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Michael Posner named chair of the Fair Labor Association board of directors

Workers’ rights organization appoints former assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor to leadership role

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) today announced the selection of Michael Posner as the Chair of its Board of Directors. He is the Director of the New York University (NYU) Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.   

Posner, the Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance at NYU Stern, co-founded the Center for Business and Human Rights in 2013. It is the first human rights center at a business school. Prior to joining NYU Stern, Posner served from 2009 to 2013 as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the State Department. From 1978 to 2009, he served as founding director of Human Rights First,  a US-based human rights advocacy organization.

“Mike is deeply committed to the principle that global companies must always embed strong human rights protections into their business models,” said FLA President and CEO Sharon Waxman. “This commitment distinguishes his decades of work in civil society, government, and academia.  Mike’s extensive experience advocating for the rights of workers in an increasingly complex global economy makes him the right choice to chair the FLA Board at this time.”

Posner’s support for the FLA mission to protect workers in global supply chains dates to his 1996 participation as a founding member of the White House Apparel Industry Partnership (AIP) Task Force.  Task force participants went on to establish the FLA in 1999 as a non-governmental organization that would advance workers’ rights through collaboration among business, universities, and civil society.  Posner served on the FLA Board of Directors until 2009, representing Human Rights First.

“The FLA has always set the bar high on fairness for workers and has challenged its affiliates to meet or exceed its standards,” said Mr. Posner.  “Its rigorous approach and long-standing requirement for transparency have driven change in the industry and demonstrate FLA’s leadership among its peers.”

Posner begins his three-year term on May 1. In addition to an independent chair, the 19-member FLA Board of Directors includes six representatives each from participating companies, universities, and civil society organizations.

The Fair Labor Association promotes and protects workers’ rights and improves workplace conditions through collaboration between business, civil society, and colleges and universities. The FLA conducts transparent and independent monitoring to ensure that rigorous labor standards are upheld wherever FLA members source their products, identifies root causes of non-compliances, and proposes solutions to workplace problems.  The FLA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and maintains offices in Geneva and Shanghai.  

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