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Matthias Thorns has as Deputy Secretary-General part in the overall responsibility for the management of the IOE Secretariat in its work to support the global business community in its representation vis-a-vis the UN institutions, as well as G20, G7 and other international initiatives.
Matthias career began as Adviser for Social Affairs in the European Business Federation UNICE (now BUSINESSEUROPE). He then moved to the Confederation of German Employers as Adviser and later Deputy Director of the International and European Affairs Department, looking after European and International Social Policy, CSR and Human Rights as well as OECD ELSA matters.
After leaving the Confederation of German Employers in 2012, Matthias joined the IOE as Senior Adviser, leading the work on Human Rights, G20 and G7, Global Supply Chains as well as SMEs.
In 2017 Matthias joined the Workplace Rights team of The Coca-Cola Company as Human Rights and Workplace Rights Manager, where he was among other things responsible for the planning, coordinating and drafting of the first stand-alone Human Rights Report of The Coca-Cola Company, the Human Rights training for bottling partners as well as the roll-out of the revised human rights policy of the Coca-Cola Company across the regions.
In 2018 he was appointed IOE Director of Stakeholder Engagement and a year later as IOE Deputy Secretary-General. In these positions, Matthias oversees the IOE work related to G20 and G7, human rights, agenda 2030, migration and programmes under a EU framekwork agreement. He also has a particular responsibility for the IOE company networks: the Global Industrial Relations Network, the Global Occupational Safety and Health Network as well as the Corporate Partner Initiative.
Matthias is Member of the Governance Committee of the Centre for Sports and Human Rights, Member of the UN Global Compact Expert Network, Co-Chair of the ILO Child Labour Platform and Member of the Global Coordination Group Alliance 8.7.
Matthias holds a Master of Arts in European Studies from the University of Hannover and a Magister Artium in History and Philosophy from the University of Hannover. Matthias was participant in the CGF “Future Leaders Programme” in 2018 and in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of the U.S. State Department in July 2012.