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Michael Josephson’s Bio


Michael Josephson, a former lawyer, law professor, and successful entrepreneur, is one of the nation’s most respected and sought-after and speakers and consultants in the fi eld of ethics and character, with a special expertise in the area of ethics and character in schools and the workplace. Every weekday, listeners hear his award-winning commentaries on stations across the country and around the world on American Forces Network. Broadcast continually since 1996, his commentaries have become one of the longest-running editorial features in radio history. They are also available as blog posts at WhatWillMatter.com and as a daily podcast.

Mr. Josephson is frequently interviewed and profi led by major media organizations including CNN, Nightline, Dateline, ABC World News, Good Morning America, Today, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Time. He has written seven books.

In 2009, he was named UCLA Alumnus of the Year, an honor given to only 60 of the 500,000 people who have earned degrees from UCLA. He has also received America’s Award for Integrity presented by former President Ronald Reagan.In 1987, after a distinguished 20-year career teaching law and as the CEO of a prominent legal education company, he resigned his professorship and sold his business to found the Joseph & Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics, a nonprofit organization named in honor of his parents. Mr. Josephson serves as the Institute’s president without salary. All proceeds from his presentations and consultations go directly to the Institute.

Employing Mr. Josephson’s groundbreaking insights and strategies, the Josephson Institute has assisted corporations, government agencies, and professionals in politics, education, healthcare, law, sports, the military, and the nonprofit community to strengthen individual and institutional decision-making and create sustainable ethical cultures. Clients include Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, ITT, 3M, Kaiser Permanente, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, West Point, and the state legislatures of Arizona, Alaska, California, Iowa, New Jersey, and Nebraska.

In 1993, the Institute moved into youth education with the creation of CHARACTER COUNTS!, a character development strategy based on universal ethical values called the Six Pillars of Character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship). CHARACTER COUNTS! has grown to become the largest and most successful character development program in the world. Nearly 1,000 organizations deliver the CHARACTER COUNTS! strategies to more than 7 million young people and their families. Every year since 1993, the U.S. Senate passes a joint resolution and the president signs a proclamation declaring the third week in October National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. In 2010, Josephson Institute contracted with the government of Puerto Rico to introduce CHARACTER COUNTS! to hundreds of schools, along with government agencies, police departments, and sports organizations.

In 1996, the Josephson Institute launched a sportsmanship initiative called the Pursuing Victory With Honor to encourage and assist coaches and sports administrators to enhance character-building and sportsmanship in amateur athletics. In 2008, the U.S. Olympic Committee commissioned Mr. Josephson to train all U.S. athletes prior to the Beijing Olympic Games to “Make U.S. Proud.”

Michael Josephson’s highest priority, however, is his family – his wife Anne, his son Justin, and his four daughters Samara, Abrielle, Carissa, and Mataya.