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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Corporate Social Responsibility Team

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs
March 19, 2012


"The core tenets of corporate social responsibility complement both our diplomatic and development efforts. Our history has shown that we are most effective when we see the harmony between our interests abroad and our values at home." – Hillary Rodham Clinton

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) plays a leading role in the Department’s engagement with U.S. business in the promotion of responsible and ethical business practices.

The team:

  • Promotes a comprehensive approach to CSR in consultation with our embassies abroad, and other bureaus and agencies;
  • Provides guidance and support for American companies engaging in socially responsible, forwardthinking corporate activities; and
  • Partners with the business community, trade unions, associations, NGOs, and other members of civil society to encourage the adoption and implementation of corporate policies that help companies “do well by doing good.”


  • Support and Promotion of the OECD MNE Guidelines: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNE), newly updated in 2011, are voluntary recommendations for responsible business conduct, based on a binding commitment among governments with significant input from labor, civil society, and business. EB is the home to the U.S. OECD National Contact Point. The Guidelines are addressed to MNEs to enhance the private sector’s contribution to sustainable development in the following areas:
    • Information Disclosure
    • Human Rights
    • Employment and Industrial Relations
    • Environment
    • Combating Bribery
    • Consumer Interests
    • Science and Technology
    • Competition
    • Due Diligence and Supply Chains
  • OECD National Contact Point: The United States and the other 41 governments adhering to the Guidelines have created National Contact Points (NCP) to further the effectiveness of the Guidelines. The U.S. NCP has the following responsibilities:
    • Promote the Guidelines among business, labor, and other non-governmental stakeholders, including the general public, and the international community.
    • Respond to inquiries and comments from stakeholders and others about the Guidelines.
    • Offer a forum for discussion for stakeholders and governments to contribute to resolution of issues regarding observance of the Guidelines.
  • Governance: The Kimberley Process (KP) is a joint initiative of governments, industry, and civil society to stem the flow of conflict diamonds through establishing governance and improving transparency in the rough diamond trade. The United States serves as Chair of the KP in 2012 and is working to strengthen the system, which now covers 76 countries.
  • Anti-Corruption: EB plays an important role in the international fight against corruption as leader of the U.S. delegation to the OECD Working Group on Bribery. The Group monitors enforcement of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions through an extensive peer review process. EB also consults with business on governance and accountability issues through the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society, and participates in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Working Group.
  • Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence: EB manages the annual Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) program which recognizes the contributions of American businesses in furthering exemplary practices worldwide and for improving lives at home and abroad. Each year, the Secretary of State presents the ACE to a small-medium enterprise and a multinational firm at a ceremony held at the Department of State. Nominations are submitted by U.S. Embassies worldwide.

For more information about the work of the State Department’s role in corporate social responsibility, please visit or contact

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