For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Contact: Meredith MacKenzie, email@example.com, (202) 412-4270
International Corporate Accountability Roundtable Welcomes Longtime Transparency Advocate Alison Friedman as Executive Director
WASHINGTON — Following a nationwide search, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) is excited to welcome new Executive Director, Alison Friedman, a longtime human rights activist, supply chain expert, and former diplomat for the Obama administration.
“Alison has run organizations, crafted legislation, served as a senior diplomat, and worked on numerous campaigns—including her own—all in service of the dignity of work, the necessity of environmental stewardship, and the critical role of government in securing fundamental human rights before profits and power,” said Cathy Feingold, director of the international department of the AFL-CIO and a member of ICAR’s board. “She brings a track record of concrete wins for people left behind and on the margin, and we’re looking forward to having her pragmatism and passion leading ICAR at this critical time.”
Friedman’s full biography is below. Her tenure as executive director began on May 28, 2019.
Friedman has previously served as California Policy Director for People For the American Way, Vice President of the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, Executive Director of the Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking, an appointee in the Obama Administration, and most recently as a Congressional candidate for Virginia’s 10th district. Friedman helped draft the California Transparency in Supply Chains law, which serves as a model for international legislation, managed foreign assistance programming and U.S. interagency processes to combat human trafficking, and was instrumental in crafting the executive order that ensured taxpayer dollars didn’t further incentivize exploitation.
“ICAR stands for the proposition that the global economy should respect the rights of all people, not just powerful corporations,” said Friedman. “I’m thrilled to join an incredible and dynamic leadership team, a talented and committed staff, and our 40-plus member organizations, and I’m grateful for Interim Executive Director Meg Roggensack’s leadership during this transition.”
Founded and led by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the AFL-CIO, Global Witness, and EarthRights International, ICAR is leading the conversation on supply chain transparency, undue corporate influence on core government regulatory functions, the future of dignified work and how best to counter strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) through their Protect the Protest Task Force.
“At a time when too many leaders have put personal and corporate interests ahead of the public’s, ICAR and its focus on accountability are more important than ever,” said ICAR board member and director of Human Rights Watch’s Business and Human Rights Division Arvind Ganesan. “We’re excited for Alison’s leadership at this key moment.”
More about Alison Friedman
Alison Kiehl Friedman is a single mom with a proven record on issues of human trafficking, security, and civil rights. After graduating from Stanford, she joined People For the American Way, where she defended voting rights, an independent judiciary, and high quality public education. Friedman went on to work for Congresswoman Jane Harman, managing complex security, infrastructure, and transportation challenges surrounding major ports and LAX.
Friedman co-founded ASSET, a non-profit addressing issues of human trafficking in global supply chains, where she helped author the California Transparency in Supply Chains law, which served as a model for international legislation. Her expertise in the anti-slavery field led Friedman to be recruited by the State Department at the beginning of the Obama Administration, where she served as Deputy Director in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. In that role, she managed over $50 million in federal grants and U.S. interagency processes to combat human trafficking. Friedman was instrumental in launching slaveryfootprint.com, a website that enables consumers to better understand how the products they buy impact people’s lives and how to use that power for good, crafting the executive order that ensured taxpayer dollars didn’t further incentivize exploitation, and conducting frontline diplomacy with critical allies to promote freedom around the world. She has received numerous awards for her work, including her contribution to successful resolution of a hostage crisis in Pakistan. Friedman lives in Virginia with her daughter, Olivia and recently ran for Congress in Virginia’s 10th District.
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable harnesses the collective power of progressive organizations to push governments to create and enforce rules over corporations that promote human rights and reduce inequality. Their members include over 40 human rights, environmental, labor and development organizations. ICAR is focused on combatting corporate influence over human rights policies, protecting human rights and environmental defenders, and pushing for transparency in corporate supply chains. ICAR's Board of Advisors includes AFL-CIO, Amnesty International, EarthRights International, Global Witness and Human Rights Watch.