Mary Beth serves as the Executive Director of Investor Advocates for Social Justice (IASJ). Mary Beth focuses on the socially responsible investing work around human rights in corporate supply chains, climate change, water stewardship, sustainable food and agriculture, labor, and responsible financial practices. Mary Beth is the Social Responsibility Consultant for institutions that engage IASJ to represent them in corporate shareholder advocacy, including the American Baptist Home Mission Society, and oversees IASJ’s proxy voting service. Mary Beth is on the Steering Committee for the Investor Alliance for Human Rights.
Mary Beth joined IASJ in July 2013 and brings with her experience in the field of environmental and human rights advocacy and international development. Prior to joining IASJ, Mary Beth directed the work of a small private foundation to develop a grant making program in Burma, focused on sustainable community based development. Mary Beth also worked with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights as an advocate for human rights defenders and vulnerable populations before the U.S. government and United Nations, in the areas of women’s empowerment, the right to food and water, access to health care, equality, and the environment. Mary Beth also worked with the United Nations in Haiti and practiced non-profit law in Washington, D.C. Mary Beth served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa where she focused on environmental education, access to water, women’s empowerment, and HIV/AIDS education projects.
Mary Beth received a B.S. in Environmental Science from Boston College and a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. Mary Beth is licensed to practice law in the state of New York.
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Niki Shah serves as the Associate Director for the Mission-Aligned Investment Program at Investor Advocates for Social Justice where he is focused on integrating ESG considerations into investment-decisions for faith-based institutional asset owners. His expertise lies in community and international development, corporate sustainability, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainable investing. Prior to joining IASJ, he focused on delivering a suite of ESG services from policy development and frameworks to reporting and disclosures.
Niki has worked with civil society, governments and corporations to bring sustainable solutions to social and environmental challenges. For example, he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Hindu American Seva Charities to implement community development and service-oriented recommendations issued by President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He then served as an UN Volunteer for the UN Global Compact to build corporate-social enterprise partnerships in India. In India, Niki contributed towards Yes Bank’s corporate sustainability strategy focused on measuring and reducing the bank’s carbon footprint, employee engagement, corporate reporting and advocacy for the bank’s responsible banking approach. He also served on the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health and has co-authored a report on internet rights for a European Union funded program on Freedom of Expression in India. Through these opportunities, Niki gained exposure and insights to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – particularly around business and human rights, digital access and tools, sustainability and the environment, impact investing, health, education, energy, and access to finance for sustainable economic development.
Niki holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism and Economics and a Master’s of Science in Global Affairs from Rutgers University. Currently, he is pursuing a Master’s of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University and is expecting to graduate in May 2021. At Columbia University, he is part of the executive team of Columbia Sustainable Finance Professionals Network and a member of the university’s Transportation Working Group.
Niki’s belief systems are rooted Vedic principles which makes him a strong advocate for sustainable finance. He practices a yogic way of living and advocates for sustainability by being a responsible consumer and citizen. He loves reading children’s books, watching movies, meeting new people, travelling and adventure.
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Gina joined Investor Advocates for Social Justice in June 2016. She supports shareholder advocacy campaigns calling on companies to address human rights impacts of business activities. Gina helps lead IASJ’s Shifting Gears initiative, focused on engaging companies in the automotive sector on human rights risks in global supply chains. She supports additional company engagements focused on workers’ rights and immigrants’ rights. Gina also assists with relationship management for Affiliates and Clients, development activities, proxy voting, and office operations.
Gina’s advocacy efforts as an undergraduate student played an instrumental role in shaping her passion for our key areas of engagement. Her involvement with Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign led her to petition for a broad range of social and environmental issues, from ending land grabs in the sugar supply chain to improving conditions for women cocoa farmers. Gina was also involved in her college’s chapter of Free the Slaves, a group dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking, where she helped conduct a slavery footprint survey. During her semester abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, Gina interned with International Bridges to Justice, an organization dedicated to protecting the basic legal rights of ordinary citizens in developing countries.
Gina graduated with honors from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Anthropology and French. She also completed a concentration in Global Development Studies.
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Jillianne joined Investor Advocates for Social Justice in October 2018. She helps lead IASJ’s Climate & Environmental Justice initiative. Jillianne additionally supports our shareholder engagement work on the Human Right to Water and climate finance, as well as assists in managing the proxy voting service and takes care of daily office operations.
Jillianne’s passion for corporate accountability and climate justice stemmed from various professional and academic experiences during her undergraduate years. Her internships with IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) and the CT General Assembly Legislature fortified her skills in human rights advocacy, policy, and analysis. During her research internship with the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Jillianne assisted in engaging companies and reporting on issues of climate risk transparency, water protection, and indigenous land rights. As an undergraduate, Jillianne worked closely with environmental activist groups, sustainable farming programs, and international coherence initiatives. She additionally attended the 2017 UN Climate Conference in Bonn, Germany as a university fellow where she took part of the We Are Still In campaign.
Jillianne graduated with high honors from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Human Rights and Political Science, and a minor in French.
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