Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is pleased to announce the appointment of Phil Bloomer to the position of Executive Director. Phil brings with him thirty years of experience in human rights and social justice. This includes leadership positions at Oxfam GB since 1995 – most recently Director of the Campaigns and Policy Division – and eleven years working in Latin America and the Caribbean on human rights and economic justice.
On accepting the position, Phil says: “I feel very fortunate to have been selected as the next Executive Director of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. I am inspired by the Resource Centre’s track record of agile and effective support to victims of human rights abuse by business, its commitment to fairness, and its support to systemic change. Business can and will play a key role in confronting the challenges of worsening inequality, economic uncertainty, and ecological crisis. The Resource Centre has enormous potential to encourage positive change, especially in the global South.”
Phil’s appointment follows a comprehensive and highly competitive search and selection process led by six members of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre board. Chair of the Resource Centre board Chris Marsden says: “Phil is clearly an outstanding leader, strategic thinker and committed advocate for human rights. His track record demonstrates a strong ability to engage with victims of abuses and with corporate decision-makers to bring about progress on human rights – an approach that has been crucial to the Resource Centre’s success from the outset.”
Phil joins Business & Human Rights Resource Centre at an important phase of its development. Founded in 2002, it is the leading international human rights organization focused on providing information about private sector activities worldwide. Currently with researchers based in 13 countries, it has exciting plans to further increase its outreach and impact in all regions. Attention to business and human rights is growing at all levels, from grassroots groups to international organizations. This places great responsibilities on the Resource Centre as well as significant opportunities: Phil is the right person to take on this challenge.
Phil will succeed the Resource Centre’s founder and current Director Christopher Avery, who announced in late 2012 that he would be retiring once a new Executive Director starts work. Chris says: “Phil Bloomer will be an outstanding Executive Director of the Resource Centre. The breadth and depth of his skills and experience – and his strong connections with the global South – will serve the organization extremely well. It has been a privilege for me to direct the Resource Centre since its founding 10 years ago, and to work with such exceptional staff colleagues, board members and advisors. I am glad to be retiring at a time when the organization is growing, and I know that Phil will extend the organization’s global reach and strengthen its impact.”
Phil will start his role as Executive Director of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in September 2013. In his current position as Director of Campaigns and Policy at Oxfam GB, Phil is responsible for a team of 170 staff working across policy, advocacy, programme and campaigns. His team’s priorities are Oxfam’s “GROW” campaign on food justice in a resource-constrained world, humanitarian protection and assistance, and the provision of essential health and education for all. Previously he was Head of Advocacy and Public Policy, and head of Oxfam International’s Make Trade Fair campaign.
Prior to joining Oxfam, Phil’s positions have included: Head of Advocacy and Public Education with Catholic Institute for International Relations; Country Director for Colombia and Ecuador with CUSO based in Bogotá; Programme Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean with War on Want (based in Central America and London); and Soil and Water Conservationist with CIIR in Honduras. Throughout his career, the human rights dimension of business has featured prominently: including the impacts of resource extraction projects on indigenous communities, access to medicines and the pharmaceutical sector, and the responsibilities of major food companies.
Mary Robinson, Chair of the Resource Centre’s International Advisory Network, welcomed Phil and wished him success in his new role.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre staff and board are grateful for the extraordinary leadership of the Resource Centre’s founder, Chris Avery. They are excited about welcoming Phil into this important position, and look forward to a smooth and effective transition.