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Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Profile

Mike Krause is a Senior Advisor* in Bradley’s Government Affairs and Economic Development practice groups, where he represents clients before the executive and legislative branches of government in Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining the firm, Mike served for 14 years in Tennessee state government, holding senior leadership roles in two administrations. Most recently, he served as the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, where he was the primary government relations advocate for higher education before the legislature and the executive branch. He was responsible for coordinating and submitting all recurring and non­recurring funding requests to both the governor and the General Assembly; provided constant advocacy, advice and committee testimony throughout the budgeting process; launched multiple workforce training programs directly aligned with state economic development goals; and acted as the spokesperson for financial aid issues before federal agencies and Congress. Mike also served as the coordinator for all state higher education efforts relative to COVID-19, acting as the liaison between campuses and the Tennessee Department of Health and the governor’s Unified Command Group during the pandemic.

Mike previously served as a senior staff member for the office of Gov. Bill Haslam and as executive director for Tennessee Promise. He reported directly to the governor, serving as an advisor on an array of policy issues and higher education matters, and successfully lobbied the legislature to ensure passage of the historic FOCUS Act, resulting in the first higher education governance overhaul in 50 years. Mike also led the design, implementation, and statewide campaign for Tennessee Promise, the first free community college program in the nation.

A frequent commentator in the media, his work has been covered by Politico, The Wall StreetJournal, The New York Times, NPR and CNN. Mike received a Master of Public Policy from Vanderbilt University and a B.S. in Public Management from Austin Peay State University. He also served in the United States Army as a member of the 101st Airborne Division for six years.

*Mike Krause is not an attorney.

Education

  • Vanderbilt University, Master of Public Policy, 2010
  • Austin Peay State University, B.S., Public Management, 2007
Articles

Two Ways Colleges Can Build Better Paths Toward Student Success
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, February 2021

Like every other higher education leader, I spent most of the last 10 months reacting to the operational imperatives driven by the COVID-19 crisis. Each day presented a novel crisis, and just when we thought we’d see no more plot twists, a new one emerged. In the midst of that maelstrom and as the state’s higher education chief, I often found myself trying to find elusive time to process what these daily crises meant for our enterprise over the long term...

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