Mayor Michael Signer of Charlottesville is an author, advocate, political theorist, and attorney. He is the author of Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father (PublicAffairs 2015) and Demagogue: the Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies (Palgrave Macmillan 2009) and a lecturer at the University of Virginia, where he teaches in the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. He is also Managing Principal of Madison Law & Strategy Group, PLLC, where he practices corporate and regulatory law. He became Mayor of Charlottesville, a triple-AAA bond rated city frequently rated among America’s best places to live, in January 2016 after being elected to City Council in November 2015.
He previously served as counsel to Governor Mark Warner of Virginia, as chief national security advisor to the 2008 John Edwards for President campaign, and as senior policy advisor at the Center for American Progress. He was a 2009 candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and USA Today. He has been interviewed by CNN, The New York Times, NPR’s Morning Edition, MSNBC, Fox News, and the BBC.
He holds a Ph.D. in political science from U.C., Berkeley, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow; a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law; and a B.A. in politics, magna cum laude, from Princeton University. He lives with his wife and twin boys in downtown Charlottesville.