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 is responsible for architecting the nation’s first AI Strategy, the American AI Initiative, doubling Federal AI and quantum research spending, developing first-in-the-world regulatory principles to govern AI development, and leading 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 also co-founded the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, the largest public-private computing partnership ever created, to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery in the fight against the virus.
Michael previously served as Acting 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 a Managing Director at Scale AI, leading corporate strategy and helping accelerate AI applications across industries.
Michael was unanimously confirmed by the U.S Senate, was named to Fortune’s “40 Under 40”, and is a recipient of the DoD’s Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian award conferred by the Department. Michael’s writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, WIRED, Bloomberg, and Fortune.
Prior to joining the White House, Michael was a Principal at Thiel Capital, where he invested in and advised technology companies. A South Carolina native, Michael graduated from Princeton University and served as a Visiting Scholar at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.