Professor of Sociology
K laus LEISINGER studied economics and social science at the University of Basel. Further studies included Executive Education at Harvard Business School. His professional career took him for several years to East Africa as CEO of the former Ciba Pharmaceuticals regional office in Nairobi. After his return to headquarters in Switzerland, he was responsible for the company’s international relations. Today, Klaus LEISINGER is Founder and serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Global Values Alliance Foundation. For nearly 40 years, he was leading the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development.
In addition to his work in the private sector, Klaus LEISINGER is Professor of Sociology at the University of Basel, where he pursues research and teaches a wide range of topics related to international development and health policy as well as business ethics, corporate responsibility, and business and human rights.
Klaus LEISINGER served for many years as an advisor to national and international organizations, such as the United Nation ́s Global Compact, the UN Economic and Social Council, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum (Global Agenda Council on Human Rights). Kofi Annan appointed Klaus LEISINGER Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for the UN Global Compact. This mandate ended with Kofi Annan’s tenure on December 31, 2006. Klaus LEISINGER was member of the High-Level Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health. He is also a member of the Broadband Commission. He is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German Network Business Ethics, and a member of the Executive Committee of the German Society for the United Nations. In the 1990s Klaus LEISINGER was a member of the CIMMYT Board – since 2014 is he a member of the Consortium Board of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
In November 2012 Klaus LEISINGER was appointed by the Global Compact as “Special Advisor on the Post 2015 Development and Business Ethics” – this appointment was renewed in 2013 and 2014 and continues until end of 2015. Due to his special competences and network Klaus LEISINGER is also as member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) initiated by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (Chair: Jeff Sachs).