Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Google hires squeaky clean human rights/ corporate responsibility lawyer as PR chief: Is GOOG expecting more trouble ahead? Will Mr Schrage spearhead GOOG's attack on China's human rights abuses?

Posted by Tom Foremski - November 2, 2005

. . . where is the Google Foundation chief?

By Tom Foremski for Silicon Valley Watcher.com

It has taken about ten months, but Google has finally hired a PR boss, Elliot Schrage--as the new VP of global communications and public affairs.

Mr Schrage replaces Cindy McCaffrey. He is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and was a senior VP at Gap.

The appointment is interesting because Mr Schrage is not from the computer industry, his talents lie in the field of corporate responsibility and foreign policy.

In the Google press release, it says:

He will manage relations between the company and various stakeholders around the world.

Is Google planning to give/sell stock to countries or other organizations?

Or does Google mean stakeholders in the sense of: having a stake or ownership interest in something...maybe content?

Google has already tussled with several countries such as China, France, Germany and India. Its tussles with the Chinese government led to a secret agreement to limit access to its worldwide index within China.

At Gap, Mr Schrage helped deflect sweat shop and child labor criticism.

Here is a column he wrote for the Finacial Times about China and the need for enforcing laws on intellectual property, among others...

Chinese Quotas Kill the Pain but Not the Problem

Elliot Schrage
The Financial Times, 6 July 2005

Take a look at this bio, penned by Mr Schrage, for:

Child Labor in a Globalizing Economy
Stanford University, Feb. 7-9, 2001

Elliot J. Schrage
Elliot Schrage is a teacher, lawyer and writer with extensive experience working on private corporate matters and public interest issues. In August 2000, he joined Gap Inc., the largest specialty retailer in the U.S., as Senior Vice President of Global Affairs. In his new role, Elliot oversees the company’s government affairs, issues management, and corporate communications functions, and directs the company’s global compliance organization, charged with inspecting working conditions at factories that manufacture products for the company’s Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands.

For the previous ten years, Schrage served as Managing Director at Clark & Weinstock Inc., a public policy and management consulting firm in New York, where he counseled clients on a wide range of strategic business and public policy issues and has special expertise on matters of corporate responsibility. Since 1990, Schrage has served as Adjunct Professor at Columbia University Business School, where he teaches a seminar that explores the intersection of international human rights law and multinational business practices. It was the first, and, to date, only such course offered by a business school in the United States. He has written and spoken widely on this and related topics before human rights advocacy groups, corporations, foundations and trade associations, including Amnesty International, the Carter Presidential Center, the Ford Foundation, Business for Social Responsibility and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry.

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 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 wide variety 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," design mechanisms 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, the source for three of every four balls produced each year; a successor project was announced in India in February 1999. 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.

Elliot received B.A., J.D., and M.P.P. degrees from Harvard University and studied at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. He began his professional career with Sullivan & Cromwell in New York and Paris, where he specialized in U.S. securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions and complex corporate transactions, including project financing for the Euro Disneyland theme park.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, and the U.S. Dept 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, his wife and their children reside in San Francisco.

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