Michael Brickman is currently promoting opportunity by building innovative education and workforce development pathways at the U.S. Department of Education. As Senior Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary, he is leading regulatory and other policy reforms that benefit students, including stronger employer-education partnerships, skills-based hiring strategies, new education finance models, opportunities for incarcerated individuals, and reduced red tape.
He advises the Under Secretary on all matters related to the Department’s postsecondary education portfolio, including Federal Student Aid, grantmaking, and policymaking. This work includes oversight of hundreds of staff in offices around Washington and across the nation, billions of dollars in discretionary grant competitions each year, over $100 billion in new student aid each year, and over $1.5 trillion in outstanding loans.
He previously led project teams to create high-stakes, high-profile strategic messaging campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and state, federal, and international policymakers and campaigns. He also served as National Policy Director at the Fordham Institute, a national think tank where he focused on education and economic opportunity. In these roles, he created national advocacy campaigns, testified before state legislatures, presented to conferences attended by leaders in business and government, and briefed members of Congress, governors, presidential candidates, and their staff on the issues of the day.
Michael served as policy advisor to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, where he was deeply involved in the state’s collective bargaining debate, school choice expansion, and creation of the nation’s first public competency-based education programs. He advanced creative solutions that became law to solve tough challenges related to education, workforce development, and job creation.
He began his career in communications and policy-development roles on high-profile state and federal campaigns. He led statewide communications efforts in Iowa, worked at the national campaign headquarters and in key primary states for John McCain’s 2008 run for President, and led digital outreach, managed outside vendors, and served on the communications team for Scott Walker’s successful run for governor in 2010.
A native of Wisconsin, Michael graduated from the University of Delaware with honors. He currently lives in Washington, D.C.