Bennett Freeman is a managing director in the Washington, DC office of Burson-Marsteller, where he leads the firm's Global Corporate Responsibility practice advising multinational corporations on issues ranging from human rights and labor practices to the environment and sustainable development. Prior to joining Burson-Marsteller in May 2003, Freeman advised companies, international institutions and NGOs on corporate responsibility and human rights as Principal of Sustainable Investment Strategies. In 2002, he co-authored an independent Human Rights Impact Assessment of the BP Tangguh project in Papua, Indonesia, the first such assessment undertaken in advance of a major energy project in the world.
Freeman served as a presidential appointee in three positions in the State Department across the full span of the Clinton Administration. As U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999 to early 2001, Freeman led the State Department's bilateral human rights diplomacy around the world under Assistant Secretary Harold Koh. In that capacity, he was the principal architect of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the first human rights standard forged by governments, companies and NGOs for the oil and mining industries. Previously he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and chief speechwriter for Secretary of State Warren Christopher from early 1993 to early 1997.
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