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Sir Michael Leigh is visiting distinguished fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (Brussels) and academic director of European public policy and global risk at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (Bologna, Italy). He is also a senior advisor at Covington & Burling LLP, (Brussels) and has served as senior fellow at Bruegel (Brussels). He was senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (2011-2016); director-general for enlargement of the European Commission (2006-2011), deputy director-general for external relations of the European Commission (2003-2006), cabinet member and official, European Commission (1977-2003); assistant professor of international relations, SAIS Bologna Center (1976-1977); lecturer in international relations, University of Sussex (1974-1976); and Erskine fellow (2017), University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

His research, writing, and public speaking focus on the future of the EU, Brexit, EU enlargement and neighborhood policy, Turkey's relations with the EU, Europe's response to political change in the Mediterranean and Middle East, energy questions in the Eastern Mediterranean, and public opinion and foreign policy. He also has an interest in global risk. He writes and comments regularly on European affairs for Geopolitical Intelligence Services reports online, Euractiv, and other media.

He holds a Bachelors degree in
philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in political science from M.I.T.