Michael is the Executive Director of the World Class Cities Partnership, headquartered at Northeastern University. As Executive Director, Michael establishes and develops relationships with municipal governments and universities around the world, creating a global network of partner cities dedicated to implementing public policy to address shared challenges facing 21st century cities. Michael’s career in public service has spanned from serving two United States Presidents as Special Assistant for White House Operations to serving the former Prime Minister of Ireland as a policy research analyst and most recently serving as Director of Development for United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.
A native of Melrose, Massachusetts, Michael was the first and only graduate in history from Northeastern University or the state of Massachusetts to have completed five undergraduate degrees simultaneously. He graduated summa cum laude studying Finance, Political Science, Communications, Entrepreneurship and Management Information Systems. Michael also serves as a Board member for the Neighborhood Organization for Affordable Housing (NOAH), and Boston Representative for the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Cities Network, a member of the Boston Public Library’s Young Professionals Committee, the Executive Director of Northeastern’s College of Business Talent Development Committee, an Alumni Mentor and is involved in a number of other charitable organizations.
Daniel Spiess, Ph.D.
Dan is the Research Director of the World Class Cities Partnership. He also serves as a Research Associate at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, working with the Economic Development Partnership.
Dan received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. His doctoral dissertation focused on political decision making in planning, public participation, and community-based organizations with additional research interests in economic and community development, environmental planning, and environmental justice.
Prior to his doctorate, Dan worked on the brownfields program at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and was a planner at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also worked on a variety of social, public health, and environmental extracurricular projects including the Environmental Justice Initiative (under the direction of Dr. Bunyan Bryant) at the University of Michigan.
Ian is the Operations Coordinator of the World Class Cities Partnership. He oversees logistics and operational planning for WCCP’s annual summit, Chatham and Summer Forums and Policy Exchange Missions.
Ian received a dual bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Political Science from Northeastern University, graduating cum laude. His focus was on international security with a specialization in the Middle East. He has studied in Ghana, Brazil, Egypt, Syria and Qatar.
Prior to joining the World Class Cities Partnership, Ian worked as political director for an at-large Boston City Councilor and as campaign manager for a statewide candidate in Massachusetts. He is committed to a number of political and social justice campaigns including clean elections, drug policy reform and energy independence.