Secretary-General names foundation chairman as adviser on Global Compact initiative

5 October 2005

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today named the President and CEO of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, Klaus M. Leisinger, as his Special Adviser on the Global Compact, a voluntary initiative which encourages responsible corporate citizenship.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today named the President and CEO of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, Klaus M. Leisinger, as his Special Adviser on the Global Compact, a voluntary initiative which encourages responsible corporate citizenship.

Launched at United Nations Headquarters in 2000, the Global Compact stems from a challenge issued by Mr. Annan to business leaders the previous year at the World Economic Forum in Davos to embrace and enact the social and economic principles of fairness, human rights, environmental respect and integrity in their business operations.

Prior to his role as CEO, Prof. Leisinger was Executive Director of the Board of Trustees of the Novartis Foundation for over 13 years and has also been Professor of Sociology at the University of Basel on issues of business ethics and globalization and corporate social responsibility, according to the Novartis website.

His professional career includes four years as CEO of the East Africa office of Ciba Pharmaceuticals, and he has been a lecturer at several universities in the United States, Germany and Switzerland. He has served in an advisory capacity for the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and other international organizations as well.

In 1994 he was elected member of the European Academy of Science and Arts, and in 2004 was awarded an honorary doctorate in theology by the University of Fribourg.

Born in Lörrach, Germany in 1947, Prof. Leisinger studied economics and social sciences at University of Basel, Switzerland. His post-doctorate work included research on “Health Policy for Least Developed Countries.”

 

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