Michael Willis, Director of Public Policy, Center for Development and Learning

“Michael Willis has close to a decade of Governmental Relations experience. Having been raised in Brusly, Louisiana, Michael understands the unique dynamic of Louisiana culture through politics and strives to help those most in need. Early in his career he knew the importance of fostering relationships in both Washington, D.C. and Louisiana to help achieve this goal.

Michael began his career interning for Senator Bill Cassidy before moving to Washington, D.C. to work for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. After gaining valuable knowledge about the intricacies of Capitol Hill, he moved back to Louisiana to begin working for Checkmate Strategies. This allowed him the opportunity to both learn the Louisiana State Legislature, as well as start passing meaningful, impacting legislation. Representing nine state-wide non-profits showed him how to work with lawmakers of all backgrounds and parties and navigate the difficulties that presents.

Due to his experience and success in the State Legislature and experience on Capitol Hill, he began working with Congressman Ralph Abraham’s office. His role was to cover the southern end of Congressional District 5 and monitor the Louisiana State Legislature. With his position, he grew in the expertise of dealing with peoples of all walks of life and from all backgrounds. Since then, he has worked with The Center for Development & Learning advocating for funds and for effective policy to increase Louisiana’s literacy rates.