Michael S. Barr is the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law, and the founder and Faculty Director of the Center on Finance, Law & Policy. At the Law School, Barr taught Financial Regulation and International Finance and co-founded the International Transactions Clinic and the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project
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, 2d Ed. 2018, 3rd Ed. 2021 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 in a wide variety of advisory roles. He is a trustee of the Kresge Foundation, and serves on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation FinTech Advisory Council, the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, ideas42's Scientific Advisory Board, the Research Advisory Board for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and as an advisor to NYCA Partners, SentiLink, CLINC, Savi, and Global ID Framework, among others.
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.
Barr served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter during October Term 1993, and previously to 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.