Michael Samway is president of The Business and Human Rights Group. He spent ten years (2000-2010) at Yahoo!, where he was a vice president and deputy general counsel, led the international legal team, founded Yahoo!’s Business & Human Rights Program, and was a founding board member of the Global Network Initiative. He previously practiced corporate and securities law at White & Case in the Latin America Practice Group. While studying law, Michael worked in the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations Unit at the U.S. Department of Commerce and in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, holding a top secret security clearance.
Michael regularly lectures and writes on business, human rights and technology topics. He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where he also chairs the advisory board of the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program. He has been a senior lecturer at Duke Law School and is a former visiting scholar at the Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has been a contributor in various international and multi-stakeholder fora, including the Freedom Online Coalition, the Internet Governance Forum, RightsCon, SXSW, and the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights. He has also been a contributor to workshops hosted by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Free Expression and Opinion.
Samway currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index, the Advisory Network of the Freedom Online Coalition, the Advisory Council of the Center for Democracy & Technology, and the Advisory Board of the Stevens Initiative. He also served for more than ten years on the board, including as chair, of the children’s advocacy organization Foster Care Review. Michael has been called on to facilitate meetings between U.S. government officials, technology companies and civil society regarding topics including countering violent extremism online, government surveillance, and encryption. He has also testified before the U.S. Congress on internet freedom.
Michael received BSFS/MSFS degrees from Georgetown University in 1991, was a Fulbright scholar in Chile, and received JD/LLM degrees in comparative and international law from Duke Law School in 1996.