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Contributor Biographies

James Gifford

Executive Director, Principles for Responsible Investment, UK
James GiffordJames Gifford

James Gifford is executive director of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) initiative and has been guiding it since its inception in 2003. He worked with UNEP FI and the UN Global Compact, leading the PRI drafting process, and after the launch of the PRI secretariat in 2006 became its first executive director. He has a PhD from the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Sydney on the effectiveness of shareholder engagement in improving corporate environmental, social, and corporate governance performance, and a background in IT and environmental protection. In 2010, Dr Gifford was named by the World Economic Forum as one of 200 Young Global Leaders.

Articles by this Author

  • How Stockholders Can Effectively Engage with Companies
    by James Gifford
    How many social workers does it take to change a light bulb? One. But the bulb has got to want to change. This is also the theme of this essay on stockholder engagement—the practice of investors seeking to influence corporate behavior for the better.Institutional investors are increasingly engaging in dialog with companies for the purpose of improving some aspect of a company’s environmental or social impact, corporate governance, or strategic...
  • Principles for Responsible Investment—Looking Beyond the Financial Metrics
    by James Gifford
    The PRI initiative is a network of international investors that work together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. The PRI came out of two UN agencies: the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the UN Global Compact (UNGC). UNEP FI works with banks, insurance companies, and asset managers on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues, while the Global Compact encourages...

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