Rachel Davis

Human Rights Attorney


Rachel Davis is an Australian attorney with extensive experience in the standards, strategies, and processes for the implementation of human rights. She has worked with business, in national government, international and national judicial, academic, and civil society settings.

Davis served for five years as a senior legal advisor to Professor John Ruggie, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, helping develop the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. She is currently involved in setting up an independent, non-profit center that will provide expert knowledge and guidance to help businesses and governments put the Guiding Principles into practice.

Davis is also a research fellow with the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, where she leads a project on the costs of company-community conflict in the extractive industry, which has included fieldwork with a number of mines in Peru. She has published on a range of legal topics, and is a regular speaker on issues related to business and human rights.

Featured Work

SEP 27, 2011 Podcast

Yahoo! and YouTube: Balancing Human Rights and Business

How do companies such as Yahoo! and YouTube decide on whether disturbing material should be banned from their sites? What are the free speech and ...

MAY 17, 2011 Podcast

Beyond Good Intentions: The Promise and Peril of Citizen Engagement with Foreign Policy

What were the accomplishments and failures of the U.S. grassroots movements that responded to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and how do these lessons ...