Michael Strautmanis '94 will deliver the University of Illinois College of Law 2017 Convocation address.
Michael, a native of Chicago, joined the Obama Foundation as Vice President for Civic Engagement in January of 2016. In his role with the Foundation he is tasked with developing and leading the execution of outreach efforts and civic engagement programs relating to the work of The Foundation. Michael is the Former Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor for Strategic Engagement to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. In this role, Michael was responsible for building strategic partnerships with stakeholders and coordinating engagement strategies. In addition, he served as a senior advisor to the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Formerly, Michael was the Chief of Staff to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Prior to coming to the Obama Foundation, Michael served as the Vice President for Corporate Citizenship & Strategic Programs at The Walt Disney Company.
Michael has been with the President since his election as the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois, where he served as then-Senator Obama’s Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff. He continued serving then-Senator Obama on the campaign where he became Senior Counsel for Obama for America, playing a leading role in political outreach as a member of the Congressional Relations team. Upon the President’s election, Michael joined Obama’s presidential transition team as Chief Counsel and the Director of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Prior to his time with the President, Michael practiced complex litigation and employment law in Chicago at Sidley Austin. He then joined the Clinton Administration as Chief of Staff to the General Counsel at the United States Agency for International Development.
Michael received a B.S. from the University of Illinois, and a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.