NYU’s Michael Posner: Bringing Human Rights to B-School

Site where a two-story building housing a garment factory collapsed in Kalher village near the power-loom town of Thane, India, on July 4, 2013 Photograph by Praful Gangurde/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Most B-school students know they’re signing up for classes in subjects like accounting and finance, but they probably don’t expect to see human rights on the syllabus. Professor Michael Posner wants to change that. Posner came to NYU’s Stern School of Business after four years at the Department of State to head the first-ever human-rights center at a business school. The center will first look at the garment industry in Bangladesh, where the catastrophic collapse of a garment factory building killed more than 1,100 people in April, but will eventually expand its focus to include topics as diverse as information technology and security issues in the mining industry. Posner recently chatted with Bloomberg Businessweek’s Elizabeth Rowe, and what follows is an edited version of their conversation.

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