Sir Michael Leigh is a senior fellow who focuses on European Neighborhood Policy, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East as well as the future of the EU. He runs a program at GMF on the implications of the gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 2006, Leigh became director-general for enlargement with the European Commission after serving for three years as external relations deputy director-general with responsibility for European Neighborhood Policy, relations with Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East, and the Mediterranean countries. He began his current role after more than 30 years in EU institutions, including as a cabinet member for various commissioners and as director in the Task Force for the EU Accession Negotiations. He began his career as assistant professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University and lecturer in international relations at the University of Sussex.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in political science from MIT.