Michael S. Barr is the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy at the Ford School, the Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law, and faculty director of the Center on Finance, Law, and Policy. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and, previously, 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.
Professor 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, 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 and Melinda Gates Foundation FinTech Advisory Council, the Advisory Board for the Future of Finance Initiative (India), the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, ideas42's Scientific Advisory Board, the advisory board of the CFSI Financial Solutions Lab, the advisory board for the JP Morgan Chase Institute, the Research Advisory Board for the Center for Equitable Growth, and the Advisory Board of Lending Club, and 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 US Financial Diaries Project.
Professor Barr was on leave during 2009 and 2010, serving in President Barack H. 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. Professor Barr previously served in the Administration of William J. Clinton as Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin's special assistant, as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury, as special adviser to President William J. 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 U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and the Hon. Pierre N. Leval, then of the Southern District of New York.
He received his JD from Yale Law School, his MPhil in international relations as a Rhodes Scholar from Magdalen College, Oxford University, and his BA, summa cum laude, with honors in history, from Yale University.