William Rook

William Rook

Senior Advisor, Strategy & Programmes, IHRB


William’s experience includes leading initiatives to promote responsible business practices and human rights in emerging sectors and geographies. William established IHRB’s presence in the Middle East in 2015, liaising closely with governments, embassies, state entities and major companies across the region, facilitating corporate engagement with issues such as worker welfare and risks around human trafficking and forced labour. As Co-Head of IHRB’s Sports Programme, William also managed the process that led to the launch in 2018 of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, coordinating a broad coalition of actors in support of a mandate, strategy, and institutional structure for the Centre.

Current Work

As Senior Advisor, Strategy and Programmes, William works to develop and manage new IHRB initiatives with responsibilities across programme design, resource planning and project management. William manages IHRB’s work on Sport and its outreach and activities in the Middle East. He also contributes to IHRB’s Migrant Workers programme, work on the built environment, and with the construction and hospitality sectors. William is also Deputy Chief Executive of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, managing strategic planning and operations, and overseeing relationships with sports bodies, governments, intergovernmental organisations, trade unions, NGOs and corporate partners. 

Before IHRB

William first worked in the field of responsible mega-sporting events in 2009 when he worked on the CSR programme of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He has a law degree (First Class Honours) from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), a Masters in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a postgraduate diploma in legal practice. William then trained as a corporate lawyer, qualifying as a Solicitor with Slaughter and May in London. Before joining IHRB William worked in the Business and Human Rights Research Group at the University of Greenwich, researching CSR in extractive industries, mining-induced displacement and resettlement, public procurement, and electronics supply chains, also graduating with a research masters in public international law.

Commentary: Migrant Worker Updates from the Gulf and South East Asia

IHRB's Migrant Workers Programme staff members provide updates from Qatar, Thailand and Myanmar on sector-wide progress. For more information on the work and upcoming events of IHRB and the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, visit our...

14 March 2019

Commentary: Speaking Up - A Growing Advocacy Dimension to Corporate Leadership on Human Rights

Not so very long ago, human rights were primarily viewed by businesses as risks to their operations and reputations that needed effective management. 

Today, we see growing recognition that risks to people must be addressed alongside risks to the...

08 June 2018

By William Rook, Senior Advisor, Strategy & Programmes, IHRB

Commentary: Harm Free Sport - Aligning Sports Bodies, Sporting Values, and Human Rights

Several major sports governing bodies are making strides towards implementing their commitments to respect human rights throughout their operations.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen adoption of the International Olympic Committee’s new host city...

30 March 2018

By William Rook, Senior Advisor, Strategy & Programmes, IHRB

Commentary: New Construction Sector Agreement on Protecting Vulnerable Workers

Worker exploitation and ongoing rights abuses in the construction sector are being tackled through a range of initiatives, including guidance from CIOB on tackling modern slavery in construction, the BRE Ethical Labour Standard, and the Stronger...

11 October 2017

By Neill Wilkins, Head of Migrant Workers Programme, IHRB, William Rook, Senior Advisor, Strategy & Programmes, IHRB

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