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Michael Leigh

Academic Director, Master of Arts in European Public Policy

Senior Adjunct Professor of European Studies

  • +39 051 2917811
  • Campus Location: SAIS Europe
  • Office Location: SAIS Europe


Senior Adviser, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Brussels, Belgium. Director-General for Enlargement of the European Commission (2006-2011); Deputy Director-General for External Relations (2003-2006); cabinet member and official, European Commission (1977-2003); Assistant Professor of International Relations, SAIS Bologna Center (1976-1977); Lecturer in International Relations University of Sussex (1974-1976). Erskine Fellow (2017) University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Wilton Park Advisory Council; Covington, Brussels, Senior Adviser.

His research, writing and public speaking focus on the future of the EU, Brexit, enlargement, neighborhood policy; Turkey's relations with the EU, Europe's response to political change in the Mediterranean and Middle East; energy questions in the eastern Mediterranean; public opinion and foreign policy. He also has an interest in Asia-Pacific and its relations with Europe.

He holds a Bachelors degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from M.I.T.



  • Europe
  • Middle East


  • Energy Issues
  • European Union and Transatlantic Relations
  • European Union Foreign Policy


  • French
  • Italian

In the News

Mistake to leave Turkey out of new East Med gas club.

Michael Leigh cited in The Times of Israel, 9/27

Why are Greece and Turkey squaring up in the Mediterranean?

Michael Leigh quoted in The Times, 9/1

The EU and the Western Balkans.

Michael Leigh interviewed on Forbes DACH, 7/22

A tale of two pandemics.

Michael Leigh wrote in Bruegel, 6/23

Democracy in the times of COVID-19

Michael Leigh participated in Bruegel discussion, 5/14

A post-Brexit agreement for research and innovation.

Michael Leigh wrote in Bruegel, 1/28

Focus Germany: Future of the French-German tandem.

Michael Leigh wrote in Geopolitical Intelligence Services, 11/13

Will Europe grant the U.K. another Brexit delay?

Michael Leigh interviewed on Australian Broadcasting Corporation RN Breakfast, 9/5

What the European Parliament elections mean for Brexit.

Michael Leigh quoted on PBS NewsHour, 5/28

Migration and Europe.

Michael Leigh wrote in GIS, 9/13