Dylan Pooley
Geddes Capital Commodities
Jennifer Prosek
Prosek Partners

Michael Posner

Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics & Finance, Director of the Center for Business & Human Rights

NYU Stern School of Business

New York, NY, USA

Michael Posner


Michael Posner is the Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Director of its Center for Business and Human Rights. The Center for Business and Human Rights at the NYU Stern School of Business is the first-ever human rights center within a business school.

Previously, Michael served in the Obama Administration as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and prior to that he was President of Human Rights First. Earlier in his career, Michael was a lawyer with Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal. He is recognized as a leader and expert in advancing a rights-based approach to national security, challenging the practice of torture, combating discrimination, and advocating for refugee protection. He is a frequent public commentator on these issues and has testified dozens of times before the United States Congress.

Michael's philanthropic work includes serving as a Board Member of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, an appointment that highlights his extensive work as a prominent voice in support of human rights protections, in global business operations in the manufacturing supply chain, the extractives industry, and the information and communications technology sector. He helped found the Fair Labor Association, was a Founding Member of the Global Network Initiative, and has spoken widely on the issue of internet freedom. Michael spearheaded the U.S. Government's efforts to enhance the effectiveness of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and played a key role in proposing and campaigning for the first U.S. law providing for political asylum, as well as the Torture Victim Protection Act.

Michael lectured at Yale Law School, at one time teaching with former Dean Harold Koh. He was a visiting lecturer at Columbia University Law School, and is a Member of the California Bar and the Illinois Bar.

Michael Posner’s Newsfeed

Why Facebook Must Do More To Stamp Out Hate On Its Platforms

In this article for Forbes, where he is a Senior Contributor, Michael highlights the flaws in the defense of Facebook outlined by Nick Clegg, the former British political leader and now Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs and Communications. Michael says: "It also avoids discussion of an essential corrective action the company should take: to bring the moderation of content on its sites in-house rather than outsourcing this essential business function." Michael also highlights a recent report published last month by the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights titled “Who Moderates the Social Media Giants; A Call to End Outsourcing," which seeks to layout a plan for social media giants to mroe effectively monitor incendiary rhetoric and misleading information. 

Why Sustainability Tops the Agenda for Business Schools

NYU Stern launched the Center for Business and Human Rights in 2013. It offers classes and conducts research into business and human rights challenges, like the role of internet platforms in addressing political disinformation online. The center is also developing a toolkit to help several business schools incorporate human rights into their teaching. “We see our role as helping to equip students with tools and an understanding of challenges, so as to enable them move the needle when they are in leadership positions,” says professor Michael Posner, director of the Center for Business and Human Rights.

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Michael Posner’s Background

Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics & Finance, Director of the Center for Business & Human Rights
New York, NY, USA
New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business is one America's premier management education schools and research centers. NYU Stern offers a broad portfolio of academic programs at graduate and undergraduate levels.
Founding Executive Director & President
New York, NY, USA
Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization with offices in New York and Washington, D.C. that works on a range of domestic and international human rights issues.
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Other Business Interests

Founding Member
Washington, DC, USA
Global Network Initiative, was launched in 2008 to address how technology companies can best respect the rights of their users. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at promoting free expression and privacy rights on the Internet.


Board Member
New York, NY, USA
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, founded in 1968, is led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy and advocates for a more just and peaceful world. Working alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations, the RFK team includes leading attorneys, advocates, entrepreneurs and writers united by a commitment to social justice.
Washington, DC, USA
As a member of the White House Apparel Industry Partnership Task Force, Michael helped found the Fair Labor Association (FLA), an organization that brings together corporations, local leaders, universities, and NGOs to promote corporate accountability for working conditions in the apparel industry.


The State Bar of California logo The State Bar of California logo
The State Bar of California
San Francisco, CA, USA
The State Bar of California’s mission is to protect the public. It includes the primary functions of licensing, regulation & discipline of attorneys, the advancement of the ethical and competent practice of law and support for greater access to and inclusion in the legal system.
Illinois City, IL, USA
The Illinois State Bar Association was founded in 1877 and is the premier legal association in the state. As a voluntary organization, the Association's primary focus is to assist Illinois lawyers in the practice of law & to promote improvements in the administration of justice.


Senior Contributor
New York, NY, USA
Michael writes on a range of topics, including human rights, economic inequality, human rights, and labor issues.
Opinion Piece
Mar 2020
New York, NY, USA
Michael Posner outlines three things the federal government needs to do in order to fight the spread of Covid-19: Implement greater coordination and burden-sharing among the states; the President needs to invoke the Defense Production Act to mobilize the private sector to produce essential items; provide the financial resources necessary to pay for the production and delivery of essential items.
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Michael Posner’s Education

BA History (Distinction & Honors)