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Are Corporate Social Responsibility Executives Becoming Mainstream Power Brokers?

The week’s news has been dominated by the staff shuffling in the Obama White House.

In today’s New York Times analysis, we learn that new Chief of Staff William M. Daley formerly oversaw global corporate social responsibility at JP Morgan Chase.

The article implies that the former lawyer and investment banker’s rise to chief CSR executive at JPM was considered a significant ascendancy of power inside the firm:

“Mr. Daley started as chairman of Chase’s Midwest operations, but by 2007 he had expanded his portfolio, joining the bank’s senior leadership team as chief of its new Office of Corporate Social Responsibility, whose most important function was to oversee the company’s global lobbying efforts.”

The Times story describes CSR at JPM as a lobbying function, whereas the JPM website establishes a fairly straightforward foundation approach to CSR. Regardless, both experiences are no doubt germane to his new job: Getting a Obama a second term.

More interestingly, does Daley’s appointment suggest that CSR executives are becoming legitimate power brokers?

Image credit by JoshBerglund19 via Flickr under a CC license

Written by Lane Jost

A lifelong conservationist, angler, gardener and writer, Lane is a Corporate Responsibility strategy consultant based in Chicago, where he currently works a CR consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Prior to joining PwC, Lane was a global sustainability performance and stakeholder engagement specialist for Sodexo North America. He has experience in microfinance program evaluation at Grameen Foundation. A former President of the Net Impact Chapter at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Lane has a master's in International Development Economics from the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UCSD (IR/PS) and a bachelor's in history and international studies from Kenyon College. Prior to working in the sustainable business sphere, Lane spent six years as a communications and marketing professional focusing on arts and culture in New York City, where his work included the creation of the jazz website gothamjazz.com and serving as the publicist for the New York Philharmonic.

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