William Rook is Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights (CSHR). He is a lawyer and business and human rights expert with experience building and leading initiatives to promote responsible business practices in emerging sectors around the world.
William oversees the day-to-day work of CSHR, including strategic planning, governance, programmes, and operations, also managing relationships with donors, sports bodies, governments, intergovernmental organisations, trade unions, NGOs and corporate partners.
From 2015 to 2019 William worked for the think tank the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) leading the project that established CSHR, coordinating a broad coalition of actors in support of a mandate, strategy, and institutional structure for the organisation through to its launch in 2018. In parallel, he established IHRB’s presence in the Middle East, liaising closely with governments, embassies, state entities, major companies, and chambers of commerce across the Gulf region, facilitating corporate engagement with issues such as worker welfare, human trafficking, and forced labour, while developing and delivering projects on the hospitality and security sectors in Qatar with the International Labour Organization.
William graduated with the law school prize from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), has a Masters in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a postgraduate diploma in professional legal practice. He first worked on mega-sporting events in 2009 when he supported the corporate social responsibility programme of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, before training as a Solicitor with Slaughter and May in London. Prior to joining IHRB, William co-founded the Business, Human Rights and Environment (BHRE) Research Group at the University of Greenwich, researching extractive industries, mining-induced displacement and resettlement, public procurement, and electronics supply chains, also completing a research masters in public international law.
William is based in London and has experience in more than 80 countries worldwide with expertise mostly in Africa and the Middle East. He has published widely on issues including: responsible sport, corporate leadership, good governance, sports education, public procurement, sporting event construction, access to remedy, and mega-sporting events.