NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights
Michael Posner is the Center's Director 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.
Paul Barrett joined the Center as deputy director in September 2017 after spending more than three decades as a journalist and author focusing on the intersection of business, law, and society. Most recently, Paul worked for 12 years for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, where he served at different times as the editor of an award-winning investigative team and a writer covering topics such as energy and the environment, military procurement, and the civilian firearm industry. From 1986 to 2005, he wrote for The Wall Street Journal, serving as the newspaper’s Supreme Court correspondent and later as the page one special projects editor.Paul is the author of four critically acclaimed nonfiction books, the most recent of which are GLOCK: The Rise of America’s Gun (2012), a New York Times Bestseller, and LAW OF THE JUNGLE: The $19 Billion Legal Battle Over Oil in the Rain Forest and the Lawyer Who’d Stop at Nothing to Win (2014). Both of those books have been optioned for Hollywood movies.Since 2008, Paul has served as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law. He co-teaches a seminar called “Law, Economics, and Journalism,” in which students learn to analyze social issues with the tools of those three professions.Paul has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an A.B. from Harvard College.
Dorothée Baumann-Pauly is the Center’s research director. She oversees the Center's research activities, including development of academic publications, case studies, the Center’s forthcoming textbook, and other teaching resources. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and MA degrees in management and political science from the University of Constance (Germany) and Rutgers University of New Jersey. She joined NYU Stern in June 2013.Dorothée has split her career between academia and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice. As a project officer and consultant for the Fair Labor Association, she helped revise the organization’s core program by developing assessment and impact measurement methodologies. She also oversaw supply chain auditing activities and supported workers’ representation projects in China. Dorothée worked as MFA-Forum country program manager at the London-based thinktank AccountAbility, managing multi-stakeholder dialogues in Bangladesh, Morocco, and Lesotho.Dorothée teaches CSR, Business and Human Rights and Business Ethics at HEC Lausanne (Switzerland) and NYU Stern. In 2013, she published a book entitled Managing Corporate Legitimacy – A Toolbox (Greenleaf Publishing). You can contact Dorthée by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April Gu oversees the Center’s operations, including the Center’s integration into the broader university, resource stewardship, and ability to implement cutting-edge programming for students, companies, and other stakeholders. Prior to the joining the Center, she practiced law in the Singapore and New York offices of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, where she focused on the financing of infrastructure and energy projects throughout Southeast Asia, Latin America and the United States. She is a former Fulbright Research Scholar who conducted research on economic development in Beijing, China.April is a graduate of NYU Stern and the NYU School of Law, where she participated in the International Human Rights Clinic and won numerous human rights and public service fellowships for her work.
Justine Nolan is a sernior visiting scholar at the Center, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of NSW (Australia), and the Deputy Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre. Her research focuses on accountability for corporate violations of human rights. She is a co-author of an international human rights textbook (The International Law of Human Rights, Oxford University Press, 2011) and teaches human rights law and related courses on development, globalisation and business and human rights. Prior to UNSW, she worked as the Director of the Business and Human Rights program at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First). During this time Justine advised companies and NGOs on effective strategies to protect human rights in the corporate sphere and was closely involved in establishing the Fair Labor Association.Justine has worked in both public interest and private legal practices. She was a member of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade & Ausaid's Human Rights Grants Scheme Expert Panel (2009-2013) which provided financial support for community-based projects to promote and protect human rights in developing countries. Justine has given guest lectures at a number of leading universities including Yale, Stanford, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Adelaide, the University of Sydney, the University of Hong Kong and Columbia University. She is an editor of the Australian Journal of Human Rights, the Human Rights Defender, and the Journal of Business and Human Rights (Cambridge University). See Justine's complete list of publications.
David Segall joins the Center as a Policy Associate focusing on the recruitment and migration of construction workers from South Asia to the Arabian Gulf.From 2012 to 2015, David directed the Human Rights in Iran Unit at The City University of New York where he assisted the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. From 2010 to 2012 he served as an Associate in the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, where he conducted research on human rights issues in the Arabian Gulf Region. From 2009-2010 he was a research assistant at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in Israel.David holds an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University and a BA in Public Policy from Duke University.
Auret van Heerden has 40 years experience in labour and human rights issues worldwide. He began as a student leader and anti-apartheid activist in South Africa before being recruited by the ILO to work on the Programme of Action against Apartheid. In 1994 he was appointed Labour Attache at the South African Mission to the UN in Geneva. He returned to the ILO to head the Action Programme on Social and Labour Issues in EPZs. In 2001 he joined the Fair Labor Association and served as its President and CEO for 13 years. He now consults and teaches.
Casey O’Connor works on the Center's sustainable investing research. Prior to joining the Center, Casey was a Senior Researcher in the China program of NYU Law’s Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights. She also worked as a Senior Program Officer at Human Rights in China, where she oversaw the organization’s international case and policy advocacy. In addition to her work on China, Casey has conducted research on varied approaches to accessing justice for rights violations, including: legal empowerment of indigenous communities, remedy frameworks for environmental and health impacts in the extractives sector, and through the UN human rights bodies. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Washington..
Tara Wadhwa serves as the associate director of the Center. She manages day-to-day operations, provides support to Center staff, is the primary point of contact for students and outside stakeholders, and is responsible for executing logistical aspects of the Center’s programming. She also teaches undergraduate courses on business and society. Prior to the joining the Center, she worked in the Office of the Dean at NYU Stern. Tara received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her MA in Policy and Non Profit Management from the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.
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