Human Rights and Development Finance Institutions
International Development Series
hosted by Professor
Themis Research and Institute for Human Rights and Business, Belgium
SAIS Europe students, faculty, staff, and guests are allowed to attend in person at SAIS Europe, via B. Andreatta 3, Bologna. To participate online, please register for the webinar.
Margaret Wachenfeld is Managing Director of Themis Research and Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Human Rights and Business in Brussels, Belgium. Wachenfeld is an international lawyer and policy adviser with expertise in applying and linking key international developments and standards related to human rights, human development, good governance, extractives, environment, and climate change to the work of international organisations and the private sector.
Wachenfeld is Senior Adviser to the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) and a board member of the Centro Regional de Empresas y Emprendimientos Responsables (CREER). She is also the co-chair of methodology for the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB).
Wachenfeld started her career as legal counsel to the Danish Institute for Human Rights. After practicing law in the commercial law firm White & Case, focusing on environmental and corporate responsibility, she joined the International Finance Corporation (IFC, World Bank Group) to work on the environmental and social dimensions of project finance transactions, and later served as the principal human rights advisor at the IFC. More recently Wachenfeld was Senior Policy Advisor to UNICEF, covering a wide range of issues regarding children's rights.
Wachenfeld serves on a number of advisory boards including: the European Parliament, Advisory Board of the Responsible Business Conduct Working Group, OECD Advisory Group on Responsible Business Conduct in the Financial Sector, GRI Technical Committee to review the GRI human rights-related reporting standards, OHCHR informal Advisory Group for the Accountability and Remedy Project – Parts I, II and III, UNEP FI, PRI and Generation Foundation Reference Group for the Impact Legal Framework Project, UNEP-WCMC Independent International Advisory Panel of the Development Corridors Partnership, the Alliance for Corporate Transparency, and the Advisory Council for WikiRate.
Wachenfeld holds a BA in biology from Wellesley College, a Juris Doctor and Master's in International and Comparative Law from Duke University School of Law, and a PhD in law (licentiat) from the University of Copenhagen.