The Catholic University of America
Business and Economics Faculty

Max Torres – Associate Professor and Director of Management



Max Torres joined CUA's faculty in 2014. His research centers on the relationships among decision-making, personal character and organizational culture and is multi-disciplinary in scope, spanning business, ethics and law. It aims to identify, model and harness the intangible human phenomena underlying measurable results in organizations. His most recent publication, "Getting Business Off Steroids" (2009) was the opening chapter of Doing Well And Good: The Human Face of the New Capitalism (Information Age Publishing, Ethics in Practice Series). He has won numerous awards, and was recipient of the 2003 Novak Award from the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids, MI. He serves on the executive board of the Journal of Markets and Morality and the editorial board of the Journal of Business Ethics Education. His opinions on the financial crisis of '08 can be heard on Ave Maria Radio, WDEO in Ann Arbor, MI, and found in the podcast archives of "Kresta in the Afternoon."

In addition to CUA, Prof. Torres has held academic appointments at the IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH; IMEI -Institute for Media and Entertainment in New York, NY; Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, MI; and Ohio Northern University's Pettit College of Law in Ada, OH. He has taught in executive education programs at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, MI; been a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Graduate School of Management, Stanford University; taught at IEDC-Bled School of Management in Bled, Slovenia; and taught at the Southern New England School of Law in New Bedford, MA.

Before joining CUA, Prof. Torres worked in the financial services industry, first as a registered representative with Dean Witter Reynolds and then with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, both in San Francisco, CA. He later served as Executive VP of Investments at the D/A Financial Group in Orinda, CA, and was Principle of Max Torres Co. in Walnut Creek, CA.

Dr. Torres holds a Ph.D. from the University of Navarra in Spain, and a J.D. from Harvard University, in addition to degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (B.S.) and City College of San Francisco (A.A.).


Research and Writing




2009 “Getting Business Off Steroids” in Doing Well And Good: The Human Face Of The New Capitalism, Ed. Friedland, J., Information Age Publishing, Inc., Ethics in Practice Series, Ch. 1, pp. 3-29

2005 “Is There a Relationship Between My Success and Significance?” in A Virtue-Based Business Ethics, Eds. Gregg, S. & G. Zandstra, Acton Center for Entrepreneurial Stewardship, Ch. 5, pp. 131-148
• Includes two short case studies: “David Duncan” and “The Demise of Arthur Andersen”

2003 “Family, Human Capital and Economic Sustainability” (Published in German as “Familie, Humankapital und Zukunftsfähigkeit”), in Demography and Welfare: New Priority for the Family in Economy and Society (German title: Demographie und Wohlstand. Neuer Stellenwert für Familie in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft), Ed., Leipert, C., Leske + Budrich, Opladen, pp. 223-237
• Paper delivered at the conference entitled Demography and Prosperity: New Priority for the Family in Economy and Society, Berlin, Germany (2002)
• Sponsored by the Circle of Cooperation for Family and Social Policy, International Human Foundation (Koordinationskreis Familien und Gesellschaftspolitik, Internationale Stiftung Humanum)

2001 “Personal Leadership” (Published in Spanish as “Liderazgo personal”), in Paradigms of Leadership: Keys to the Management of People (Spanish title: Paradigmas del Liderazgo: Claves de la Dirección de Personas), McGraw Hill Interamericana de España, Ch. 8, pp. 115-129 (with Maria Nuria Chinchilla)


1991 Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes, by Laurence Tribe, 1990, Recent Publications, in 14 HARVARD JOURNAL ON LEGISLATION 282

2011 The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis, in 14:1 JOURNAL OF MARKETS & MORALITY 216, Spring


• IESE Publishing Case Studies, Research Papers and Technical Notes are available at:

2002 “Marshall Bradley at Hoffman Lucas” (A-C), IESE Publishing, TD-147E, 148E, 149E (with Joseph Harder)

2001 “Salomon Brothers” (A-D), IESE Publishing, TD-146E, 150E, 151E, 152E (with Christopher Golembiewski)

1999 “Welcome to E.G. Financial,” IESE Publishing, FH-665E

1996 “The Dodge vs. Ford Dividend Controversy,” IESE Publishing, TD-109E

1996 “Storm on Wall Street” (C), IESE Publishing, TD-110E (with Domènec Melé)

1996 “John Bak—Postscript” IESE Publishing, DP-117E


2001 “From Personalist Philosophy to Positive Science: A Conceptual Approach to Bridging the Gap between Moral Theory and Management Practice”
• Paper delivered at the conference entitled Work as Key to the Social Question: The Great Social and Economic Transformations and the Subjective Dimension of Work, Rome & Vatican City, September 13
• Co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the University of St. Thomas’ John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought


1991 Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), Recent Development, in 14:1 HARVARD JOURNAL OF LAW & PUBLIC POLICY 282 (Winter)


1999 “On the Business Polis,” IESE Revista de Antiguos Alumnos (Alumni Magazine), Spain, September, Nº 75, pp. 52-53


• Articles at the Acton Institute are available at:

2005 2004 Calihan Lecture entitled “Business Ethics and Truth: Restoring the Broken Nexus,” Washington, DC, delivered as recipient of the 2003 Novak Award; published in three extracts
• “Truth: The Indispensable Condition of Business,” Acton Commentary, January 19
o Reprinted in the JOURNAL OF FORENSIC ACCOUNTING, 1524-5586/Vol. VI, pp. 491-494
• “The Scandal of Anti-truth: The Era of Fraud,” Acton Commentary, January 26
• “What Have We Learned?” Acton Commentary, February 2


2000 “Square Wheels and American Minds,” La Vanguardia, Spain, USA Supplement, Wed., April 19, p.5


2001 “Character and Decision-Making,” Ph.D. dissertation, IESE—University of Navarra
• Addresses the use of freedom in decision-making, the issue ultimately at the heart of ethics

1998 “Ethical Decision-Making Models,” Research Paper No. 358, IESE—University of Navarra
• Chapter 6 of Ph.D. dissertation, “Character and Decision-making”

1997 “Survey of Theories Employed in Business Ethics,” Research Paper No. 349, IESE—University of Navarra
• Chapters 3, 4 & 5 of Ph.D. Dissertation, “Character and Decision-making”


2002 “Ethical Theory for Managers,” IESE Publishing, TDN-121E
• An abbreviated version of IESE Research Paper No. 349, “Survey of Theories Employed in Business Ethics”

2001 “Motivational Conflicts,” IESE Publishing, FHN-334E


2011 “The Team and the Star,” MercatorNet, 17 October, available at:

2011 “What Is Occupy Wall Street Hoping For?” MercatorNet, 14 November, available at:




2008 “The American Founding and the Western Intellectual Tradition, Two Visions of America: Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton”
• Co-sponsored by the Center for the American Idea and the Liberty Fund, Colorado Springs, CO
o Discussion participant

2004 “Natural Law in the Thought of Samuel Pufendorf: The Man, the State, and Religious Liberty”
• Sponsored by the Liberty Fund, Chicago, IL
o Discussion participant


2011 “Leading with Integrity”
• Delivered at Redevco, Annual Finance Meeting for European Directors and Controllers, May 10

2010 “Losing Trust, Losing Power: How Leaders Lose Grip”
• Delivered at iVentive, The Executive Development Summit, Cologne, Germany, November 15

2008 “From Delphi to Delaware: The Oracle Speaks of Human Nature”
• Delivered at IESE Business School, 15th International Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society, Barcelona, Spain, May 17
o Conference Title—Business and Management: Towards more human models and practices

2001 “Fatherhood in a Changing Society”
• Delivered at European Training Center, Helsinki, Finland, November 12
o Conference on the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Blessed Josemaria Escriva [n.b. canonized a saint on October 6, 2002] entitled Family: A Revolution for the Third Millennium

2001 “Character and Decision-Making”
• Delivered at DePaul University, 8th Annual International Conference Promoting Business Ethics, Chicago, IL, October 26

2001 “Organizational Behavior in Cyberspace: A Report on IESE Business School’s Inaugural Global Executive MBA Distributed Learning Program”
• Delivered at IPADE, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Biannual Meeting of Alliance Network Schools, Mexico City, Mexico
o Alliance Network Schools: AESE, Portugal; ESE, Chile; IAE, Argentina; IDE, Ecuador; IEEM, Uruguay; IESE, Spain; INALDE, Columbia; IPADE, Mexico; ISE, Brazil; LBS, Nigeria; PAD, Peru; TAYASAL, Guatemala; UAP, Philippines

1999 “The Capacity to Lead: Classical Wisdom about Virtues for Tomorrow’s Leader”
• Delivered at IESE Business School, Ethics in Leadership Colloquium, Barcelona, Spain
o Conference Title—Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century

1999 “A Freedom-Centric Model of Ethical Decision-Making”
• Delivered at IESE Business School, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Biannual Meeting of Alliance Network Schools, Barcelona, Spain

1998 “Ethical Decision-Making, Virtue and Business Organizations” and “Business Activity as Envisioned in the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church”
• Delivered at European Training Center, Helsinki, Finland, November 11
o Full day program on virtue ethics in business and society entitled Beyond Excellence: Practical Views on the Ethical Dimension of Business

1996 “Business Ethics in Theory and Practice”
• Delivered at University of Porto, National Congress of Economics and Management Students, Porto, Portugal

1994 “Structural Impediments to the Ethical Formation of Management Students”
• Delivered at Catholic University of Porto, Business Ethics, Legal Ethics and the Family Conference, Porto, Portugal


2011 “Are Business and Ethics Compatible?”
• Delivered at Lismullin Institute, Leadership Forum, Dublin, Ireland
o Full-day management forum on ethical leadership for senior executives and directors, June 14
o Full-day management forum on ethical leadership for managers under forty years of age with a minimum of five years working experience, June 11

2009 "Leadership & Optimism against the Odds"
• Delivered at Lismullin Institute, Leadership Forum, Dublin, Ireland
o Full-day program on ethical leadership in crisis for senior executives, June 10

2003 “Surmounting the Era of Fraud”
• Full-day program on ethical leadership in Finance delivered successively in three Central American countries: Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, August 18-23
o Asociación para la Cooperación Cultural (Association for Cultural Cooperation), Panama City, Panama
o Asociación para la Cooperación Educativa Nicaraguense (Nicaraguan Association for Educational Cooperation), Managua, Nicaragua
o Asociación Arte y Cultura, (Association of Art and Culture), San José, Costa Rica

2001 “Being More, Doing More and Having More: Developing One’s Capacity for Rational Decision-making”
• Delivered at European Training Center, Helsinki, Finland
o Full-day program on leadership and virtue ethics entitled “Beyond Excellence,” November 13


2008 Ada Herald, October 16, “TARP—From Wall Street to Main Street,” by Shea Stephens

2008 Law 360, September 25, “6 Steps To Better Market Regulation,” by Evan Weinberger

2005 CFA Magazine, SEPT-OCT, “Friend or Foe? Investors need to be aware of conflicts of interest posed by performance fees,” by Lori Pizzani

2005 Baltimore Sun, March 8, “Affairs Are Bad Business—Ethics: Romance Between Workers Can Be Detrimental, Especially When the Boss is Involved,” by Blanca Torres

2004 Agence France Presse, March 26, “24-Year Prison Term for Executive in Fraud Sends Tough Message,” by Rob Lever


• Ave Maria Radio, Kresta in the Afternoon, Finance Friday Series.
o Interviews at Ave Maria Radio are available in the podcast archives at
o How the Financial Meltdown Happened is available online at:

2011 “A Debate: Note on Financial Reform from the Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace: Does the Vatican support a one-world economy?” with David Peterson, December 15

2011 “A Debate: Occupy Wall Street: Representative of Catholic Social Teaching?” with Tony Magliano of Catholic News Service, November 18

2011 “Commentary on the Occupy Wall Street movement,” October 11

2011 “The Four Causes of the U.S. Financial Crisis,” June 30

2011 “Review of The Housing Boom and Bust (2009)” by Thomas Sowell, March 25

2011 “Review of The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy—If We Let It Happen (2008) by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore & Peter J. Tanous, February 11

2011 “Review of On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System (2010)” by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Business Plus, New York, NY, January 14

2010 “Review of A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers (2009)” by Lawrence G. McDonald with Patrick Robinson, Crown Business, New York, NY, December 3

2010 “Review of Inside Job (2010)” directed by Charles Ferguson, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, November 5

2010 “Review of The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (2010)” by Michael Lewis, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, NY, October 29

2010 “Review of The Greatest Trade Ever (2009)” by Gregory Zuckerman, Broadway Books, New York, NY, October 15

2010 “Review of House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street (2009)” by William D. Cohan, Doubleday, New York, NY, October 8

2010 “Review of Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse (2009)” by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Regnery Publishing, Washington, DC, September 17

2010 “Review of Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy—and How They Will Do It Again If No One Stops Them (2009)” by Peter Schweitzer, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, September 10


2011 “The Four Causes of the Financial Crisis”
• Delivered at EBEN Research Conference (European Business Ethics Network), Does Integrity Matter? - Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, June 9, 2011
• Originally delivered at IESE Business School Alumni Reunion, Vienna, Austria, hosted by Egon Zehnder, May 20, 2011

2011 “The Anthropological Roots of Three-dimensional Leadership”
• Delivered at EBEN Research Conference (European Business Ethics Network), Does Integrity Matter? - Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, June 9, 2011

2007 “Everyone Does It”
• Delivered at Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law, Faculty Research Seminar, Ada, OH

2005 “Legal Ethics: Stone Age Morality In, Caveman Behavior Out”
• Delivered at Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach, VA

2002 “Qualitative and Ethical Decision-making: A Positive, Non-positivist Model”
• Delivered at University of Virginia, Darden School of Business Administration, The Rationality Seminar, Charlottesville, VA

1998 “Catholic Attitudes towards Business and the Market Economy as Expressed in the Social Doctrine of the Church”
• Delivered at Princeton University, Western Economic Values and Alternatives Seminar, Department of History, Princeton, NJ


2009 “Philosophical Anthropology in the Law”
• Ohio Legal Scholarship Workshop, Idea presentation, The Ohio State University—Moritz College of Law, Columbus, OH



In His Words ...

What drew me to CUA was the evident desire of everyone concerned to make this enterprise more than just another business school: to make it a place in which students pursued their, and others, integral human fulfillment through professional work and a spirit of service.– Max Torres



Office: 300 McMahon Hall
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Office hours: By appointment




  • MGT  301 – Ethics in Business and Economics

  • MGT 310 – Organizational Behavior

  • MGT 311 – Leadership

  • MSBA 505 – Spirit of Enterprise


Ph.D., Management
University of Navarra

Harvard University

B.S., Business Administration
University of California, Berkeley

Areas of Expertise

  • Ethical decision-making
  • Leadership and motivation
  • Corporate governance
  • Organizational pathology