Ambassador Terry Branstad has been named national chairman of the Corporate Citizenship Project. Branstad will lead the think tank’s push for reform in corporate governance, including how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are analyzed.
The Corporate Citizenship Project is an independent think tank dedicated to a data-driven approach to corporate governance issues in publicly traded companies and large private enterprises.
In an official statement following his appointment, Branstad wrote, “I am proud to act, on behalf of American businesses and investors, to bring much-needed reform to how corporate governance matters are analyzed.”
Branstad wants to address issues among proxy advisors, rating agencies, and ESG consultants to alleviate unnecessary costs and burdens on American businesses, consumers, and investors alike.
While the Corporate Citizenship Project supports moving to 100% renewable energy over time, the organization prefers the production of U.S. oil in the interim rather than relying on foreign actors.
“These ESG activists have made themselves the self-appointed authorities on which companies are good and which ones are bad,” wrote Branstad. “In most cases… determinations are based on standards that are arbitrary, political, or worse, the result of significant conflicts of interest.”
“I look forward to bringing a data-driven and transparent approach to this industry,” concluded Branstad.
Branstad is the former U.S. ambassador to China (2017-2020), and the longest-serving governor in the history of the United States (1983-1999/2011-2017). His public service also includes election to the lieutenant governor’s office and three terms in the Iowa House of Representatives.