Mike Signer

Mayor, City of Charlottesville

Mike Signer

Mike Signer is managing principal of Madison Law & Strategy Group, PLLC, which he founded in 2010, where he practices corporate and regulatory law. He is also a lecturer at UVA, where he teaches in both the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics and the Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy. He is a member of the Virginia and Washington, D.C. Bars and the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association, where he has served as Co-Chair of the Business Law Section. He has been a Democratic voting rights attorney in Virginia for many years. He was previously an attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr. He is Chair of the Emergency Food Network and President of the Fifeville Neighborhood Association.

He is the author of two books: Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies (Palgrave Macmillan 2009) and Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father (PublicAffairs 2015). He has published essays and articles in venues including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, The New Republic, USA Today, and The Daily Beast. He has been interviewed by NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, and the BBC. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Center for National Policy and the Truman Educational Institute and is a principal of the Truman National Security Project.

He previously served as counsel to Governor Mark Warner in Richmond, senior strategist for Tom Perriello’s 2008 campaign for Congress, legislative aide to then-Delegate Creigh Deeds, national security director of the 2008 John Edwards for President campaign, and senior policy advisor at the Center for American Progress. In 2009, Mike was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to a four-year term on Virginia’s Board of Medicine. He was a member of the Finance Committee for Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign for governor and was chair of the Governor-elect’s Transition Council on Homeland Security. While in law school at UVA, he founded the Coalition for Progress on Race and co-founded the Center for the Study of Race and Law. In 2009, he was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow; a J.D. from the University of Virginia; and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Princeton University. He was raised in Arlington, Virginia, where he attended public schools.

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