Board of Visitors spotlight: Michael Youngman

Portrait of Michael YoungmanMichael Youngman (MA ’82) is a retired executive officer of Northwestern Mutual. As vice president of government relations, Youngman oversaw legislative and regulatory matters at the federal, state, and local levels. He joined the La Follette School Board of Visitors in 2015.

“I believe the work of the La Follette School and its strong emphasis on evidence-based research have never been more important,” said Youngman. “I am honored to serve on the school’s Board of Visitors and to support the school’s efforts to train the next generation of public policy leaders.”

Youngman is also serving as an emeritus member of the Wisconsin Historical Society Foundation’s Board of Directors. Previously, he was chief of staff to fellow La Follette School alum Tom Loftus (MA ’72) when Loftus was Speaker of the State Assembly.

In 2021, Youngman and his wife JoAnn pledged to create the La Follette School’s first endowed chair through an estate gift, which will financially support a faculty member in public policy in perpetuity. An endowed chair is one of the highest honors a professor can achieve and will help to attract and retain a world-class faculty member at the La Follette School. Funds from an endowed chair provide the faculty member with resources to advance research and promote innovation within the school. The Youngmans have also supported the La Follette School through generous donation pledges during UW–Madison’s annual day of giving, Day of the Badger.

The La Follette School Board of Visitors provides important guidance by identifying resources that can raise the stature and standing of the school, helping with fundraising, providing career advice to students, and acting as goodwill ambassadors. The La Follette School is grateful to Youngman for sharing his extensive expertise with the board and the school.

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