Executive Vice President, Civic Engagement
As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Michael Strautmanis leads teams driving civic engagement, community affairs, the My Brothers’ Keeper Alliance, and strategic partnerships for the Obama Foundation. In addition to leading external strategy for the Foundation, Mike is an internal leader on shaping, creating and carrying organizational culture, as the executive sponsor of the Foundation’s organizational culture working group, focused on diversity, equity, antiracism, innovation, stewardship, and accountability. Mike is focused on driving impact in Chicago, where the Foundation is investing over $500 million, including the development of the Obama Presidential Center.
Before joining the Obama Foundation, Mike 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. An advisor to President Barack Obama for almost two decades, he served in the Obama White House for four of those years as the Chief of Staff of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, and the President’s Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett. In that role, Mike was at the center of crafting the White House’s agenda, policy, and strategic approach to key initiatives, including health care reform, education, criminal justice reform, the growth of the technology sector, and the acceleration of clean energy technology. Mike is also a key architect of President and Mrs. Obama’s unique approach to civic engagement and leadership development.
After President Obama’s first term, Mike joined the Walt Disney Company in Burbank, CA, where he led an enterprise-wide initiative to consolidate, focus, and deepen the impact of Disney’s corporate social responsibility programs, focused on youth development through creativity and innovation. Mike 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, Mike serves on the boards of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, City Year Chicago, the Emerald South Economic Development Collaboratory, and the Billie Jean King Leadership Institute. Mike received his bachelor’s degree from the College of Communications at the Univ. of Illinois and a Juris Doctor from the Univ. of Illinois College of Law.