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Michael Baumgartner


About Mike

Michael Baumgartner is the Treasurer of Spokane County overseeing nearly $1.6 billion in public investment funds.

He previously served 8 years as a Washington State Senator, including serving as Chair of the Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee and Vice Chair of the Ways & Means Committee.

In the Legislature, Michael helped play a lead role in creating a new WSU medical school in Spokane and in securing a historic 20% reduction in the cost of college tuition.

During his time in the Senate, Michael received numerous honors, including the Washington Policy Center’s highest honor - the “Champion of Freedom Award.”

A former US State Department Officer in Iraq and contracted embedded counternarcotics advisor in Afghanistan, Baumgartner has traveled to more than 80 countries.

He has frequently lectured on counterinsurgency including at the Counterinsurgency Leaders Course at Camp Taji, Iraq, as part of the LDESP Af/Pak program at National Defense University, and as a visiting faculty member at Sciences Po University in Paris.

Michael holds a BA in Economics with minors in Math and French from Washington State University - where he was a Foley Scholar and a Stephenson Scholar – and also a MPA Masters of Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University, where he was also a Teaching Fellow in Economics. He also studied on exchange at the ESC School of Business in Chambery, France.

Michael met his wife Eleanor, a former Bain consultant and science journalist for the Mail on Sunday newspaper, in Afghanistan. The couple stays very busy chasing after their five young children.

In 2009, Michael was a civilian embedded advisor to an Afghan government counternarcotics team in Helmand province Afghanistan - source of 60% of the world's illicit opium.

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Current: Treasurer of Spokane County (2019-)

• Washington State Senator (2011-18)
• Visiting Lecturer on Counterinsurgency at SciPo Univ. Paris (Fall,2017)
• Adjunct faculty, LDESP program – pre-deployment advisory (2010-12)
• Counternarcotics Advisor, Helmand, Afghanistan (2009)
• U.S. State Department Officer, US Embassy Baghdad (2007-08)
• Business Consultant – UAE, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela (2003-06)
• The Executive Office of Crown Prince of Dubai (2002-03)
• Transparency International Nepal (Summer 2001)
• Jesuit Volunteer in Mozambique (1999-2000)
• US Forest Service Fire Ecosystem Research Team – Lake Baikal, Russia (Summer 1997) and Wenatchee Nat’l Forest (Summer 1996)
• Study Scholarships from National Council on US-Arab Relations to Syria & Jordan (1994) and Kuwait (1999)
• BA in Economics from Washington State University (1999) and MPA in International Development from Harvard (2002)

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