The Hon. Michael Signer, the award-winning former mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, is a public scholar, executive, and practising attorney.
From 2016 to 2018, Signer served as mayor of Charlottesville, a AAA-bond-rated city of nearly fifty thousand. He has served as an executive and general counsel at a major Virginia technology firm, as counsel to governor Mark Warner of Virginia, as the national security director on the 2008 John Edwards presidential campaign, and as the chair of the Emergency Food Network in Virginia. He has been an instructor at the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the University of California. He was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2009 and has received senior appointments from three Virginia governors. In 2018, he founded and chaired Communities Overcoming Extremism, a bipartisan capacity-building project for leaders in the public and private sectors and the sponsor of the "Overcoming Extremism" podcast.
He is the author of two previous books, Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies and Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father. He has written opinion pieces and essays for The New York Times, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, Time, Vox, and Democracy. He has been profiled by NPR, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Guardian and interviewed by Meet the Press, Face the Nation, The Rachel Maddow Show, and NPR's Morning Edition. He has received awards from organisations including the Anti-Defamation League, the University of California D.C. Alumni Association, the American Society for Yad Vashem and the Matthew Shepard Foundation. He was recognised by The Forward magazine in its "Forward 50 2018" list of the fifty most influential Jewish leaders in America. He is also a member of the 2018 class of the Aspen Institute's Rodel Fellows.