MSI Integrity appointed an Advisory Group to provide guidance and additional oversight for the Global Consultation and Review Process. The Advisory Group was comprised of experts with backgrounds in business, human rights, government, and academia. The Advisory Group operated on a volunteer basis, and functioned according to a clear Terms of Reference.
The Advisory Group concluded their commitment on October 16, 2013, when they presented the Board of MSI Integrity with the Advisory Group Recommendations and Considerations Report.
The Advisory Group members included: Greg Asbed, Brad Brooks-Rubin, Deval Desai, Alexandra Guáqueta, Mariëtte van Huijstee, and Tu Rinsche. Adam Greene and Steve Hitov were originally involved in the Advisory Group and participated in early meetings, but were unfortunately unable to contribute to the drafting of the report due to external commitments. Biographical profiles of each Advisory Group Member involved, are listed below:
Greg Asbed joined the Advisory Group in August, replacing Steve Hitov who was unable to participate due to the demands of external commitments.
Greg Asbed is a Co-Founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a worker-based human rights organization. He works with farmworkers and their student, labor, and religious allies in organizing the national Campaign for Fair Food, a collaboration of farmworkers and consumers known for its creativity and effectiveness in calling for and winning agreements with retail food corporations to improve labor conditions in their Florida tomato supply chains. As part of his work with the Campaign, Greg writes and manages the CIW’s main communication tool — the website (www.ciw-online.org). He is also a principal coordinator of the Fair Food Program, a unique, sustainable blueprint for worker-led social responsibility in the agricultural industry. In this capacity, Greg manages the CIW’s collaboration with Florida tomato industry leaders and retail food corporations that have signed Fair Food Agreements with the CIW. His work helped pave the way for the implementation of the CIW’s Fair Food Code of Conduct across the entire Florida tomato industry and the development of the Fair Food Standards Council, the third party monitoring organization that ensures compliance with the Code through a combination of regular audits and ongoing complaint investigation and resolution.
Mr. Asbed is one of the authors featured in the textbook Bringing Human Rights Home: Portraits of the Movement (2008) and his writing is published in several web, print, and academic journals, including The Nation and the Huffington Post. He received Brown University’s 2010 John Hope Award for Public Service, the 2012 Growing Green Food Justice Award from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the 2012 John Egerton Prize from Southern Foodways Alliance for his work in the field of civil rights. He has an M.A. in International Economics and Social Change and Development from Johns Hopkins SAIS and is fluent in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. He has also spent the past 17 seasons harvesting watermelons in the states of Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Maryland.
Brad Brooks-Rubin is of counsel at Holland & Hart. Mr. Brooks-Rubin advises national and international clients on nearly all aspects of trade sanctions, export controls, and international trade laws and regulations. He also works with clients in the emerging fields of conflict minerals due diligence, and human rights and corporate social responsibility in business matters, enabling clients to benefit from a more comprehensive approach to supply chain management.
As a former Attorney Advisor for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Mr. Brooks-Rubin played a key role in updating enforcement guidelines and internal processes for the Office of Foreign Assets Control. He also advised and collaborated with the Department of State, Department of Justice, and National Security Council on a wide range of sanctions law and policy issues.
Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Mr. Brooks-Rubin served as Special Advisor for Conflict Diamonds in the U.S. Department of State where he facilitated the Kimberley Process to prevent international trade of conflict diamonds. He also provided extensive guidance within the U.S. Government on conflict minerals, particularly in relation to corporate compliance with Dodd-Frank Section 1502, and on a spectrum of issues concerning business and human rights, principally with respect to the extractive industries.
Deval is a Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and works on rule of law and grievance redress in extractives projects and in fragile states. He has worked on this with the World Bank for several years, where he set up the global program on conflict and justice and supported multi-stakeholder groups in Cameroon. He currently advises the UN High-Level Panel on the post-2015 Agenda on rule of law issues, and is an invited member of the UN roster of experts on the rule of law and legal empowerment. He trained as a barrister, and has a legal interest in corporate accountability, working on the case of Kiobel before the US Supreme Court.
Adam Greene contributed to early meetings of the Advisory Group, but was unfortunately unable to contribute to the drafting of the report due to the demands of external commitments.
Adam Greene is responsible for the United States Council for International Business’s (USCIB) activities on labor policy and corporate responsibility. He manages U.S. business participation in the development of international labor standards, and advises companies on international and regional trends in labor and employment policy. He also coordinates USCIB involvement in the governing and standard setting bodies of the International Labor Organization and promotes the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. He is vice chairman of the Business Technical Advisory Committee on Labor Affairs to the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor.
Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Tripartite Declaration on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, and a wide array of other international initiatives. He is a frequent speaker on corporate responsibility and sustainable development.
Prior to joining USCIB, Mr. Greene served as associate director of the Global Environment Program at the Stern School of Business at New York University, and prior to that as manager of fixed income securities for Dean Witter Financial Services. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and an MBA from New York University.
Alexandra Guáqueta (D.Phil. International Relations, Oxford) is currently a member of the United Nations Working Group on the issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises. Ms Guáqueta is a Lecturer in International Relations at Flinders University and has worked for over a decade on business and human rights, peace-building, Latin American regional security, drug trafficking, and democratic norms diffusion. She was Academic Director of Fundación Ideas para la Paz(2004-2008) where she created the Business and Conflict Program. She facilitated with the IBLF the “Dialogue on Business, Peace, Development and Human Rights” that led to the “Colombian Guidelines on Security and Human Rights” code and multi-stakeholder process. She piloted International Alert’s Conflict-Sensitive Business Practice tool for extractive industries with Oxy and Cerrejón (2005) and co-chaired the Secretariat of the Colombian Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights in-country process (2006-2008). She worked for Oxy (2002-2004) on the implementation of new human rights standards and was Social Standards and International Engagement Head at Cerrejón (2008-2011) focusing on social standards, local and international stakeholder engagement, labour rights, and indigenous peoples’ rights. At Cerrejón she road-test the operational-level grievance mechanism effectiveness criteria proposed by the Ruggie mandate. She was Senior Associate of the Economic Agendas in Civil Wars Program of the International Peace Institute (2001-2002) and Coordinator of the Regional Security Cooperation Program of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-Colombia (2004-2008). Ms. Guáqueta serves in the High-Level Advisory Committee of the European Commission’s Sectoral Guidelines on business and human rights project, the Board of Trustees of Shift, the World Economic Forum’s Council on Human Rights and Better Coal’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee. She has authored more than 30 academic and policy publications.
Steve Hitov contributed to early meetings of the Advisory Group, but was unforunately unable to participate in the drafting due to the demands of external commitments. He was replaced by Greg Asbed.
Steve Hitov is the General Counsel for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a Florida-based human rights organization devoted to community education and leadership development among farmworkers. With and on behalf of the CIW, Mr. Hitov has negotiated agreements insuring supply chain transparency with eleven of this nation’s largest corporate purchasers of tomatoes; agreements that form the foundation of the Fair Food Program, a unique collaboration among workers, buyers and Florida growers that is creating a better and more sustainable agricultural industry.
The Fair Food Program consists of worker to worker education, on the farm and on the clock, an enforceable Code of Conduct with zero tolerance for forced or child labor, physical violence and sexual harassment, a 24 hour complaint line that can be used without fear of retaliation, a Fair Food premium paid by buyers that supports a worker bonus system, and ongoing social and financial audits by an independent organization, the Fair Food Standards Council, that was created just for that purpose.
Mariëtte van Huijstee, PhD., is an expert in business-NGO interactions (including stakeholder dialogues, partnerships and multi-stakeholder initiatives), corporate social responsibility and corporate accountability instruments, with a special focus on the United Nations Guiding Principles for Human Rights and Business.
At present, she is senior researcher and leader of the Corporate Accountability programme at SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations). She is also assistant professor Corporate Responsibility at the Open University, and steering group member of the Dutch Corporate Social Responsibility Platform (MVO Platform).
In terms of education, Mariëtte received her Master in Communication Science with a minor in Environmental Policy cum laude in 2005. After that, she performed her PhD research at the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation at Utrecht University, which resulted in a successful defence of her PhD thesis titled ‘Business-NGO Interaction. A Quest for Corporate Social Responsibility’.
Mariëtte has produced a steady stream of publications from the start of her PhD onwards, both academic and professional. Recent publications include a peer reviewed article in the academic journal Environmental Values on NGOs partnering with business, a practitionars guide on Multi-stakeholder initiatives, a civil society guide on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a research report on outsourcing of clinical trials, and an article on e-waste in a professional journal for civil servants of the Dutch Ministry of Justice.
Tu Rinsche works on ethical sourcing and global supply chain issues for a major global brand. Prior to this, Ms. Rinsche spent five years at the U.S. Department of State working on issues related to human rights, worker rights, corporate social responsibility, trade and labor, supply chains and multi-stakeholder dialogue in multiple sectors, including extractives, agriculture, manufacturing and apparel. While at the State Department, Ms. Rinsche was involved in leading the Department’s engagement with multi-stakeholders to address international cocoa labor issues and in contributing to the work of the USDA Consultative Group to Eliminate the Use of Child Labor and Forced Labor in Imported Agricultural Products. Previously, Ms. Rinsche served for three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania working on projects related to community outreach, maternal health, infectious diseases and preventable health awareness-raising. Ms. Rinsche also has expertise in international security policy issues, international development and grant-making from both the public and private sectors. Ms. Rinsche holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Affairs from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a Master of International Affairs (with an Advanced Certificate in African Studies and concentration in International Security Policy) from Columbia University in New York, NY. She also holds a Professional Certificate in International Business Management from Georgetown University.
Ms Rinsche is participating in the Advisory Group in her personal capacity.