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Kirk Hanson

Senior Fellow, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Kirk Hanson is Senior Fellow and former Executive Director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, where he held the John Courtney Murray, S.J. Endowed University Professorship. In 2001, he retired after 23 years teaching at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to head the Markkula Center, one of the most active ethics centers in the world with a staff of 26. He expanded the Center's staff, budget and influence in his 17 years there and stepped down in August 2018.

Hanson writes on managing the ethical and public behavior of corporations and other complex organizations. His current research interests include the design of corporate ethics programs and the responsibilities of boards for the ethical culture of their organizations. He has been fascinated by ethical issues which arise in Silicon Valley companies and life, and formerly wrote a column on workplace ethics.

Hanson has been an ethics consultant to over 100 public corporations, government entities and nonprofit organizations. He has served on the boards of several foundations and nonprofit organizations, and currently serves on the board of the Skoll Foundation.

Hanson received the 1997 John Gardner Award from the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley for contributions to the Silicon Valley community, the 2007 Aspen Institute Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the study of business and society, and the 2012 Master Ethics Teacher Award from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Portland in 2013 and Santa Clara University in 2018.

Regional Focus

North America