ABOUT US

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Anne’s work with Katalyst Initiative builds on her track record of working collaboratively to find practical, yet principled solutions to some of the most difficult human rights challenges in the garment industry. For more than two decades, Anne has focused on developing regulatory structures that foreground and defend worker rights in the globalised and globalising economic system. She has innovated with groups like Clean Clothes Campaign, Fair Labor Association, Global Reporting Initiative, Jo-In, and WellMade, as well as with government ministries and intergovernmental organisations. In recent years Anne has played a vital role in re-envisioning the industry’s approach to living wages at Fair Wear Foundation, where she has (co-)authored various publications, including Living Wages: An Explorers Notebook, Living Wage Engineering, and The Fair Wear Formula (book and short film).

Earlier in her career, Anne served as Executive Director of a national fair trade organisation in the United States and monitored human rights issues at the United Nations in Geneva and New York. She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University in New York. Anne is based in Cambridge, England.

Martin has more than 25 years of policy, strategy and communications experience, including 15 years working in and with the global garment industry.  His background includes work in government and NGO environments, as well as in the clothing industry. He held a 2020 Policy Leader Fellowship at the European University Institute’s School of Transnational Governance. He also helped the Cornell University New Conversations Project to  develop strategies to support civil society and social dialogue innovation. He previously served as Senior Policy and Research Officer at Fair Wear Foundation, where he worked with a wide range of stakeholder groups, helping to develop FWF’s Brand Performance Check system, living wage strategy, research agenda and overall strategic direction.

Martin holds a BA from Macalester College and an MSc in International Management from Royal Holloway, University of London. He is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Anna currently serves as Board Chair of the New Conversations Project at the Cornell University ILR School. Hailed by Fortune Magazine as “the most powerful woman in the labor movement” Anna Burger retired in 2010 as both a top ranking officer at SEIU and the first chair of the labor federation, Change to Win.  She brought together seven unions representing six million workers to develop a common agenda for working families, successfully negotiated with the White House on health care reform issues and negotiated the first bilateral agreement with the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.  A longtime strategist, Burger led SEIU’s grassroots election work through 2008, which helped elect President Barack Obama and worked across the movement in building a sustainable progressive infrastructure.

An outspoken voice on the critical role unions can play to restore economic fairness in America, she served on President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board from March 2009 – March 2011. As a Harvard University 2011 Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow Burger focused her work on new models of civic engagement launching the Gettysburg Project on Civic Engagement which she co-chairs with Harvard University’s Kennedy School Academic Dean, Archon Fung.

Katharine is a lecturer of public international law and human rights at Utrecht University’s Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM). The focus of her research is the legal framework which applies to non-international armed conflicts, with a particular focus on intersections between international humanitarian law and international human rights law and armed non State actors. She is the founder and co-editor of the Armed Groups and International Law blog. 

Her book The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law, published by the OUP in August 2017 with a foreword by Andrew Clapham, won the Lieber Prize in 2018. She teaches human rights law, public international law and international humanitarian law. In 2019, she took part in the Westerdijk Programme designed to provide mentorship and support to talented female lecturers at Utrecht University. In July 2019, she was awarded an NWO Veni grant to carry out a research project – Dangerous Liaisons: civilian agency, armed groups and international law

She has a LLM (summa cum laude) and PhD (cum laude) at the University of Utrecht. She is a qualified solicitor in the UK and previously worked at Norton Rose Fulbright, the Council of Churches of Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 

 

Henrik is Executive Director of the recently-launched Ethical Trading Initiative-Sweden. His experience covers both human rights and environmental aspects of the garment industry, and combines experience in both the industry and NGO worlds.

Earlier in his career, he has worked as a verification coordinator at Fair Wear Foundation, researcher and campaigner at Fair Action Sweden, and at the Center for Labour Information Service and Training in Bangkok. His recent industry experience includes roles as sustainability and CSR manager for a pair of Swedish clothing and apparel brands, and where he was responsible for securing better working conditions in the supply chain and reducing the environmental impact of production processes.

Henrik is also an experienced researcher, holding Licentiate of Science degree in risk philosophy, theory of science and statistics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and is author of several peer-reviewed papers assessing the effectiveness of codes of conduct and factory audits.

EXPERT ADVISORS

A group of experts on human rights, civil society and specialist fields are helping Katalyst Initiative progress towards more effective governance solutions for the garment industry and beyond.

Jos has extensive experience in the intersection of labour rights and foreign policy. She recently retired as Senior Policy Officer at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where her portfolio focused on global supply chains and the garment industry.  From her early career as a policy officer for the FNV trade union, where she worked on gender policy, precarious work and social security issues, she moved on to the Dutch  Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.  Her posting at the Directorate of International Affairs covered sustainable public procurement, OECD supply chain guidelines and gender projects.  Jos has worked intensively in garment-producing countries including Bangladesh, Turkey and Pakistan. She drove major international living wage conferences in Berlin (2013), Islamabad (2016) and Rotterdam (2019); represented the Dutch Government in the Agreement for Sustainable Textiles, and has long worked with the ILO and ILO Better Work on a range of issues, particularly living wage.

Sarosh Kuruvilla is Professor of Industrial Relations, Asian Studies and Public Affairs at Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School. His research interests focus  on the linkages between national economic development strategies and national human resource and labor policies. He research on these topics, particularly skills development and workforce upgrading has informed several Asian governments. More recently, he has been doing research on labour global supply chains. As the founding  Academic Director of the New Conversations Project at Cornell university, his research  can be seen  in his new book Private Regulation of Labor Standards in Global Supply Chains: Problems, Progress, and Prospects  published in April 2021.

Shelly is Associate Professor and Director of the RMIT University Business and Human Rights Centre and an Australian Research Council Research Fellow.  Shelley is an expert in the regulation of informal work and labour law and in poor and middle income countries. She has undertaken empirical studies of home-workers and other informal workers in a diverse range of countries, including Bulgaria, India, Indonesia, Australia and Cambodia, and has published widely based on her findings. She has been awarded a number of large multi-country competitive grants to conduct these studies.  Shelley has advised various governments about the implementation of laws to protect home-based workers, including, most recently, Thailand.  Her most recent book is Living Wage: Regulatory Solutions to Informal and Precarious Work in Global Supply Chains published by Oxford University Press.

Jeroen Merk holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Sussex, Brighton. His research interests lie at the crossroads of international relations, political economy, social movements, and the governance institutions of global industrial relations. His research program is particularly concerned with analysing the shifting nature of worker-employer relations within local, national and global (supply-chain) contexts; the role of ethical standards as embodied in codes of conduct and other voluntary instruments in regulating business practices; and the combined (but uneven) emergence of cross-border networks of NGOs and trade unions keeping transnational corporations accountable for labour rights violations. He has published on these topics in peer-reviewed journals and academic books. He is collaborating with academics from different universities on related research projects.

Ben Vanpeperstraete studied sociology and anthropology at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. He later worked on the intersection between labor rights, human rights due diligence and international trade, with a focus on the clothing sector. He supported global unions in their work on the legally binding Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and contributed to the Rana Plaza, Tazreen and Ali Enterprises compensation arrangements.

He furthermore worked on EU trade policy, especially on the EU Bangladesh Sustainability Compact and the Everything but Arms Cambodia investigation. 

Connecting the dots, building bridges, brokering knowledge.. Whatever name you would like to give it, for over 10 years Daniëlle has been working tirelessly on finding inspiring ways of connecting people, institutions, ideas and narratives. What brings people at the table? Why that particular table and not a different one? And, what’s in it for them? Such questions have fueled Daniëlle’s work at her consultancy DBMresearch over the years, supporting government institutions, multi-stakeholder initiatives and civil society organisations. She has been involved in setting up inspiring evidence-based learning strategies for non-profits and multi-stakeholder initiatives, building on her strong expertise on the topic of Business & Human Rights and knowledge of different value chains and sectors, including the garment industry.

PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS

Katalyst has a growing network of partner organisations and supporters:

Since 1960 ASN Bank’s aim is to invest its customers’ capital in a way that contributes to a society where people are free to make their own choices without negatively effecting others. A society without poverty, with education available for all and with the availability of good housing and healthcare. To achieve this, we contribute to a better environment for present and future generations, whilst generating a healthy return on investment for our organization.

In accordance with this mission, we finance projects that contribute to a sustainable society. The finance of projects from organizations that play a social or cultural role in the community advances this mission.

Fair Wear is an independent, non-profit organisation that works to improve conditions for workers in garment factories. Active in 15 production countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, four key activities make up the Fair Wear approach: brand performance checks, factory audits, complaints helplines and factory training sessions. A multi-stakeholder initiative, governed by trade unions, NGOs and business associations, Fair Wear has over 120 member brands.   Fair Wear is a co-funder of Katalyst Initiative’s ‘Broad View’ industry mapping project.

Housed in the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the New Conversations Project is Katalyst Initiative’s launch partner.   NCP is dedicated to independent research and action that answers this question: If our goal is supply chain labor relations and business practices that end abusive labor practices, what do private and public regulation systems need to look like in the 21st century? 

To answer this, NCP pulls together fragmented constituencies—brands, suppliers, unions, civil society, governments, investors—for evidence-based conversations and decisions. The goal is a new generation of strategies that the evidence says can produce better outcomes for large numbers of workers.

ORGANISATIONAL INFO 

Katalyst Initiative is a non-profit organisation (public good ‘stichting’) founded in 2020.  

We are registered in the Netherlands (RSIN 861463262), and are recognised by the Dutch Tax Authorities as an ANBI Public Benefit Organisation. Donations to ANBI (Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling) registered organisations may be deducted from Dutch income tax or corporate income tax.

Katalyst’s Policy Plan 2021 is available.

Having been founded in the 2nd half of 2020, Katalyst’s first annual report and financial statement will be published at the close of the 2021 fiscal year, in line with Dutch regulations for newly-founded organisations.

Katalyst Initiative