The Impact of Kleptocracy - Key Considerations for Global Businesses


The Impact of Kleptocracy - Key Considerations for Global Businesses

Thursday, 9 July 2020 | 1:00 PM EDT (6:00 p.m. GMT+1)

“Kleptocracy” describes a form of government by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed. It can also be described as a form of a criminal organization. The economic, societal and governance costs of corruption, particularly kleptocracy, are immense. It is estimated that trillions of dollars are paid in bribes every year and that the cost of all forms of corruption is more than five percent of global GDP. But how can kleptocratic leaders be held accountable in systems that are fundamentally compromised?  And why should the business community care?


Benefit during this session from a discussion of the impact of kleptocracy on global corporations, as the Hon. Mark L. Wolf and Elaine Dezenski discuss how corruption is being used as a strategic weapon and lessons learned from recent kleptocracy cases. Designed for those overseeing global corporate operations and focusing on the drivers of such behavior, an added benefit of this session, Judge Wolf and Elaine will conclude with a brief discussion of how an international anti-corruption court could improve the ability of MNCs to compete as equals in a corporate playing field where bad actors would face international consequences for bribery.


Hon. Mark L. Wolf

Integrity Initiatives International and Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts

The Chair of Integrity Initiatives International, Mark L. Wolf, is a Senior United States District Judge, and the former Chief Judge, of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Prior to his appointment in 1985, among other things, Judge Wolf served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States after Watergate and as the Deputy United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. In 1984, he received the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award for exceptional success in prosecuting public corruption in Massachusetts.


Judge Wolf has served as the Chair of the Committee of District Judges of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and on the Judicial Conference Committees on Criminal Law, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Codes of Conduct. Among other honors, Judge Wolf has received Citations for Judicial Excellence from the Federal, Massachusetts, and Boston Bar Associations.


In a 2011 editorial, "The Judge Who Cracked the Bulger Case," The New York Times commended Judge Wolf for exposing the corrupt relationship between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its Top Echelon Organized Crime informant James "Whitey" Bulger. The editorial stated that: "Judges are supposed to dispense justice but rarely root out crimes. As a result of Judge Wolf's courage and persistence, there were "high profile hearings in Congress on the F.B.I.'s Use of Murderers as Informants," an F.B.I. agent was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and "the government paid more than $100 million in claims to families of people murdered by informants shielded by the F.B.I."


A graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Law School, Judge Wolf is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he teaches a seminar on Strengthening the Enforcement of Criminal Laws Against Kleptocrats. In addition, Judge Wolf is a Senior Fellow of the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has frequently spoken on the role of the judge in a democracy, human rights issues, and combatting corruption in foreign countries, including Russia, Ukraine, China, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Egypt, Cyprus, Panama, Mexico, Italy, and Norway.


In 2014, Judge Wolf published a Brookings Institution article and a Washington Post Op-Ed piece advocating the creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court to combat grand corruption -- the abuse of public office for private gain by a nation's leaders. The proposal quickly gained the support of, among others, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Transparency International, Human Rights Watch, Global Witness, leading international prosecutors, and courageous young people throughout the world. In 2016, Judge Wolf, Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa, and other colleagues created Integrity Initiatives International to advocate for the strengthening of criminal laws to punish and deter leaders who are corrupt and regularly violate human rights.

Elaine Dezenski

Vice-Chair of Integrity Initiatives International, and Founder and Managing Partner at LumiRisk, LLC

Elaine Dezenski, one of the Vice-Chairs of Integrity Initiatives International, is Founder and Managing Partner at LumiRisk, LLC, an international risk advisory practice focusing on security, financial integrity, anti-corruption compliance, and risk management. Over the last two decades, Ms. Dezenski has served in the US and abroad in senior leadership functions at the World Economic Forum, INTERPOL, the US Department of Homeland Security, Cross Match Technologies, and Siemens Corporation. Ms. Dezenski is a member of the advisory board at the Center for Economic and Financial Power in Washington, DC, and holds advisory roles with the Financial Integrity Network and RAND Corporation. In 2017-18, she was appointed as Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University, and is currently appointed as the Mars Lecturer of Business Ethics in Yale’s Program on Ethics, Politics, and Economics. Ms. Dezenski holds an MPP from Georgetown University and a BA in International Relations from Wheaton College, Massachusetts.

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