SOCIAL IMPACT: Michael has dedicated the bulk of his career to launching social enterprises that create opportunity in underserved communities. In 2006 he cofounded One Million Degrees, a breakthrough scholarship support program that has empowered more than 1,800 low-income community college students to succeed in school, in work and in life.
Michael is also the cofounder of Complete the Degree, Spark Chicago, and was appointed by the Governor of Illinois to serve on the State Commission to Eliminate Poverty.
JOURNALISM AND MEDIA: Early in his career, Michael worked as a news reporter for CBS and NBC-TV affiliates. 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 cofounder of Newsbound, a digital media platform 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.
POLITICS: Michael has served as a campaign manager and communications strategist on races for the White House, US House and Senate, and Chicago Mayor. In 2006, the victorious race he managed for US Rep. Melissa Bean was ranked by the Washington Post as one of the 10 best-run reelection campaigns out of more than 400 nationwide.
He continues to advise candidates, CEOs and nonprofit leaders — specializing in strategic communications, media consulting and presentation coaching.
ELECTIONS AND GOVERNMENT REFORM: In 2015, Michael authored the acclaimed book Unlock Congress, a non-partisan diagnosis of what ails our 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.