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Michael Leigh

Michael Leigh

Academic Director, Master of Arts in European Public Policy

Academic Director, Master of Arts in Global Risk

Senior Adjunct Professor


Sir Michael Leigh is Academic Director of the Master of Arts in European Public Policy, Academic Director of the Master of Arts in Global Risk, and Senior Adjunct Professor at SAIS Europe. Sir Michael is currently Senior Fellow, Bruegel, Brussels, and Senior Advisory, Covington & Berling LLP, Brussels. Previously he was senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (2011-2016); 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.

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 writes and comments regularly on European affairs for Geopolitical Intelligence Services reports online, Euractiv, and other media.

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

Role reversal? EU-U.S. cooperation on Turkey.

Michael Leigh wrote for German Marshall Fund, 05/26

Conference on the future of Europe: Promises and pitfalls.

Michael Leigh wrote for EURACTIV, 05/11

Turkey’s regional ambitions likely to be curtailed by Biden.

Michael Leigh quoted in Ekathimerini, 05/02

The EU and Turkey: Three scenarios.

Michael Leigh wrote in EURACTIV, 12/08

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