Michael K. YoungChair, URA Council of Presidents
President, Texas A&M University
Michael K. Young became the 25th President of Texas A&M University on May 1, 2015, bringing a proven track record of academic leadership.
As president and tenured Professor of Law at the University of Washington from 2011 to 2015, he led the nation’s top public university in competing for federal research funding, as well as its ambitious plan to double the number of new companies based on UW research. He also launched the Global Innovation Exchange, a partnership in the State of Washington between the University of Washington, a major Chinese university and European universities. The University also more than doubled its fundraising during his tenure. Prior to that, he served as President and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Utah. Under President Young’s leadership, Utah raised its stature nationally and internationally, including becoming the nation’s top university in the number of new companies generated from university research. The University also built over a million square feet of academic and research space under President Young’s leadership.
Before assuming the presidency at Utah, he was Dean and Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the George Washington University Law School, and he was a professor at Columbia University for more than 20 years. He also has been a visiting professor and scholar at three universities in Japan.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, President Young has broad experience across legal, public service, and diplomatic arenas. He served as a law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has held a number of government positions, including Deputy Under Secretary for Economic and Agricultural Affairs, and Ambassador for Trade and Environmental Affairs in the Department of State during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. Among many other international agreements, President Young worked extensively on the treaties related to German unification, as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Uruguay Round negotiations leading to the World Trade Organization, and the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development. Subsequently, President Young served eight years on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which he chaired on two separate occasions.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.