|Klaus M. Leisinger
Prof. Dr. rer. pol., Dr. h.c. theol.
Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development
He studied economics and social science at the University of Basel. He did his doctoral theses in development studies and his habilitation treatise on “Health Policy for Least Developed Countries.” His professional career took him for several years to East Africa as CEO of the former Ciba Pharmaceuticals regional office. After his return to headquarters in Switzerland, he was responsible for the company’s international relations. He profoundly engaged in corporate responsibility issues and actively promoted a corporate culture of dialogue with stakeholders in international policy, development cooperation and business ethics.
In addition to his work at Novartis, Klaus Leisinger is Professor of Sociology at the University of Basel, where he pursues research and teaches a wide range of topics related to international development and health policy as well as business ethics, corporate responsibility, and business and human rights. He has widely contributed to the academic debate through articles in peer reviewed journals and books in several languages. He served as invited lecturer at several European universities, as well as at the University of Notre Dame, MIT Sloan School of Management (Cambridge) and DePaul University. He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and was awarded an honorary doctorate in Theology by the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) in November 2004.
Klaus Leisinger serves as an advisor to national and international organizations, such as the UN Global Compact, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum (Global Agenda Council on Human Rights). Kofi Annan appointed Klaus Leisinger Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for the UN Global Compact. This mandate ended with Kofi Annan’s tenure on December 31, 2006. Klaus Leisinger was member of the high-level Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children's Health. He continues to serve as the Co-Chairman of the Digital Health Initiative – a unique multi-stakeholder collaboration between the ICT and healthcare sectors to implement the Millennium Development Goals. He is also a member of the Broadband Commission and the steering committee of the UN Global Compact’s LEAD Initiative. He is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German Network Business Ethics, and a member of the Executive Committee of the German Society for the United Nations.
In November 2012, he was appointed ‘Special Advisor on the Post 2015 Development and Business Ethics’ by the UN Global Compact. He is also member of the ‘Leadership Council’ of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. For his outstanding contributions in the fight against leprosy, Klaus Leisinger received on 4 December 2012 the ‘Republic of Korea Hansen Grand Award.’