Michael C. Strauss
Michael Strauss helps clients address legal issues in cross-border investments, infrastructure projects and procurement, both domestically and in connection with multilateral organizations.
Mr. Strauss joined the firm as a partner in 2019 from the Asian Development Bank, where he served most recently as the Acting US Executive Director and Acting Ambassador (chargé d’affaires) for the United States. In that role, Mr. Strauss led the US mission to ADB and worked in close coordination with US federal agencies to establish positions on ADB projects and strategy.
In his oversight role on ADB’s Board, Mr. Strauss was a leader in initiatives that resulted in the near tripling of ADB’s lending capacity to invest in infrastructure projects and the Bank’s enhanced engagement with small Pacific Island states, including expanding connectivity through undersea cables. He also led engagement on matters involving integrity and anti-corruption, institutional legal issues, tax transparency and anti-money laundering policy and procurement reform. Mr. Strauss led engagement with all US firms doing business with ADB.
Before representing the United States at ADB, Mr. Strauss served in the US Treasury as a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for International Finance, where his work focused on the United States’ relations with the G20 and the IMF. He worked closely with Treasury leadership on a range of policy matters in international economics and diplomacy, including sovereign debt policy and the European Debt Crisis.
Mr. Strauss has also served as senior legal counsel at the World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), where he advised on project finance and political risk primarily in Francophone Africa, including leading legal aspects of MIGA’s groundbreaking treaty amendment. Before that, as legal counsel at the International Monetary Fund, his practice focused on sovereign debt and institutional governance, including the reform of Iraq’s post-war sovereign debt and foreign exchange system.
Mr. Strauss began his legal career in private practice focusing on capital markets transactions and mergers and acquisitions in the Paris, London, and Washington offices of Cleary Gottlieb. He received his JD from Stanford Law School, where he was Book Review Editor on the Stanford Law Review. He received his Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, where he also serves on the Advisory Board of the LLM program in public international law and has taught as an adjunct professor of law. He has studied at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris and received his BA, cum laude, from Williams College. He is fluent in French and conversant in Russian and Spanish.
*Admitted in New York only. Practicing under the supervision of D.C. Bar members.