Michael Strautmanis, '94 will present the Vacketta-DLA Piper Lecture on the Role of Government and the Law
on Thursday, March 2 at 12 p.m. in the Max L. Rowe Auditorium at the College of Law.
"Leading the Charge: How Lawyers Help Protect Democracy"
Executive Vice President, External Affairs
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Max L. Rowe Auditorium
The lecture will also be available for viewing via livestream.
(Link will be posted in early-February.)
Lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Peer and Sarah Pedersen Pavilion.
Michael Strautmanis serves as the Obama Foundation’s Executive Vice President for External Affairs, building its strategy to extend President and Mrs. Obama’s legacy through the development of the Obama Presidential Center and civic engagement programming in Chicago. Through community affairs, government relations, and strategic partnerships, Michael has built the Foundation's impact agenda in Chicago to create an anchor institution that will catalyze economic renewal on the South Side of Chicago and develop the city’s next generation of leaders. In this role, he is in dialogue with Chicagoans from every walk of life who are looking to learn more about the Obama Presidential Center and participate in the Foundation’s mission to empower leaders to give back to their communities. Michael also leads the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, President Obama's signature initiative to create safe, healthy, and nurturing communities for boys and young men of color across the nation.
Before joining the Obama Foundation, Michael spent over a decade in Washington, D.C., working to increase access to economic opportunity, strengthen the judicial system, and champion equity and inclusion in the White House, federal agencies, and Congress. He served in the Obama White House for four of those years as Chief of Staff to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. After President Obama’s first term, he joined the Walt Disney Company where he led an enterprise-wide initiative to consolidate, focus, and deepen the impact of Disney’s corporate social responsibility programs. Michael began his career in government working in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He did stints at the House of Representatives and American Association for Justice before joining then-Senator Obama’s congressional staff, campaign, and subsequent transition team.
An active member of Chicago’s civic community, Michael serves on the boards of Everside Health, Inc., the Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative, the Billie Jean King Leadership Institute, the Illinois Finance Authority and Headspace Health. Mike received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.
The Vacketta-DLA Piper Lecture on the Role of Government and the Law is made possible through the generosity of Carl Vacketta, ’65, and DLA Piper, which has more than 4,200 lawyers in offices in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States; and represents more clients in a broader range of geographies and practice disciplines than any other law firm in the world.
The Series is a component of The Marbury Institute, named for William L. Marbury, Jr. (1901-1988), who was instrumental in the development of the firm and devoted his career to public and community service. The Institute serves as DLA Piper’s initiative to promote the highest ideals of the legal profession.
Previous speakers include:
The Honorable John Paul Stevens, October 2002
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, October 2003
General Joseph W. Ralston, USAF (Ret), October 2004
Senator George J. Mitchell, October 2005
Governor James Blanchard, October 2006
U.S. Ambassador Marc Grossman, October 2007
Admiral James Loy, October 2008
Senator William Cohen, October 2009
U.S. Ambassador Craig Kelley, October 2010
U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, September 2011
U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, October 2012
Senator Thomas Daschle, October 2013
Commissioner (EEOC) Chai R. Feldblum, October 2014
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation & Illinois Congressman Ray LaHood, October 2015
Former Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State Harold Hongju Koh, October 2016
Govorner Jim Edgar, October 2017
Former Solicitor General of the United States Paul Clement, October 2018
For more information:
Carolyn Turner, Assistant Dean for Administration