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.