Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


King Husein, CEO of Span Construction, has critical role in countering rising tide of restrictions on religious freedom

30 Jul, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: King Husein, Chairman and CEO of Span Construction & Engineering, has played a critical role addressing the rising global tide of restrictions on religious freedom. Span Construction, the largest steel construction company in the world and exclusive builder of Costco stores worldwide.

King’s efforts range from helping found the South Asian Consortium for Religion and Law Studies, to helping kick off the first-ever Business Roundtable to advance International Religious Freedom during the 2019 UN General Assembly in New York City. In diverse venues such as the Horasis Global Conference in Portugal and the IRF Summit in Washington DC, King shares how religious ethics benefit business.

His advocacy also looks toward the next generation by his helping launch an initiative at BYU Hawaii to equip students from across Asia to know how to advance religious freedom when they return home.

“It is a true honor for us to recognize one of the world’s leading business champions of interfaith understanding and religious freedom,” said Dr. Brian Grim, President of the  Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, “and we wholeheartedly congratulate King as a finalist for the 2021 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards.”

A concrete sign of King’s commitment is that his company’s “About” page prominently features his official pledge to protect the freedom of all who work in the company to practice their faith and beliefs.

Reflecting on the values that guide his business in a to-be published manuscript on faith@work, King Husein shares:

“I love President Abraham Lincoln’s statement: “Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.”

This summarizes how I strive always to keep my commitments in all aspects of my life. True success comes with preparation, opportunities, hard work, and relying on the Lord. Without a doubt, I know I can accomplish more with the help of God than I can on my own.

Commitment to my faith has enabled me to establish core principles to guide my business from its inception. These core principles became the foundation upon which I built my company. They are ingrained in the culture of my company. Culture defines my company, and my religion defines me. Not only does my religion defines me, it also sustains me in my business, as I know it does for so many of my employees. Providing a workplace where we can bring our faith with us to work makes for a better workplace and a more successful business!”

King Husein is competing for a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal, which will be announced and awarded on Aug. 24 virtually at Dare to Overcome. Dare to Overcome is the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s global intersectionality conference, highlighting the ways diverse communities support and reinforce one another to build more inclusive workplaces and peaceful societies.

Background on the Awards

The Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards are presented biennially by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, a US-based nonprofit, in cooperation with the United Nations Global Compact’s Business for Peace initiative. The foundation helps educate the global business community about how religious freedom is good for business and how they can promote respect for freedom of religion or belief.

The awards are held in tandem with the opening of the Paralympic Games, including previously being held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and in Seoul in 2018. This year they will be held during RFBF’s Dare to Overcome event, Aug. 22-24, 2021, both virtually worldwide and in-person in Tokyo (due to pandemic restrictions, limited to those already in Japan) .

In the short video below, the global chair of the Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards, Dr. Brian Grim (also president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation), shares the inspiration for these awards, followed by brief reflections by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.