About us

Klaus Michael Leisinger

Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees

For more than 30 years, Klaus Michael Leisinger, founder and Chairman of the Global Values Alliance​, has worked internationally for a globalisation “with a human face”. His efforts to transform corporate ethical standards – both morally and pragmatically – are groundbreaking, not only in the private sector but also in the academic field, especially since he understands how to test theories based on practical experience in the private sector. His influence on the acceptance of the Global Compact of the United Nations within multinational business circles and his communicative actions to reduce ideological reservations between different social interest groups are unprecedented and have brought him international recognition.

Klaus Leisinger is Professor of Sociology at the University of Basel (specialising in development policy, business ethics and corporate responsibility), special adviser on business ethics to the Global Compact of the United Nations and on the post-2015 development policy agenda upon termination of the Millennium Development Goals Period. He is a member of the Consortium Board of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and a member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network initiated by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and directed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs.

Karin Monika Schmitt

Founder and Managing Director / Member of the Board of Trustees

has worked with Klaus Leisinger in the areas of business ethics, development cooperation and philanthropy since 1989. She shaped the strategic positioning of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development as an internationally recognised and influential institution, leading it to consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNECOSOC). She also directed successful development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Karin Schmitt contributed to the debate on corporate ethics and development policy through highly acclaimed publications ​​in several languages.

Benjamin Karli Leisinger

Member of the Board of Trustees

studied at the University of Basel and the University of Chicago Law School. He works as an attorney-at-law at a leading Swiss law firm in Zurich, focusing on banking, finance and capital markets law, as well as corporate and commercial law. He co-editored the book “Human Security & Business” and co-authored legal articles on ethical values in international sales contracts.