Michael J. Reitz is executive vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an independent, nonprofit research and educational institute based in Midland, Michigan. Reitz oversees policy development, communications, fundraising and the Center’s strategic plan.
Reitz joined the Mackinac Center in 2012, where he directs efforts to advance free-market recommendations in Michigan. The team’s victories include right-to-work legislation, pension reform for school employees, criminal justice reform and ground-breaking legislation to expand ridesharing in the state. Reitz oversees the Center’s effort to inform public employees of their First Amendment rights through outreach, legal support and legislative affairs. In the past five years, the Center has educated hundreds of thousands of government workers about their rights.
Reitz is active among other free-market public policy organizations. In 2021, the State Policy Network recognized Reitz with its prestigious Overton Award for his work at the Mackinac Center and with state-based policy experts. He is a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network and was co-chair for the Atlas Network’s first Global Influencer Summit in 2019.
In addition to his Mackinac Center responsibilities, Reitz serves as a board member of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government (chair) and Detroit Prosperity Center. He is an honorary senior fellow with the Institute for the American Worker and a member of the Atlas Network’s Council of Mentors.
Before joining the Mackinac Center, Reitz was with the Freedom Foundation in Olympia, Washington, as its general counsel and director of labor policy. While there, he litigated for accurate elections, defended the First Amendment rights of individuals, fought against governmental abuses of power and wrote extensively on constitutional law.
Reitz frequently comments on public policy issues and has been cited by The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News and other publications. He is a co-author of “To Protect and Maintain Individual Rights,” a reference guide to the Declaration of Rights in the Washington Constitution. Reitz received his law degree from Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy. He is a member of the Washington bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.