Michael A. Santoro is a world renowned business ethics teacher, scholar and consultant. Effective September 1, 2016 he will be a Professor of Management at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.  He was previously a Professor at Rutgers Business School for two decades.  He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University, a J.D. from New York University, and an A.B. from Oberlin College and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Hong Kong.

Prof. Santoro is a founding Co-Editor of Business and Human Rights Journal (Cambridge University Press).  He also serves on the editorial boards of Business Ethics Quarterly and the Journal of Human Rights and on the advisory panel of the Columbia University Business and Human Rights Teaching Forum.


Human Rights, Ethical Leadership, Wall Street, Business Ethics, Corporate Governance, Pharmaceutical Industry Ethics, Bioethics, Intellectual Property, and Corporate Social Responsibility in China.


Professor Santoro is often quoted in top-tier media such as CNN and The New York Times, and he has blogged for the The New Yorker and Huffington Post.


Prof. Santoro’s latest book, written with Ronald J. Strauss, is Wall Street Values: Business Ethics and the Global Financial Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Alan Blinder, former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board wrote: “The financial crisis has been examined from every angle except this one: the ethical lapses that led up to it.  Time spent reading this highly original book is time well spent.  It will make you think.”  In 2010 his paper (also co-authored with Ronald J. Strauss) on the role of executive compensation in the financial crisis won the Best Paper in Ethics award from the American Accounting Association.

Professor Santoro’s first book Profits and Principles: Global Capitalism and Human Rights in China (Cornell, 2000) was widely praised in, among other places, in The New York Times Book Review and Foreign Affairs.

His next book, China 2020: How Western Business Can–and Should–Influence Social and Political Change was published by Cornell University Press  in 2009. Santoro is also co-editor (with Tom Gorrie, Corporate Vice President Government Affairs and Policy for Johnson & Johnson) of Ethics and the Pharmaceutical Industry (Cambridge University Press, 2005).


In 2000, Professor Santoro testified before the United States Senate Finance Committee on the realtionship of business to human rights and advocating in favor of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.

He has served as a bioethics advisor to the International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis.  He has also served as a consultant to the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, helping in that capacity to design an industry-wide corporate integrity  program for companies supplying long lasting anti-malaria bednets.  He also worked with Arusha-based A to Z Corporation to design, adopt and implement one of the first business ethics code of conduct in Tanzania.  He conducted anti-bribery training in the Asia-Pacific region for Sandvik.  His expert testimony in the Vioxx litigation became the basis for court-ordered corporate governance reforms adopted by Merck.  His consulting clients have also included Celgene, USAA, and PSEG.

Prior to entering academe, Santoro practiced law.  During law school he was a clerk at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.  He was summer associate at Shearman & Sterling and an associate at Webster & Sheffield.  He has been the General Counsel of BioTechnica International in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the first publicly-held biotechnology companies, and of Finevest (now Interlaken Capital) in Greenwich, Connecticut, a privately held venture firm.


Prof. Santoro was named “Professor of the Year” by Rutgers MBA students in 2013.  He is a Fellow of the RBS Teaching Excellence Center and has also served as a GE Teaching Fellow.
MAS in Shanghai
Prof. Santoro has been a visiting faculty member at the University of Notre Dame, the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Sinopec Management Institute in Beijing, and the University of Zurich, as well as an Adjunct Lecturer and Teaching Fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he taught ethics and economics courses.

As a Research Associate at Harvard Business School, he wrote or co-authored nearly thirty case studies and teaching notes on ethical and legal topics, including a case on the introduction of intellectual property into the WTO.

Speaking Engagements

Prof. Santoro is a frequent featured speaker on business ethics, pharmaceutical industry ethics,  human rights, and financial industry ethics at numerous venues, including the University of Milan, the London School of Economics, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Cornell, Columbia, Oberlin, Pace, Emory, Princeton, Stanford, Pomona, the Keck Institute, the University of North Carolina, the University Pennsylvania, Redlands, Santa Clara, George Washington University, and Tufts , as well as at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Brookings Institution, the World Affairs Council, the Economic Strategy Institute, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, and the Asia Society.  He was an invited speaker at the American Bar Association Conference on Professionalism in the 21st Century.