that affect the extractive sector. The series will close by considering the critical role of various stakeholders, particularly activist investors, in holding corporations more accountable. The object of this lecture series is to introduce students and faculty to this field, generate lively discussion regarding the role and responsibilities of corporations, and highlight the risk corporations take when human rights impacts are not adequately addressed. NINA L. GARDNER
Nina L. Gardner is the director of Strategy International, a corporate sustainability advisory firm she founded in 2000. She works with companies to improve their commitment to sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and with investors to better understand Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risk in their portfolios. She has been teaching Corporate Sustainability, Business & Human Rights since 2008, and at Johns Hopkins SAIS, in Washington DC from 2013.
A lawyer by training (which included a semester working on the Bhopal case with an Indian public interest firm), she practiced corporate law in Washington DC. In 1996 she joined the UN as a political officer in their Zagreb liaison office, reporting on human rights violations in postwar Croatia. She also worked as an advisor to the OECD project "Measuring the Progress of Society" offering alternatives to GDP as a measure of development and government performance. Her varied professional experiences convinced her that the best way to effectuate change is to encourage the public, private sector, and civil society to work together – and that business can turn human rights and environmental challenges into growth opportunities.
Ms. Gardner is an activist in women's issues – and is the founding president of three professional women's associations in Europe (Prague, Paris, Rome). She is on the advisory board of the Women's Forum for the Economy in Society, Harvard Coalition for Responsible Investment, and Farm from a Box, a sustainable AG tech start up. She is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe, Columbia Law School and was a Rotary scholar at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotà, Colombia. Ms. Gardner is fluent in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, and is a member of the New York Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Gardner Mini-course Fall 2019 POSTER.pdf