John Ruggie, Kennedy School of Government (KSG) professor and former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations, has been named director of KSG’s Center for Business and Government (CBG), KSG Dean Joseph S. Nye Jr. announced this month.
“John Ruggie’s experience as a key player on the global stage will help guide CBG as it explores and builds the bridges between private enterprise and public governance,” said Nye.
According to Ruggie, the Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs, while CBG is currently engaged in cutting-edge work on private-public sector relations, regulatory reform, environmental management and energy policy, his main challenge is to bring that expertise to bear on ongoing public concerns.
“My focus will be on issues like corporate social responsibility, the relationship between corporate governance and public policy, and finding ways of addressing social problems through cooperation between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. We need to pursue these approaches here at home as well as globally, if we are to restore the confidence of investors and voters alike,” Ruggie said.
Before coming to the Kennedy School, Ruggie advised Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the strategic positioning of the United Nations vis-a-vis key global challenges and constituencies, including UN-U.S. relations and UN relations with the global business community. Among his primary responsibilities were initiating the secretary-general’s Global Compact, which engages business, in collaboration with labor and civil society organizations, to promote human rights, labor standards, and environmental principles in global corporate practices.
Ruggie also played a lead role in the preparations of Annan’s celebrated report to the United Nations Millennium Summit titled “We the Peoples: The United Nations in the 21st Century,” as well as in the work of the summit itself.
Prior to joining the UN, Ruggie taught at Columbia University where he was dean of the School of International and Public Affairs from 1991 to 1996, and at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Diego, where he directed the University of California’s system-wide Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.
Much of Ruggie’s academic work deals with the impact of globalization on global rule making and the evolving global political order.
A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ruggie received the 1999 International Studies Association Distinguished Scholar Award “for his contributions to the theory of International Relations and International Political Economy, his continuing engagement in the practice of world politics, and his dedication to a vision of a multilateral world.” He also received the 2000 American Political Science Association’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award “for outstanding public service by a political scientist.”
Ruggie is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Council of the United Nations Association of the United States, and a former board member of the Foreign Policy Association as well as the Academic Council on the United Nations System.
He has held visiting appointments at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Geneva; Harvard’s Center for International Affairs; the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London; Beijing University; and the European University Institute in Florence. He has also served as president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs and on the Council of the American Political Science Association.
Ruggie has published six books, including “Constructing the World Polity: Essays on International Institutionalization” (Routledge, 1998). He has authored approximately 50 articles in professional journals and books, as well as numerous op-ed commentaries around the world.
Ruggie holds a B.A. in politics and history from McMaster University in Canada and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2000, McMaster University awarded him the degree Doctor of Laws honoris causa. Ruggie is married to Mary Ruggie, formerly professor and chair of sociology at Columbia University, who is also on the Kennedy School faculty.