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Christopher Michaelson

Professor of Ethics and Business Law, University of St. Thomas

Christopher Michaelson is an ethics professor and business advisor who studies how meaning and purpose in life and at work can improve our own and others’ lives. His work has appeared in a wide variety of academic and trade publications, from the staid and serious MIT Sloan Management Review to the humor site, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He is currently working on a book of stories about meaningful work.

Throughout his career, Christopher has built bridges between scholarship and practice. After earning his Ph.D. in philosophical ethics and aesthetics, he helped launch a business ethics advisory practice, which became part of a global risk consulting network, in the New York office of a Big Four firm. He has led or advised projects on purpose and values, responsibility and sustainability, ethics and compliance, and risk and resilience. A few years into his consulting career, Christopher took a full-time lectureship at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania while keeping a foot in practice. In 2005, he joined the Business and Society faculty of the New York University Stern School of Business, on which he has remained since moving home to Minneapolis in 2006. He arrived at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul in 2008, where he is David A. and Barbara Koch (pronounced “coach”) Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility.


  • –present
    Professor of Ethics and Business Law, University of St. Thomas