Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance
Professor of Business and Society
Director, Center for Business and Human Rights
Michael H. Posner is the Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance at NYU Stern. He is the Director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at the School, the first-ever human rights center at a business school. Prior to joining NYU Stern, Posner served in the Obama Administration from 2009-2013 as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. In 2010 he chaired the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. From 1978 to 2009, he led Human Rights First, a New York-based human rights advocacy organization.
Posner 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 the U.S. Congress. As Assistant Secretary, Posner traveled extensively, representing the U.S. Government to foreign officials and representatives of civil society in countries of strategic importance to the United States, including China, Russia, Egypt, Burma, Bahrain, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, among many others.
Throughout his career, Posner 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. As a member of the White House Apparel Industry Partnership Task Force in the mid-'90s, he 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. He was a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at promoting free expression and privacy rights on the Internet, and has spoken widely on the issue of Internet freedom. Read his full bio.
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