Michael served as the fourth Chief Technology Officer of the United States at the White House. As President’s top technology advisor, Michael led the development and execution of the national technology policy agenda.

Under his leadership, the White House reoriented U.S. national technology policy towards an explicit primary focus on ensuring continued American leadership in emerging technologies. Michael architected the nation’s first AI Strategy, the American AI Initiative, doubled Federal AI and quantum research spending, developed first-in-the-world regulatory principles to govern AI development, and led U.S. efforts to develop the world's first intergovernmental AI policy guidelines at the OECD.

Michael oversaw the implementation of the bipartisan National AI Initiative and National Quantum Initiative Acts, including the establishment of the National AI Initiative Office and the National Quantum Coordination Office at the White House, and spearheaded a billion dollar program to create a network of AI and quantum research institutes across the country. 

Michael previously served as Under Secretary of Defense. As the third highest ranking official at the Department of Defense, Michael managed the largest research and development budget for a single organization in the world, supervising all research, engineering, development, and prototyping at the Pentagon. He oversaw DARPA, the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Innovation Unit, the Space Development Agency, and the DoD Laboratory enterprise.

Michael is currently the Managing Director of Scale AI. He also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI.

Michael was unanimously confirmed by the U.S Senate, is a recipient of the DoD’s Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian award conferred by the Department, and was named to Fortune’s “40 Under 40”. Michael’s writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, WIRED, Bloomberg, Newsweek, and Fortune.

Prior to joining the White House, Michael invested in and advised technology companies at Thiel Capital. A South Carolina native, Michael graduated from Princeton University and served as a Visiting Scholar at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.