Leading communications company partners with Fairfield University professor Dr. David Schmidt to meet growing demand for business ethics training


On iDNA, a New York City-based leading strategic communications, technology and entertainment company, has partnered with noted ethicist David P. Schmidt, Ph.D., associate professor of business ethics at Fairfield University. Dr. Schmidt is the chair of the Management Department and program director of the business law and ethics program at the University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business.

Dr. Schmidt will help keep the company up-to-date on the cutting edge best practices in the field of business ethics training. He will work with iDNA's ethics trainers toward this end, while introducing clients from his consulting practice to iDNA's successful Ethics and Compliance group. iDNA has an array of clients in businesses such as biotechnology, health care, finance, telecommunications, manufacturing and energy.

In making the announcement, iDNA called Dr. Schmidt "a well-regarded expert in the field" of business ethics who will allow the company to expand its presence in the ethics training market. James McNamara, iDNA's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said in an iDNA statement, "The addition of Dr. Schmidt gives our clients access to one of the more experienced ethicists in the country."

Dr. Schmidt has served as a consultant to top Fortune 500 companies for more than 20 years. "I'm excited about joining forces with iDNA. The demand in business today is high for ethics training. I hope to help to leverage the impact I can have on the corporate community by lending iDNA my expertise.  At the same time, my experience with iDNA will contribute significantly to my university teaching and scholarly research."

Before becoming a Fairfield University faculty member in 1990, Dr. Schmidt was the director of the Trinity Center for Ethics and Corporate Policy, sponsored by The Parish of  Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York City.

Throughout his career as an independent consultant to businesses, his work has centered on designing and overseeing ethics training programs, composing ethics codes and constructing mission statements. He and Lisa H. Newton, Ph.D., director of the applied ethics program at Fairfield University, co-authored the book "Wake-Up Calls: Classic Cases in Business Ethics." While the need for ethics training in business has always been important, scandals in recent years have re-emphasized their importance. 

In conjunction with iDNA, Dr. Schmidt will produce custom modules for corporate clients looking for high-end ethics and compliance training and awareness programs. iDNA offers cutting edge technology, including their iDNA Information Systems, a powerful knowledge transfer measurement tool that ensures that corporate ethics training is optimized. It is also the only company of its kind that builds a quantitative ROI system into its communication events.

Dr. Schmidt oversees the Business Law and Ethics program in which students explore the legal and ethical responsibilities of business leaders and business organizations. Students learn ways to make organizations responsible corporate citizens, and are instructed on how to juggle the demands of the market with the obligations of business to all stakeholders: owners, customers, employees, the community, and the world. 

Business Law & Ethics is an interdisciplinary program, and students take courses in the Dolan School, as well as in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program thus draws on a wide range of knowledge in business management, philosophy, law, politics, and religious studies. The minor embodies the Jesuit ideal and the mission of Fairfield University to develop in our students "ethical and religious values and a sense of social responsibility" combined with rigorous training in the disciplines necessary for successful careers.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 28, 2007

Vol. 39, No. 154