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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
Liz Pope
The Marque
Jennifer Prosek
Prosek Partners

Biography

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’s Newsfeed

NYU Stern School of Business
How Business Can Boost Human Rights In 2021

Michael Posner, Director of the Center for Business & Human Rights at NYU Stern School of Business, discusses 10 key areas where business executives, in cooperation with the incoming Biden Administration, have an opportunity to lead in addressing the core challenges facing American society and the world.

Forbes
How To Be An Effective Advocate: Lessons Learned From RBG

"In her extraordinary life as a teacher, legal advocate, and judge, Ruth Bader Ginsburg marshaled her formidable intelligence, ability, and perseverance to significantly advance the rights of women, human rights, and the rule of law. As the public focus shifts to contentious debates about choosing her successor, those of us who share her commitment to using the law to advance social change should embrace lessons from her impressive record of accomplishment..."

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Michael’s Background

NYU Stern School of Business
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.
Human Rights First
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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Michael’s Gallery

Other Business Interests

Global Network Initiative
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.

Philanthropy

RFK / Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
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.
Fair Labor Association
Co-Founder
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.

Media

Applying Human Rights to the Business World
Podcast Interview
Jun 2020
Michael Posner, the Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business, joins the Future of Work Pioneers Podcast to discuss a range of topics related to human rights and the business sector, including the ways that global business operations can support of human rights protections.

Publications

Forbes
Senior Contributor
New York, NY, USA
Michael writes on a range of topics, including human rights, economic inequality, human rights, and labor issues.
Why the Federal Government Needs to Lead on COVID-19
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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Speaking Engagements

RFK Compass Investor Virtual Summit
Panel Member
Oct 2020
Michael Posner, Director, NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, took part in a Fireside Chat titled 'Corporate Purpose in 2020 with Business Roundtable' at the Fall RFK Human Rights Virtual Investor Summit. The RFK Compass program discusses new approaches to investing, enlisting the private sector’s influence in the cause of human rights, good governance, and justice.
A Tipping Point in Human Progress
Rockefeller Foundation Event
Mar 2020
New York, NY, USA
Professor Michael Posner, Director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at NYU Stern School of Business, and The Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Rajiv J. Shah discuss the international community's effort to bolster fragile states and the role private sector has to play in creating economic and social value.
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Bar Admissions

The State Bar of California logo The State Bar of California logo
The State Bar of California
Member
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 State Bar Association
Member
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.

Michael’s Education

University of Michigan
BA History (Distinction & Honors)