Professional Background

Peter Madsen is Distinguished Service Professor of Ethics and Social Responsibility with appointments in the Provost’s Office and the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. He is also Executive Director of CMU’s Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics and Political Philosophy.  He is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. He holds a Ph. D. from Duquesne University and an MA from DePauw University, both in the field of Philosophy.  He was an editorial board member of the Business Ethics Quarterly for 16 years and is one of the original members of the Society for Business Ethics and the International Society of Business, Economics and Ethics.  He is also active with the International Association for Business and Society and the American Philosophical Association.



Madsen is the current holder of Carnegie Mellon University's Robert E. Doherty Award, which recognizes faculty members for "contributions to the development, implementation and evaluation of educational programs at all levels, and for creating and maintaining an environment that fosters excellence in education." He has also received the Heinz School's top award, the Emil Limbach Award for Excellence in Teaching.



Madsen's interests are varied in the field of applied ethics, but he has concentrated his efforts in the areas of international corporate responsibility, professional ethics and computers, society and ethics. His papers and reviews appear in diverse journals and reference texts such as the  Business Ethics Quarterly, Business and Professional Ethics Journal, Management Accounting, Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society, The Dictionary of Business Ethics and The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management



At the Heinz School, Madsen teaches “Ethical Issues in Management” and “Ethics and Public Policy.”  In Carnegie Mellon’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, he teaches courses in computers and ethics, environmental ethics, professional ethics and business ethics.  He is also conducts training and executive development programs in ethics for organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors. 


Community Service 

Madsen has served on a number of local advisory boards for such organizations as the Carnegie Science Center, Port Authority of Allegheny County and the City Council of Pittsburgh.  He is the author of three City of Pittsburgh ordinances that unanimously passed the City Council and which dealt with the business ethics issue of South African divestment making Pittsburgh the second city in the nation to divest.


Selected Publications



Perspectives on International Corporate Responsibility, edited by John Hooker and Peter Madsen, Volume 2 of the Carnegie Bosch Institute Management Series, Philosophy Documentation Center, 2005.


International Corporate Responsibility: Exploring the Issues, series co-editor with John Hooker, Carnegie Bosch Institute Management Series, Carnegie Mellon University Press, Pittsburgh: 2004.


Ethical Issues in Professional Life, textbook co-author, multimedia course, Applied Ethics Project 1992.


Essentials of Government Ethics, co-editor, Mentor Press, NAL Penguin, Inc., January 1992.


Essentials of Business Ethics, co-editor, Mentor Press, NAL Penguin, Inc., May 1990.



Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society, contributing author, Robert W. Kolb, lead editor, SAGE Publications, Ltd., forthcoming.

Critical Review of One World by Peter Singer, Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 1, January 2004.


"Ethics and Policies Regulating Multinational Enterprise," in Transatlantic Perspectives on Liberalization and Democratic Governance, Eberhard Bohne, Charles F. Bonser, Kenneth M. Spencer (eds.), Lit Verlag, 2004.


"Teaching Business Ethics to Executives," in the Dictionary of Business Ethics and The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management, R. Edward Freeman and Patricia H. Werhane, (Eds.), Basil Blackwell,1997.


"Higher Education and Environmental Ethics: What Can Professional Schools Do to Save the Planet," in Earth Summit Ethics, edited by Callicott, J. Baird and da Rocha, Fernando J. R., State University of New York Press, 1996.


“A Theoretical Ground for the Practice of Business Ethics,” Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 3, July,1995.


"Ethics and International Business Consulting: The ERCI Episode," in Case Studies in Business Ethics, Thomas Donaldson and A. R. Gini, (Eds.), Prentice Hall, 1993.


"Propmore Corporation," with John Fleming, business ethics case study in Ethical Issues in Business:  A Philosophical Approach, Thomas Donaldson and Patricia H. Werhane, (Eds.), Prentice Hall, 1993,


“Il Vallore della Diversita nell’America del Lavoro,” Etica degli Affari e delle Professioni, Anno V, 2-92.


Educational Media Productions:

“Business Ethics and Law,” a distance education course for Jones International University, 2002.


“Guided Inquiries in Professional Ethics,” interactive, web-based educational resources designed for a distance education program, 1999 and 2002, and for the Computer Skills Workshop (CSW) at CMU, project director and writer.


"Diversity Dilemmas," 7-part video series on workplace situations, Applied Ethics Project and Ambrose Publications, Inc., 1994, co-producer and writer.


"The Challenge to Care: HIV, Ethics and AIDS," 2-part video program, distributed to PBS affiliates, Applied Ethics Project, 1993, executive producer.


"Ethical Issues in Professional Life," 14-part video distance learning program with text and audiotape, used at over 500 colleges and universities nationally and internationally, Applied Ethics Project, 1992, project director, co-producer and writer.




Ph.D., Philosophy, Duquesne University

Peter Madsen

Distinguished Service Professor of Ethics and Social Responsibility