Michael Sozan is a senior fellow at American Progress, where he focuses on democracy and government reform. From 2015 to 2017, Sozan was American Progress’ senior vice president for Government Affairs, managing the institution’s interactions with federal, state, and local policymakers. Sozan joined American Progress in 2015, after two decades of work in the federal government and the private sector.
From 2004 to 2015, Sozan served in increasingly senior positions on Capitol Hill, where he oversaw successful strategies to implement commonsense, progressive policies designed to help the middle class and to enhance national security.
Immediately before joining American Progress, Sozan worked as chief of staff to former U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) for six years. As Udall’s top adviser, he managed the senator’s policy, political, communications, and administrative teams, guiding them to significant victories in areas such as clean energy, intelligence community reform, and consumer rights. Additionally, Sozan was the principal point person on Sen. Udall’s groundbreaking work that helped repeal the military’s outmoded “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
From 2006 to 2008, Sozan served as the legislative director for former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), where—among other achievements—he implemented the successful strategy that led to the passage of a modernized GI education bill for post-9/11 veterans. Before that, Sozan served on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, as counsel to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who now serves as the ranking member of that committee.
Sozan also worked as an attorney in the executive branch for the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as at the Federal Communications Commission. Sozan’s private sector work includes practicing law at the international law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP, where he counseled corporate clients in the areas of technology and telecommunications while maintaining an active pro bono practice focused on protecting asylum seekers’ and immigrants’ rights.
Immediately after his graduation from George Washington University Law School, Sozan served as a judicial law clerk on the Virginia Court of Appeals. He graduated from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in government.