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Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

Job title
Senior Fellow
United States of America
Current employer
Harvard Law School

Stephen Davis, Ph.D. is a senior fellow at the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance and chairs the Advisory Board of Hawkamah, based in the UAE. He was founding chair of the international Oversight Committee, which monitors the global proxy voting industry’s Best Practices Principles for Shareholder Voting Research, and he co-founded Stewardship Professionals e.V. (StePs). Davis is a co-organizer of the Capital+Constitution project sponsored by the Brookings Institution and States United Democracy Center. He pioneered the field of international corporate governance in 1989 when he created the Global Shareholder Services unit at the IRRC, in Washington, DC. Davis has been a nonresident senior fellow in governance at Brookings, where he co-directed the World Forum on Governance; a senior advisor on governance at Teneo; and outside advisor to the Nissan Special Committee on Improving Governance.

From 2007-2012 he was executive director of the Yale School of Management’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance, and from 2012-2022 was associate director of Harvard Law School’s Program on Corporate Governance. He has served as an advisor to the corporate governance project at Alfaisal University School of Business in Riyadh and a Distinguished Visiting Researcher at the American University in Cairo. Davis is co-author of What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us, and How to Fix It (Yale University Press, 2016), and The New Capitalists: How Citizen Investors are Reshaping the Corporate Agenda (Harvard Business School Press, 2006), named by the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Australian Financial Review as one of the best business books of 2006. US SEC Chair Mary Schapiro named Davis to the Commission’s first Investor Advisory Committee. He has been chair of the board of Hermes EOS and a trustee of ShareAction. Davis is a co-founder of the International Corporate Governance Network, the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, GMI Ratings (now part of MSCI), and Global Proxy Watch newsletter.

Davis earned his doctorate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and completed undergraduate studies at Tufts and the London School of Economics. Other books include Apartheid’s Rebels: Inside South Africa’s Hidden War (Yale University Press, 1987), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

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