Michael Posner is the Director of the Center for Business and Human Rights and the Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance at NYU Stern. From September 2009 until March 2013, he served in the Obama Administration as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. State Department. From 1978 to 2009, he was the Executive Director and the President of Human Rights First, a U.S.-based human rights advocacy organization.
As Assistant Secretary of State, Michael traveled to more than 40 countries where he represented the U.S. government on a wide range of human rights issues. He has played a major role in shaping U.S. policy from inside and outside of government on issues ranging from refugee and asylum law and policy, national security and human rights, Internet freedom, and business and human rights. Michael played a key role in proposing and campaigning for the first U.S. law providing for political asylum, which became part of the Refugee Act of 1980, as well as the Torture Victim Protection Act, which was adopted in 1992. Michael holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley Law School, and a BA with distinction and honors from the University of Michigan.