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The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship was founded in 1985. The Center was inspired by an early recognition that community expectations of companies were changing. By 1986, the Center offered its first certificate program and one year later held its first conference in Washington, D.C. In 1995, the Center moved to the Carroll School of Management.

Center founder Edmund Burke originated several important community relations frameworks, including “Neighbor of Choice,” “License to Operate,” and the 1993 publication of the Standards of Excellence in Community Relations. He served as the Center’s executive director until his retirement in 1997, and remained active with the Center as a writer, lecturer, and consultant until shortly before his death in 2008, at the age of 80. Read more about Dr. Burke here.

Bradley K. Googins succeeded Dr. Burke as executive director. Under his leadership, the Center broadened its focus and changed its name to the Center for Corporate Citizenship.

In 2002 the Center published it first State of Corporate Citizenship in the U.S., a biennial survey the Center continues to this day. The first survey provided a baseline of how executives in small, medium and large U.S.-based companies manage corporate citizenship. The four surveys that have followed provide the only source for a comprehensive examination of the the role business plays in society.

Katherine V. Smith succeeded Dr. Googins as executive director of the Center in 2010, overseeing an expansion of the Center’s educational offerings and knowledge products — initiating the Media Monitor and Research Briefs, as well as an increase in Center membership to more than 400 companies.

Today, the Center continues its work to help both individual professionals and companies as a whole advance their practice of corporate citizenship. The Center accomplishes this mission by serving as a one-stop resource for professionals seeking information and insights that will help companies achieve maximum business and social value from their environmental, social, and governance investments.

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