Bennett Freeman

Associate Fellow, International Law Programme

Bennett Freeman


An innovative leader and standard-setter for responsible business and investment, Bennett Freeman has co-founded multi-stakeholder initiatives and coalitions focused on the extractives, technology and apparel sectors.

As principal of Bennett Freeman Associates LLC, he advises multinational corporations, international institutions and NGOs on policy and strategy related to human rights and labour rights. He was the lead author of Shared Space Under Pressure: Business Support for Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders (2018). 

As senior VP for sustainability research and policy at Calvert Investments, he directed the firm’s ESG analysis, shareholder advocacy and public policy initiatives from 2006-15. He served as a Clinton presidential appointee in three positions at the US Department of State, including as deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor from 1999-2001. 

He was previously manager-corporate affairs at GE after beginning his career as a presidential campaign aide and speechwriter for Democratic nominee Walter Mondale.  Bennett earned an MA/BA in Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford and an AB in History from the University of California at Berkeley.

Past experience


 Principal, Bennett Freeman Associates LLC

2006-15 Senior Vice President, Sustainability Research and Policy, Calvert Investments
2003-6 Managing Director, Global Corporate Responsibility, Burson-Marsteller
2001-03 Principal, Sustainable Investment Strategies
1999-2001 US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
1997-99 Senior Advisor to the US Under Secretary of State, Economic and Business Affairs
1993-97 US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Public Affairs and chief speechwriter, US Secretary of State

Manager-Corporate Affairs, General Electric Company (GE)

1982-84 Presidential campaign aide and speechwriter, former US Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Walter F. Mondale

MA, BA (Hons) Modern History, University of Oxford (English-Speaking Union Scholar at Balliol College)

1979 AB, History, Highest Honours and Phi Beta Kappa, University of California at Berkeley