Who We Are



Michael Barr, Faculty Director
michaelbarrJoan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy, Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law

Michael S. Barr is the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law, and faculty director of the Center on Finance, Law, and Policy. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and, previously, at the Brookings Institution. He co-founded both the Law School’s International Transactions Clinic and the interdisciplinary clinic known as Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project.

Professor Barr conducts research regarding financial services and writes about a wide range of issues in domestic and international financial regulation. His books include Financial Regulation: Law & Policy (Foundation Press 2016, with Howell Jackson and Margaret Tahyar), No Slack: The Financial Lives of Low-Income Americans (Brookings Press, 2012), Insufficient Funds (Russell Sage, 2009, co-edited with Rebecca Blank), and Building Inclusive Financial Systems (Brookings Press, 2007, co-edited with Anjali Kumar and Robert Litan).

Barr serves or has served in a wide variety of advisory roles. He serves on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation FinTech Advisory Council, the Advisory Board for the Future of Finance Initiative (India), the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, ideas42’s Scientific Advisory Board, the advisory board of the CFSI Financial Solutions Lab, the advisory board for the JP Morgan Chase Institute, the Research Advisory Board for the Center for Equitable Growth, and the Advisory Board of Lending Club, and he recently served as member of the Advisory Board for Ripple Labs, a member of the Russell Sage Foundation Working Group on Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance, and the advisory board of the US Financial Diaries Project.

Professor Barr was on leave during 2009 and 2010, serving in President Barack H. Obama’s Administration as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions, and was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Prior to his Senate confirmation, Barr served on the National Economic Council in the White House. Professor Barr previously served in the Administration of William J. Clinton as Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin’s special assistant, as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury, as special adviser to President William J. Clinton, and as a special adviser and counselor on the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State. Before joining the Clinton Administration, Barr served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and the Hon. Pierre N. Leval, then of the Southern District of New York.

He received his JD from Yale Law School, his MPhil in international relations as a Rhodes Scholar from Magdalen College, Oxford University, and his BA, summa cum laude, with honors in history, from Yale University.

Christie Ayotte Baer, Assistant Executive Director

Christie Ayotte Baer is the Assistant Executive Director for the University of Michigan’s Center on Finance, Law and Policy. In that capacity, she also serves as program director for the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project, an interdisciplinary engaged learning experience that provides one-on-one wrap-around services to Detroit entrepreneurs by pairing small businesses with teams of students from the Law School, the Ross School of Business, the Stamps School of Art & Design, the Ford School of Public Policy and the College of Engineering. These faculty-supervised student teams provide targeted legal, financial, design, and technical services to help entrepreneurs overcome key obstacles to growth.

Before joining the Center in July of 2016, Baer was an attorney in private practice in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia at the firm she founded and owned. In that role, Baer managed all aspects of the firm’s operations, from finance to staffing, while representing clients in high-conflict litigation throughout Georgia. She is licensed to practice in Georgia and Michigan.

In addition to her legal experience, Baer has extensive experience in policy, political organizing, and non-profit work. Baer received her JD from Emory University School of Law and her BA in Sociology from Smith College.

Tracey Van Dusen, Administrative Coordinator

Tracey Van Dusen is the Administrative Coordinator for the University of Michigan’s Center on Finance, Law, and Policy. Prior to joining the Center, Van Dusen was the Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. For most of her career, Van Dusen worked as a high school social studies teacher. She taught Advanced Placement U. S. Government, American Studies, U. S. history, and Humanities at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor. While teaching, she served as a Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellow for the U.S. Department of Education, and as a Senior Teaching Fellow for C-SPAN.

She has a BA, with honors, in political science and an MA in history.

Jeremy-Kress_editedJeremy Kress, Senior Research Fellow
Lecturer, University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business 

Jeremy Kress is a lecturer at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.  Previously, Kress was an attorney in the banking regulation and policy group at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.  In that capacity, Kress drafted rules to implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and Basel III, including enhanced risk-management standards for systemically important financial institutions.  Kress also advised the Board on the legal permissibility of bank mergers and acquisitions, with a focus on institutions subject to regulatory consent orders and transactions that affect financial stability.

Kress is also a lecturer in the at University of Michigan’s Law School, where he co-taught Financial Regulation with Prof. Barr. He served as assistant executive director of the Center on Finance, Law, and Policy from 2015 to 2016.www.michiganross.umich.edu

Kress graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Presidential Scholar.  Kress holds a BBA from U-M’s Ross School of Business.  Kress clerked for the Hon. Matthew Leitman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  His written work has appeared in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, Bloomberg Corporate Law Journal, and Administrative Science Quarterly.