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 Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of public policy at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School, the Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of public policy at the University of Michigan, the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, and faculty director of the University of Michigan Center on Finance, Law, and Policy. He was previously a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He co-founded both the International Transactions Clinic and the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project of the Community and Economic Development Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School.
Barr conducts research regarding financial services and writes about a wide range of issues in domestic and international financial regulation. His books include Financial Regulation: Law & Policy (Foundation Press, 2016, with Howell Jackson and Margaret Tahyar); No Slack: The Financial Lives of Low-Income Americans (Brookings Press, 2012); Insufficient Funds (Russell Sage Press, 2009, co-edited with Rebecca Blank); and Building Inclusive Financial Systems (Brookings Press, 2007, co-edited with Anjali Kumar and Robert Litan).
Barr serves or has served in a wide variety of advisory roles. He serves on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation FinTech Advisory Council; the Advisory Board for the Future of Finance Initiative (India); the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion; ideas42’s Scientific Advisory Board; the advisory board of the Center for Financial Services Innovation Financial Solutions Lab; the advisory board for the JPMorgan Chase Institute; the Research Advisory Board for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth; and the Advisory Board of Lending Club. He recently served as member of the Advisory Board for Ripple Labs, a member of the Russell Sage Foundation Working Group on Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance, and the advisory board of the U.S. Financial Diaries Project.
Barr was on leave during 2009 and 2010, serving in former President Barack Obama’s administration as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions, and was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Prior to his Senate confirmation, Barr served on the National Economic Council in the White House. Barr previously served in the administration of former President Bill Clinton as Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin’s special assistant, as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury, as special adviser to President Clinton, and as a special adviser and counselor on the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State. Before joining the Clinton administration, Barr served as a law clerk to then-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, his Master of Philosophy in international relations as a Rhodes Scholar from Magdalen College, Oxford University, and his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, with honors in history, from Yale University.