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Business and Human Rights in Conflict Zones

Krista Hendry

Executive Director
Fund for Peace

Krista Hendry is Executive Director of The Fund for Peace and also directs its Human Rights & Business Roundtable, a forum that focuses on issues related to businesses operating in conflict-sensitive areas.  In that capacity, she chairs meetings on social, economic and security issues in conflict zones focusing on the extractive industry and human rights. She also works with companies to support their development of human rights policies and procedures and assessment frameworks for identifying the risks in relation to the operations. She lectures frequently on business operating in conflict sensitive areas, the value of multi-stakeholder engagement, and the Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights, of which Fund for Peace is a long-standing supporter and participant. She is also currently serving as technical adviser to an Indonesian NGO who is facilitating a multi-stakeholder process to encourage support of the Voluntary Principles by companies, NGOs and government. Ms. Hendry joined the Fund for Peace in 2002 after graduating from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.  Before pursuing her MBA, she worked in Germany at the Frankfurt Economic Development GmbH as Asian Director. She is also Chair of the Board of Liberty’s Promise, a non-profit that develops programs to increase civic participation of immigrant youth.

Virginia Haufler

Associate Professor
Director of Global Communities
University of Maryland

VIRGINIA HAUFLER is an Associate Professor, and Director of Global Communities, at the University of Maryland. She is affiliated with the Harrison Program on the Future Global Agenda, and the Center for International Development and Conflict Management. She received her M.A./ Ph.D. from Cornell University, and Dual B.A. from Pennsylvania State University. Her research and teaching are concerned with the globalization of business and efforts to create global governance institutions. Her current research looks at international efforts to regulate business in areas of conflict and corruption, including transparency and certification as governance mechanisms. She is also research the security strategies of non-state actors (with Deborah Avant). She is a member of the Expert Group for the Principles for Responsible Investment; is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Peace Research Institute-Frankfurt; and is a former executive and Board member of Women in International Security. Her most recent publications include “Disclosure as Governance: The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Resource Management in the Developing World,” Global Environmental Politics 10,3 2010: 53-73 , and “The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme: An Innovation in Governance and Conflict Prevention,” Journal of Business Ethics Special Issue  89,4 2010: 409-416.

Shari Knoerzer

Director of Social Responsibility and Community Development for Africa and Asia
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc

Shari Knoerzer is the Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc. Director of Social Responsibility and Community Development for Africa and Asia. As part of her role, Ms. Knoerzer is involved in sustainable development programs at the Tenke Fungurume Mining project located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Starting with Freeport-McMoRan in 2002, she spent five years working on community development initiatives at their mine in Papua, Indonesia. Prior to Freeport-McMoRan, Ms. Knoerzer’s experience included a Fulbright grant to Sri Lanka; non-profit work in Thailand; and serving as an education policy advisor to the Nebraska Governor. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies with an MA in International Relations. She is currently based in Phoenix and travels frequently to Indonesia and the DRC for her work with Freeport-McMoRan’s sustainable development programs.

Gary Motsek

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Program Support
Department of Defense

Serves as the principal advisor to the OSD leadership on policy and program support to the Geographic Combatant Commands (excluding TRANSCOM) and ensures continued actions to promote military effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and standardization. Develops and maintains a comprehensive policy framework and program support governing logistical and support operations, contractor planning and execution, including combat, humanitarian, and disaster relief. Coordinates policy for OSD relating to field support operations, civilians in the forward area and battle space, forward distribution and maintenance operations, contract support, LOGCAP, Management of frustrated cargo, disposal or redistribution of excess materiel and scrap, and retrograde operations and their links into the national level industrial and supply base. Represents the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness in liaison with JCS J4, COCOM J4s, and Service Deputy Chiefs for Logistics regarding policy coordination and program support for COCOM field operations. Directs, coordinates, and provides analysis, assessments, and testimony to higher authorities, congressional committees, and industry. Designated a National Security Professional Executive.

Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt


Scholar in Residence
American University School of International Service

After receiving her Ph.D. from the School of International Service, Dr. Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt returned as SIS’s post-doctoral scholar in residence for the 2008-9 academic year. Now an assistant professor, her academic research interest in civil society efforts to ensure corporate social responsibility stem from her ongoing consulting work with Amnesty International USA on business and human rights related issues, and her past involvement with American University Solidarity Committee, an affiliate of United Students Against Sweatshops. She currently advises AIUSA on its campaign to secure oversight and accountability for the private military and security industry. At AU, she coordinated student activism that resulted in the passage of a living wage policy and membership in two monitoring organizations – the Fair Labor Association and the Workers Rights Consortium – to ensure that collegiate apparel bearing the university's logo is not produced in sweatshops.

Heather Elms


Associate Professor
Department of International Business
American University Kogod School of Business

Heather Elms is Associate Professor of International Business and Kogod Research Professor. She teaches undergraduate and graduate international business strategy and critical thinking courses. Her research focuses on the relationship between corporate and stakeholder responsibility in the global context, including the role of professionals in those responsibilities. She has investigated that relationship and role in different industries (e.g., health care, security) and in different regions of the world (e.g., Central and Eastern Europe). Professor Elms has published her work in outlets including Academy of Management Review, Business Ethics Quarterly, Organizational Research Methods, Strategic Management Journal, and Strategic Organization and she serves on the Editorial Boards of Business Ethics Quarterly, Business & Society and International Journal of Emerging Markets. She holds a B.A. in Political Economy from University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Economics from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Strategy and Organization from the Anderson School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles.