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Jane Nelson

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Global Economy and Development

Jane Nelson is a senior fellow and director of the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative in the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She is a nonresident senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings.

Nelson has authored five books and over 80 reports, book chapters and other publications on public-private partnerships and the changing role of business in society, especially in emerging markets, and co-authored five of the "World Economic Forum’s Global Corporate Citizenship" reports. She was awarded the Academy of Management’s 2015 “Best Book Award” in the Social Issues in Management Division for a book she co-authored with Professor David Grayson from Cranfield University entitled, "Corporate Responsibility Coalitions: The Past Present and Future of Alliances for Sustainable Capitalism" (2013).

Other publications include: co-author of "Tackling Global Challenges: Lessons in system leadership from the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative" (2016); co-author of "Business and the Sustainable Development Goals (2015); coauthor of "A Path to Empowerment: The role of corporations in supporting women’s economic progress" (2015); author of "Expanding Opportunity and Access: Approaches that harness markets and the private sector to create business value and development impact" (2010); author of "Building Linkages for Competitive and Responsible Entrepreneurship" (2007); co-author of "Profits with Principles: Seven strategies for delivering value with values (2004);  co-author of "Business and the Millennium Development Goals: A framework for action" (2003); author of "Building Partnerships: Cooperation between the United Nations system and the private sector" (2002); author of "The Business of Peace: The private sector as a partner in conflict prevention and resolution" (2001); and author of "Business as Partners in Development" (1996).

In 2015, Nelson was one of 34 people from the United Nations, business, civil society and academia to be profiled in a book entitled “Next: Sustainable Business,” published to mark the 15th Anniversary of the United Nations Global Compact and outlining leadership perspectives on the future of corporate responsibility and sustainable development. In 2008, she was profiled in a book by Professor Sandra Waddock from Boston College entitled “The Difference Makers” as one of 23 people who have played a pioneering role in building the field of corporate responsibility. In 2005, she received the Keystone Center’s ‘Leadership in Education’ award.

Nelson was a director and senior advisor at the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (later IBLF) from 1993 to 2012, where she led research and policy programs on public-private partnerships and the role of the private sector in global development. In 2009, Nelson was a track leader for the Clinton Global Initiative, leading the track on developing human capital. In 2001, she worked in the executive office of the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with the UN Global Compact, preparing a report for the United Nations General Assembly on cooperation between the UN and the private sector, which supported one of the first GA resolutions on such cooperation. Prior to joining the IBLF in 1993, she worked for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Africa, preparing a report for the 1992 Rio Earth Summit; for FUNDES (Fundación para desarrollo sostenible) in Latin America, undertaking research and coauthoring a book on small enterprise and sustainable development; for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), leading a global research project on business and sustainable development; and as a vice president in the Financial Institutions Group at Citibank, with responsibility for marketing the bank’s Worldwide Securities Services in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

Nelson is a former senior associate of the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University and a former member of the advisory council at the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, at Case Western Reserve University. She has previously served on the faculty of executive education programs for Harvard Business School’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, Cambridge University’s Business and Poverty leadership program, and the United Nations Staff College. In 1983, she was a lecturer in agricultural economics at the University of Natal in South Africa.

Nelson serves on the boards of Newmont Mining, the Abraaj Group, FSG, the ImagineNations Group, and the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative, and on advisory councils for the IFC, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, the Center for Global Development, Bank of America, ExxonMobil, GE, APCO Worldwide, Abbott, Merck Vaccines, and InterAction’s Business Council.

Previous service on boards or advisory councils include: the World Environment Center, the Clinton Global Initiative, UNDP’s Inclusive Markets Initiative, the UK Environment Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, the Danish Ministry for Social Affairs, the Copenhagen Centre, the International Council of Toy Industries CARE Foundation (focused on improving labor standards in toy factories), British Telecom, SITA (now part of the Suez Group), the International Council on Mining and Metals, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, the Global Business Coalition Against HIV/AIDs, TB and Malaria (now GBCHealth), the Ford Foundation’s Corporate Involvement Initiative, Instituto Ethos in Brazil, the 21st Century Trust, Youth Business International, and AIESEC (one of the world’s largest youth-led networks focused on leadership development and cultural exchange).

Born in Zimbabwe, Nelson has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, and has work experience in the Middle East and Latin America. She received a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics with Honors from the University of Natal in South Africa, and an M.A. Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Jane Nelson is a senior fellow and director of the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative in the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She is a nonresident senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings.

Nelson has authored five books and over 80 reports, book chapters and other publications on public-private partnerships and the changing role of business in society, especially in emerging markets, and co-authored five of the “World Economic Forum’s Global Corporate Citizenship” reports. She was awarded the Academy of Management’s 2015 “Best Book Award” in the Social Issues in Management Division for a book she co-authored with Professor David Grayson from Cranfield University entitled, “Corporate Responsibility Coalitions: The Past Present and Future of Alliances for Sustainable Capitalism” (2013).

Other publications include: co-author of “Tackling Global Challenges: Lessons in system leadership from the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative” (2016); co-author of “Business and the Sustainable Development Goals (2015); coauthor of “A Path to Empowerment: The role of corporations in supporting women’s economic progress” (2015); author of “Expanding Opportunity and Access: Approaches that harness markets and the private sector to create business value and development impact” (2010); author of “Building Linkages for Competitive and Responsible Entrepreneurship” (2007); co-author of “Profits with Principles: Seven strategies for delivering value with values (2004);  co-author of “Business and the Millennium Development Goals: A framework for action” (2003); author of “Building Partnerships: Cooperation between the United Nations system and the private sector” (2002); author of “The Business of Peace: The private sector as a partner in conflict prevention and resolution” (2001); and author of “Business as Partners in Development” (1996).

In 2015, Nelson was one of 34 people from the United Nations, business, civil society and academia to be profiled in a book entitled “Next: Sustainable Business,” published to mark the 15th Anniversary of the United Nations Global Compact and outlining leadership perspectives on the future of corporate responsibility and sustainable development. In 2008, she was profiled in a book by Professor Sandra Waddock from Boston College entitled “The Difference Makers” as one of 23 people who have played a pioneering role in building the field of corporate responsibility. In 2005, she received the Keystone Center’s ‘Leadership in Education’ award.

Nelson was a director and senior advisor at the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (later IBLF) from 1993 to 2012, where she led research and policy programs on public-private partnerships and the role of the private sector in global development. In 2009, Nelson was a track leader for the Clinton Global Initiative, leading the track on developing human capital. In 2001, she worked in the executive office of the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with the UN Global Compact, preparing a report for the United Nations General Assembly on cooperation between the UN and the private sector, which supported one of the first GA resolutions on such cooperation. Prior to joining the IBLF in 1993, she worked for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Africa, preparing a report for the 1992 Rio Earth Summit; for FUNDES (Fundación para desarrollo sostenible) in Latin America, undertaking research and coauthoring a book on small enterprise and sustainable development; for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), leading a global research project on business and sustainable development; and as a vice president in the Financial Institutions Group at Citibank, with responsibility for marketing the bank’s Worldwide Securities Services in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

Nelson is a former senior associate of the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University and a former member of the advisory council at the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, at Case Western Reserve University. She has previously served on the faculty of executive education programs for Harvard Business School’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, Cambridge University’s Business and Poverty leadership program, and the United Nations Staff College. In 1983, she was a lecturer in agricultural economics at the University of Natal in South Africa.

Nelson serves on the boards of Newmont Mining, the Abraaj Group, FSG, the ImagineNations Group, and the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative, and on advisory councils for the IFC, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, the Center for Global Development, Bank of America, ExxonMobil, GE, APCO Worldwide, Abbott, Merck Vaccines, and InterAction’s Business Council.

Previous service on boards or advisory councils include: the World Environment Center, the Clinton Global Initiative, UNDP’s Inclusive Markets Initiative, the UK Environment Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, the Danish Ministry for Social Affairs, the Copenhagen Centre, the International Council of Toy Industries CARE Foundation (focused on improving labor standards in toy factories), British Telecom, SITA (now part of the Suez Group), the International Council on Mining and Metals, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, the Global Business Coalition Against HIV/AIDs, TB and Malaria (now GBCHealth), the Ford Foundation’s Corporate Involvement Initiative, Instituto Ethos in Brazil, the 21st Century Trust, Youth Business International, and AIESEC (one of the world’s largest youth-led networks focused on leadership development and cultural exchange).

Born in Zimbabwe, Nelson has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, and has work experience in the Middle East and Latin America. She received a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics with Honors from the University of Natal in South Africa, and an M.A. Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.