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Release: March 5, 2002

Schrage to speak on intersection of business, human rights March 6

As corporations have responded to consumer demands to ensure that workers are treated humanely, many have turned to the chroniclers of worldwide human rights abuses for assistance in changing how their manufacturers operate. One such chronicler, an expert in human rights investigation, is Elliot J. Schrage, who will speak at the University of Iowa about "Human Rights Challenges Facing Multinational Corporations" from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in the International Center Lounge. This presentation is sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights.

With more than 15 years' work promoting respect for international human rights and environmental protection, Schrage has broad experience in public interest advocacy. He has worked with such groups as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in Africa, Asia, Central America and Eastern Europe and is the author/editor of numerous reports on the administration of justice and human rights conditions in Yugoslavia, Peru, El Salvador and Haiti.

In 2000, Schrage joined Gap Inc., the largest specialty retailer in the United States, as senior vice president of global affairs. In this role, he led the company's 45-person Corporate Communications Team, with responsibility for government affairs, crisis management, corporate branding, media relations, internal communications, and corporate correspondence. He also directed the company's Global Compliance organization, an integrated team of more than 80 professionals in 20 countries charged with inspecting working conditions at factories that manufacture products for the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands.

Prior to joining Gap, Inc., Schrage served as Managing Director of the New York office of Clark & Weinstock Inc., a public policy and management consulting firm. Since 1990, he has served as adjunct professor at Columbia University Business School, where he teaches a seminar that explores the social consequences of economic globalization. He has written and spoken widely on this and related topics before corporations, foundations and trade associations, including the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Carter Presidential Center, the Ford Foundation, Business for Social Responsibility, the National Coffee Association and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry.

In 1992-93, Schrage created and served as the first director of the Liaison Office on Human Rights and Environment, an initiative of the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Schrage has represented a variety of U.S. and foreign corporations in international transactions and served as consultant to several multinational corporations and trade associations, helping them draft corporate human rights

"codes of conduct," or ways to monitor their compliance and evaluate the effectiveness of monitoring programs. In 1996-97, he helped organize a partnership of the international sporting goods industry, UNICEF, Save the Children and the International Labor Organization to end child labor in soccer ball production in Pakistan. He also worked on a team with the American Apparel Manufacturers Association to develop the "Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP) Certification Program," a global program to certify apparel factories as meeting fundamental human rights standards.

Schrage is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights, as well as on the U.S. Department of Treasury Advisory Committee on International Child Labor Enforcement. His board experience includes the Harvard Law School Association of New York (Trustee), the International League for Human Rights (Director), and the Medicare Beneficiaries Defense Fund (Director).

Schrage received his B.A., J.D., and M.P.P. degrees from Harvard University and also studied at the École Normale Superieure in Paris.

Schrage's lecture is co-sponsored by the UI College of Law Amnesty International, and the Iowa Society of International Law and Affairs.

For more information, please contact the UI Center for Human Rights at (319) 335-3900 or email at uichr@uiowa.edu.