Expertise: Financial institutions, international finance, finance and development, jurisdiction and choice of law, transnational law
Michael S. Barr is a nonresident senior fellow at American Progress. He is also the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, as well as a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the faculty director of the University of Michigan Center on Finance, Law and Policy, and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Barr served from 2009 to 2010 as the U.S. Department of the Treasury assistant secretary for financial institutions and was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
At the University of Michigan, Barr teaches courses in domestic and international financial regulation. His recent books include No Slack: The Financial Lives of Low-Income Americans (Brookings Institution Press, 2012), Insufficient Funds: Savings, Assets, Credit, and Banking among Low-Income Households (Russell Sage Foundation, 2009, with Rebecca M. Blank), and Building Inclusive Financial Systems: A Framework for Financial Access (Brookings Institution Press, 2007, edited with Robert E. Litan and Anjali Kumar). Barr is a frequent media commentator on financial, housing, and economic issues.
Barr currently serves on the advisory boards of Lending Club, an online lending marketplace; ideas42, a behavioral economics research and development lab; the Financial Solutions Lab, an initiative to seed and scale innovations to build consumer financial security; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Committee on Economic Inclusion; the Washington Center for Equitable Growth; and the U.S. Financial Diaries project. He is also a research fellow at the Filene Research Institute.
Barr previously served as special assistant to former Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin; deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for community development policy; special adviser to former President William J. Clinton; special adviser and counselor on the policy planning staff at the U.S. State Department; and law clerk to former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and Judge Pierre N. Leval, then of the Southern District of New York.
Barr received his J.D. from Yale Law School, a Master of Philosophy in international relations from Magdalen College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude with honors in history, from Yale University.