Mastering the art of storytelling to drive change.


A national award-winning journalist, author and social entrepreneur.

Strategic Communications

Michael has served as a campaign manager and communications strategist on races for the White House, US House and Senate, and Chicago Mayor. The re-election race he managed for US Rep. Melissa Bean in Illinois’s 8th District was ranked by The Washington Post as one of the top 10 in the country.   

Through Golden Mean Strategies, Michael works with candidates, CEOs, and nonprofit leaders to enhance communications performance and maximize impact.    

Journalism and Media

Early in his career, Michael worked as a local TV news reporter at stations in Illinois, Iowa, and California. His documentary, “Behind the Crime,” earned honors from the National Headliner Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Awards, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Michael is also the co-founder of Newsbound, a digital media platform that was created to help nonprofits, news outlets and educators make complex topics more accessible. 

An outspoken opinion leader, Michael’s political analysis and social commentary are featured in print and broadcast media throughout the country.

Social Impact

Michael has dedicated the bulk of his career to launching social enterprises that create opportunity in underserved communities. In 2006 he co-founded One Million Degrees, a breakthrough scholarship support program that has empowered more than 2,000 under-resourced community college students to succeed in school, work, and life.

Michael is also the co-founder of Complete the Degree, Spark Chicago, and was appointed by the Governor of Illinois to serve on the State Commission to Eliminate Poverty.

Elections and Government Reform

In 2015, Michael authored the book Unlock Congress, a non-partisan diagnosis of the breakdown that is afflicting our federal government — and prescriptions to heal it. Since its publication, he has served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy.   

Unlock Congress has been adopted in college curricula around the country and Michael is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies. In 2019, Michael helped launch The Fulcrum, a digital publication dedicated exclusively to reporting on efforts to reform and strengthen American government. 

Michael earned his BA from Indiana University and his MS in Public Services Management from DePaul University.