John Sherman is an internationally recognized expert on business and human rights. Following a long career in private practice and as deputy general counsel for a multinational energy company, John became senior legal adviser to the late Harvard Kennedy School Professor John Ruggie, the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Business and Human Rights. John was deeply involved in the in the shaping and drafting of the authoritative 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
In 2011, John helped to launch Shift, an independent nonprofit that is the leading global center of expertise on the Guiding Principles, which Prof. Ruggie chaired. John served as General Counsel and Senior Advisor to Shift for twelve years.
John has played a leading role in the International Bar Association’s and the American Bar Association’s advocacy for and implementation of the Guiding Principles in the practice of law. He has authored numerous law review articles and book chapters and guides on such subjects as corporate culture, the role of the corporate legal officer rights, private commercial law, corporate governance, force majeure, and the antecedents of human rights due diligence. He has lectured hundreds of times to law schools, bar associations, business groups, and business schools.
Until recently, John was a former Senior Practice Fellow at the Corporate Responsibility Initiative of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He currently serves as the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Hoffman Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University.
John graduated from Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.