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Father Williams appointed charter board member of Foundation for the Global Compact

by Dennis Brown, News and Information

April 25, 2006

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Rev. Oliver F. Williams, C.S.C., director of the Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed a charter member of the three-person board of directors of the newly established Foundation for the Global Compact.

A non-profit entity that was launched last week, the foundation was created to help fund the work of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan first raised the notion of developing a “global compact of shared values and principles” in business at the World Economic Forum in January 1999. He challenged world business leaders to “embrace and enact” a set of policies that would increase and diffuse the benefits of global economic development, especially for developing countries, through voluntary corporate policies and actions.

Annan’s vision became reality 18 months later with the creation of the U.N. Global Compact. The initiative sets forth 10 principles related to human rights, labor rights, corporate corruption and concern for the environment. Companies subscribing to the principles are encouraged to make clear statements of support and to submit an annual report that includes concrete examples of good practices for other firms to emulate.

Joining Father Williams on the board of the Foundation for the Global Compact are the chair, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, and James V. Kearney, senior partner of Latham & Watkins LLP. The board will oversee the foundation’s goal of raising $1 million annually for recurring Global Compact activities such as outreach (especially in developing countries), publications, translations, and the development of practical tools.

An associate professor of management, Father Williams specializes in understanding how the ethics of virtue might inform the ethical conduct of managers. He is the author or editor of 14 books in the field.

In April 2002, Father Williams hosted the first U.S. meeting devoted to discussion of the Global Compact. Co-sponsored by Notre Dame and the United Nations, the meeting brought together scholars, corporate leaders and U.N. representatives to advance knowledge of the compact and its implementation among U.S. corporations and higher education.

Contact: Father Oliver Williams at 574-631-5761 or Williams.80@nd.edu

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