Smith

Gare A. Smith

Partner
Washington, DC
Drawing on his extensive corporate and public policy experience, Gare Smith founded the firm’s Global Business & Human Rights and International Strategies practice to help clients align their business practices with the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Recognized by Chambers Global as “a legendary name in the field, acknowledged for his pioneering work in Human Rights Impact Assessments,” Gare advises corporations and nations on legal, political, and reputational aspects of globalization.

Gare helps clients in the banking, extractive, information and communication technology, manufacturing, private equity, and retail sectors to integrate respect for internationally recognized human/worker rights into their management practices and supply chains. In so doing, he addresses business risks in a manner that safeguards clients’ brands.

He conducts Human Rights Impact Assessments and due diligence regarding the risks associated with social and environmental issues. He develops codes of conduct, compliance programs, and monitoring systems benchmarked on global best practices to promote community relations, Indigenous rights, asset security, privacy and data security, freedom of expression, and other fundamental freedoms. He also helps clients to establish a social license to operate and resolve conflicts with stakeholders.

Gare previously served as Vice President of one of the world's most recognized clothing brands, with responsibility for global implementation of the company's code of conduct and government relations. In the public sector, he served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor and Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, focusing on human rights, trade, and national security issues and creating the first voluntary code of conduct for U.S. multinationals. He was appointed by the White House to serve as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. His accomplishments in this role included helping to launch President Clinton's Model Business Principles, advising the apparel industry regarding the creation of a code of conduct and independent monitoring system, and serving as a U.S. representative to the International Labor Organization, the U.N. Human Rights Commission, and the U.N. Working Group on Indigenous Peoples.

Education

  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1983
  • The Johns Hopkins University, B.A., general and departmental honors, 1979

Bar and Court Admissions

BAR ADMISSIONS
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
COURT ADMISSIONS
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of International Trade

Experience

BANKING SECTOR
  • Advised the U.N. Environment Programme Finance Initiative regarding implications of the U.N. Guiding Principles for the banking sector.
  • Provided counsel regarding due diligence and international good industry practice for community engagement with Indigenous Peoples to the consortium of banks that provided project finance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Advised the International Finance Corporation regarding implementation of IFC Performance Standard 4, particularly with respect to security operations, by an IFC loan recipient.
EXTRACTIVE SECTOR
  • Conducted the seminal Human Rights Impact Assessment for the extractive sector with respect to the prospective impact of BP’s Tangguh Project in Papua, Indonesia on Indigenous communities, and has since conducted HRIAs in more than 30 countries across 6 continents.
  • Authored leading industry guidance for corporate implementation of the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent standard with Indigenous Peoples.
  • Mediated the resolution of a campaign by 93 environmental and human rights non-governmental organizations against the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Project.
  • Served as the Secretariat for the multi-stakeholder initiative the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, which promotes respect for human rights in the extractive sector.
  • Served as the Study Director for Newmont Mining’s "Community Relationships Review" of operations in Ghana, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, and the United States.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
  • Serve as Assessor for companies participating in the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder strategic effort to protect freedom of expression and privacy in the information and communications technology sector.
  • Advised Yahoo! regarding business and human rights issues related to its global operations and the establishment of the Laogai Human Rights Organization to promote freedom of expression in China.
MANUFACTURING SECTOR
  • Advised the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and multinational manufacturing companies regarding worker rights, health, and safety issues following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building.
  • Provided counsel to the Fair Labor Association regarding global implementation of the organization’s Workplace Code of Conduct.
NUCLEAR SECTOR
  • Serve as Legal Counsel to the Nuclear Power Plant and Reactor Exporters’ Principles of Conduct, an industry code that establishes norms of behavior for the exportation of nuclear power plants and best practices in the areas of safety, security, environmental protection, nonproliferation, compensation, and business ethics.
PRIVATE EQUITY
  • Facilitated the establishment of the first ethical Code of Conduct for the private equity sector.
SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Conduct supply chain monitoring to ascertain the existence of modern slavery, and provide counsel regarding the elimination of practices that foster forced labor.
  • Helped a multinational consumer goods company with a lengthy supply chain establish a global land rights policy.

Publications

  • GOOD PRACTICE FOR MANAGING THE SOCIAL IMPACTS OF OIL PIPELINES IN THE UNITED STATES (published by Foley Hoag, LLP) (2017)
  • BANKS AND HUMAN RIGHTS: A LEGAL ANALYSIS (a collaboration between Foley Hoag LLP and the U.N. Environment Programme Finance Initiative) (2015)
  • When Legal Compliance Isn’t Enough: Securing a Social License to Operate, STATE BAR OF TEXAS: CORPORATE COUNSEL (2014)
  • Making Corporate Social Responsibility Systemic, EXECUTIVE COUNSEL (2011)
  • IMPLEMENTING A CORPORATE FREE, PRIOR, AND INFORMED CONSENT POLICY: BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES (published by Foley Hoag, LLP) (2010)
  • COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS REVIEW: GLOBAL SUMMARY REPORT FOR NEWMONT MINING (published by Foley Hoag, LLP) (2009)
  • An Introduction to Corporate Social Responsibility in the Extractive Industries, VOL.11, YALE HUMAN RIGHTS & DEVELOPMENT L.J. (2008)
  • IMPLEMENTATION MECHANISMS FOR CODES OF CONDUCT (published by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation) (2004)
  • MONITORING INTERNATIONAL LABOR STANDARDS: TECHNIQUES AND SOURCES OF INFORMATION (published by The National Academies Press) (2004)
  • The BTC Pipeline Case Study: Following Through on Global Compact Commitments, EMBEDDING HUMAN RIGHTS IN BUSINESS PRACTICES (published by the U.N. Global Compact) (2004)
  • COMPANY CODES OF CONDUCT AND INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS: AN ANALYTICAL COMPARISON, VOLUMES I AND II (published by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation) (Vol. I, 2003; Vol. II, 2004)

MEDIA COVERAGE
  • In conversation with Gare Smith, BEYOND BORDERS - A BARRICK GOLD REPORT ON RESPONSIBLE MINING (October 2013)

Honors & Involvement

HONORS
  • Ranked in Band 1 by Chambers Global, 2020 and 2021
  • U.S. State Department’s Superior Honor Award
  • Editor-in-Chief, THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF LAW REFORM
  • Phi Beta Kappa

INVOLVEMENT
  • Commissioner: Azerbaijan Social Review Commission, BTC Pipeline 
  • Ombudsman for the ITSCI Programme for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains
  • Board of Business Advisors, Lawyers for Better Business 
  • Vice Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet
  • Trustee, The Institute for Asian Democracy

OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
  • Bates International Fellow, U.S. State Department, service in U.S. Embassies in Bangladesh, India and Nepal with a focus on international riparian rights
  • Judicial clerk to the Honorable Kenneth K. Hall, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Speaking Engagements

KEYNOTE SPEECHES
  • “Worker Rights and Corporate Leadership,” the BP Labor - Management Forum, Muscat, Oman, November 3, 2018
  • "Indigenous Relationships and Financier Risk in Energy Projects," The Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., October 15, 2018
  • “Security and Human Rights in Post-Conflict Society,” Colombian Mining and Energy Committee, Bogota, Colombia, April 19, 2016
  • “Self-Determination in the 21st Century,” the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, March 25, 2015
  • “Global Implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights,” U.N. Forum on Business and Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland, December 4, 2014
  • "Corporate Social Responsibility Challenges for the General Counsel," Corporate Counsel Institute, September 25, 2008
  • "Risks, Roles, and Responsibilities: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Extractive Sector," Yale Law School, March 8, 2008
  • “Energy Projects in Conflict Zones: Human Rights Issues and Responsibilities,” The International Bar Association, Calgary, Canada, September 19, 2004
  • “Implementing Global Compact Commitments,” U.N. Global Compact Forum, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, December 11, 2003
  • “Human Rights and Responsibilities in the 21st Century: A Corporate Perspective,” The John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, November 21, 2000
  • “Corporate Codes of Conduct and the Promotion of Labor Rights in Cuba,” The National Policy Association, Mexico City, Mexico, June 16, 2000
  • “Globalization with a Human Face: New Groundrules for a New Era,” World Affairs Council/United Nations Association – USA, October 12, 1999
  • “Human Rights and Democracy in Europe on the Eve of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights,” The Women’s National Democratic Club, December 3, 1998
  • “The Intersection of Business Interests and Human Rights,” Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, October 16, 1997
  • “The Clinton Administration’s Labor Legacy,” The Council on Foreign Relations, December 11, 1997
  • “Diplomatic Design or Puzzle Palace: The Making and Execution of U.S. Foreign Policy,” U.S. Naval War College, December 19, 1996
  • “The U.N. Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: U.S. and Tribal Government Perspectives,” Harvard University, May 18, 1996
  • “Civil-Military Relations and the Promotion of Democratic Standards in an Interdependent World,” United States Southern Command, February 6, 1996

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES AND CONVENTIONS
  • Secretariat Emeritus, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Plenary Conference in London (2019)
  • Secretariat, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Plenary Conference in Washington (2018)
  • Secretariat, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Plenary Conference in Ottawa (2017) 
  • Secretariat, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Plenary Conference in Bogota (2016)
  • Secretariat, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Plenary Conference in London (2015)
  • Secretariat, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Plenary Conference in Montreux (2014)
  • Secretariat, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Plenary Conference in The Hague (2013)
  • Secretariat, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Plenary Conference in Ottawa (2012)
  • Secretariat, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Plenary Conference in Washington (2011) 
  • Corporate Representative, U.S.-E.U. Command, Hydrocarbon Security Planning Conference (2003)
  • U.S. Corporate Representative, Asian Pacific Economic Council, Human Resources Ministerial (1999)
  • Co-Head, U.S. Delegation, 83rd, 84th, 85th, 86th Conferences, U.N. International Labor Organization (1995-1998)
  • Co-Chair, U.S.-E.U. Symposium on Codes of Conduct and International Labor Standards (1998)
  • U.S. Delegate, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Conference on Human Rights (1998)
  • Chair, Task Force on Business and Labor, G-8 Denver Democracy Initiative (1997)
  • U.S. Delegate, Fourth Ministerial Council Session, North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation(1997)
  • Co-Head, U.S. Delegation, 53rd Session of the U.N. Human Rights Commission (1997)
  • U.S. Delegate, 52nd, 54th Sessions of the U.N. Human Rights Commission (1996, 1998)
  • Head, U.S. Delegation, U.N. Working Group on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (1996-1997)
  • U.S. Delegate, United Nations General Assembly (1996)
  • U.S. Observer, Council of Europe, Steering Committee for Human Rights (1996)
  • U.S. Delegate, U.S.-Mexico Binational Commission Labor Working Group (1995)