Research Fellows

Margaret Wachenfeld

Margaret Wachenfeld

Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

Expertise

Margaret is an international lawyer and policy adviser with expertise and experience 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.

Current Work

As a senior research fellow, Margaret is the focal point for IHRB’s work in East Africa and the research lead for IHRB’s work with the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business.

Before IHRB

Margaret started her career as legal counsel to the Danish Institute for Human Rights. After practicing law in a commercial firm, focusing on environmental and corporate responsibility issues, she joined the International Finance Corporation (IFC) (World Bank Group) to work on environmental and social dimensions of project finance transactions and later served as the principal human rights advisor at the IFC.  More recently, Margaret was senior policy advisor to UNICEF, covering a wide range of child rights issues.

Margaret has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in biology from Wellesley College, a juris doctor (JD) and masters in international and comparative law (LLM) from Duke University School of Law and a PhD in law (licentiat) from the University of Copenhagen.

Commentary: Home Government Incentives Toward Responsible Business Conduct

In a globalized marketplace, companies often operate in areas where host state regulation is lacking or where host governments may struggle to enforce their own laws.

The ‘governance gap’- the gap between where law extends compared to where...

22 March 2017

By Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

Commentary: Designing a Better Global Financial System – Why Do Human Rights Matter?

How would you design a global financial system that is fit for purpose in the 21st century? What steps are required to ensure more inclusive and sustainable financial decision-making that can serve the needs of economies and societies? 

Over the...

11 February 2016

By Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

Commentary: How the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Relate to Investors

This op-Ed was originally published on ResponsibleInvestor.com.

"The underlying tenet of the UN Guiding Principles and the OECD Guidelines is that all businesses, including and especially state-owned enterprises, have a responsibility to respect...

07 October 2013

By Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

Commentary: From Principles to Practice: three new guides support three sectors in respecting human rights

With the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights just passing their second birthday, it is a fitting time for the emergence of more detailed guidance to encourage their implementation.

As a contribution to this objective, last week the...

26 June 2013

By Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

Commentary: The Hidden Impacts of Large Infrastructure Projects on Children

This op-Ed was originally published on TheGuardian.com.

People swarm towards big infrastructure projects like bees to honey, but the interests of children are often overlooked

Though conjuring up images of Winnie the Pooh, the honeypot effect...

03 May 2012

By Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

Commentary: Children’s Rights Finally Getting the Attention they Deserve

This op-Ed was originally published on TheGuardian.com.

Recognition of children as important in the broader human rights and business discussion has been a long time coming

Children's rights are finally getting the attention they deserve on the...

30 March 2012

By Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, IHRB

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