Michael K. Young

Photo of Michael K. Young
Professor of Law

Phone: (206) 543-5010
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Curriculum Vitae |


Michael K. Young became President of the University of Washington on July 1, 2011. Also a tenured Professor of Law, President Young has a distinguished record as an academic leader with broad experience in public service and diplomacy. As UW President, he leads the nation's top public university (2nd among all universities) in attracting federal research funding.

Prior to his appointment at the UW, 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. It led the nation in the number of new companies generated from university research, significantly raised the academic profile of the student body, expanded international education, and built more than 2 million square feet of new research and teaching facilities. Private giving to the university also rose significantly during President Young's tenure, and the number of donors more than doubled.

Before assuming the presidency at Utah, he was Dean and Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the George Washington University Law School. He was also a professor at Columbia University for more than 20 years, and prior to joining the Columbia University faculty, he served as a law clerk to the late Chief (then Associate) Justice William H. Rehnquist of the United States Supreme Court.

President Young has held numerous 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 presidency of the first President Bush. He also served as a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1998-2005 and chaired the Commission on two occasions.

He has published extensively on a wide range of topics, including the Japanese legal system, dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions, labor relations, the legal profession, comparative law, industrial policy, international trade law, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), international environmental law and international human rights and freedom of religion. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

President Young is a graduate of Brigham Young University (B.A., 1973) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1976), where he served as a note editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Last updated 3/28/2014