Georgetown’s Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility (CISR) is charged with offering advice and guidance on implementation of the University’s Socially Responsible Investing Policy. CISR makes recommendations regarding the University’s voting of shareholder proxies and considers written proposals from members of the Georgetown community on issues related to socially responsible investing.
CISR was established as an advisory body. Fiduciary oversight for the endowment is vested in a subcommittee of the University’s Board of Directors, specifically the Subcommittee on Investments of the Committee on Finance and Administration.
CISR does not have authority to review, veto, or recommend specific endowment investments, or to address the day-to-day operations of the University. However, should the Committee decide that a proposal submitted by members of the University community merits further consideration, it will send a written report and recommendation of its findings to the Board, which has final decision-making authority.
CISR’s operations are governed by the following Principles & Operating Guidelines.
The Committee is composed of twelve voting members, including faculty, staff, administrators, and student representatives. The chair of the Committee is James Feinerman, Associate Dean for Transnational Programs; Co-Director, Georgetown Law Asia; and James M. Morita Professor of Asian Legal Studies at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Current members include:
- James Angel, Associate Professor, McDonough School of Business
- Michael Barry, Chief Investment Officer
- John Carr, Director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, Office of the President
- Manahal Fazal, Georgetown University Student Association representative
- James Feinerman, Associate Dean for Transnational Programs; Co-Director, Georgetown Law Asia
- Patricia Grant, Senior Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program, McDonough School of Business
- Aryaman Kunzru, Georgetown Undergraduate Student Investment Fund representative
- Eric Saldanha, Graduate Student Government representative
- Madeline Vitek, Associate Director, Office of Campus Ministry
- J. Callahan Watson, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Business Policy, Office of Public Affairs
Meetings and Minutes
February 12, 2021: CISR Memo on GU Prison Divestment Campaign Proposal
January 16, 2020: CISR Memo on Sustainable Impact Investments and Fossil Fuel Divestment
April 30, 2018: CISR Memo on Tar Sands Extraction
March 2, 2017: CISR Memo on Divestment Proposal
Guidelines for Proposals
The CISR recognizes that decisions regarding investment responsibility are often controversial and that differing, and sometimes conflicting, opinions on a particular topic may exist within the university community. The Committee’s review of proposals is intended to promote thoughtful dialogue on these complex issues. To that end, the most effective proposals will include the following content and should be no more than five pages in length.
- AIMS: a concise statement of the goals of the proposal and a summary of desired outcomes, including the impact the proposal will have on the GU community if the goals and outcomes are met.
- RATIONALE: including the scientific, ethical, moral, historical, social and/or other background for the proposed argument. Ideally the rationale will describe how the proposal is in line with Georgetown’s mission.
- STRATEGY: the CISR will turn to engagement as a first strategy. Proposals advocating engagement should include specific examples of the success of similarly proposed strategies in the past. Proposals advocating divestment should provide examples of how divestment with regard to the particular issue has been more successful than engagement in the past as well as a philosophical or theoretical framework laying out the conditions under which divestment rather than engagement is appropriate.
Any member of the university community interested in contacting the CISR or submitting a proposal for consideration is welcome to email the Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media inquiries regarding the CISR may be directed to the university Office of Strategic Communications at email@example.com.