Office of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
From 2011 to 2017, Michael served as public policy adviser, legal counsel and, ultimately, chief of staff in the office of Governor Branstad. As chief of staff, Michael managed a $2.7 million office budget and a $7.4 billion state budget while leading a staff of 44 department directors and a 17,500-person executive branch. He developed and implemented policy and political strategies, including budgets, legislative initiatives, and administrative rules.
In these roles, Michael led the execution of the Branstad administration agenda on a number of issues and initiatives, including:
- Tax reform initiatives totaling more than $4.5 billion in tax cuts
- Water quality infrastructure
- Medicaid modernization and expansion
- International trade
Government Relations Experience
Prior to joining Faegre Drinker, Michael served as assistant vice president at Innovative Captive Strategies, leading advocacy efforts at the state and federal level derived from an enterprise-wide view of property and casualty insurance and health care insurance. In this role, he developed a corporate advocacy strategy for favorable tax regulation with the Trump administration, Congress and state officials interfacing with the U.S. Department of Treasury. He also worked directly with Iowa Governor Kimberly Reynolds and Texas Governor Greg Abbott on economic development and state policy matters impacting his stakeholders.
Michael also served as managing director and head of external relations for Summit Agricultural Group, an agribusiness investment group, where he led business development, public policy and investor relations initiatives. In this role, he planned and delivered the Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines, which convened the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. senators and other policy leaders to discuss agricultural topics related to investor opportunities.