Dylan Pooley
Entrepreneur, Investor & Business Mentor
Jennifer Prosek
Prosek Partners

Michael Posner

New York, NY, USA

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

NYU Stern School of Business

Michael Posner


Michael Posner is the Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at the School, the first-ever human rights center at 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 refugee protection. He is a frequent public commentator on these issues and has testified dozens of times before U.S. Congress.

His philanthropic work includes serving as a Board Member of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and throughout his career he has been 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

42 Global Organizations Agree on Principles for Batteries to Power Sustainable Energy Transition

“We welcome the adoption of GBA [Global Battery Alliance] principles that explicitly refer to the need for human rights standards in the battery supply chain...The GBA is ideally positioned to pool knowledge and resources to develop ASM formalization standards that can be implemented in the DRC.” Michael Posner, Director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights and Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, Director of the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights.

Following Stern’s Lead, University of Geneva Opens Center for Business and Human Rights

Stern Professor of Ethics and Finance Michael Posner has served as Director of Stern’s Center for Business and Human Rights since its founding in 2013. Stern’s is the first human rights center at a business school in the world…“Next Monday we’ll co-organize a meeting of about 30 business schools around the world who have an interest in human rights,” Posner said of the collaboration between Stern and the Geneva center.

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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.
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.
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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.

Michael Posner’s Education

BA History (Distinction & Honors)