Michael Castle Miller
Michael R. Castle Miller
Executive Director

Michael is a legal and policy consultant who has helped develop special economic zone (SEZ) programs in over sixteen countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa. He founded Refugee Cities to apply best practices from SEZs to expand opportunities for migrants so they can exercise their skills and vocations even while displaced.

In addition to leading Refugee Cities, Michael is the CEO of Politas Consulting, where he helps cities and special jurisdictions achieve inclusive social and economic development. Over the course of his career, governments and private companies have relied on him to draft regulations, establish administrative agencies, introduce investment climate reforms, structure public-private partnerships, and promote socially and environmentally responsible development projects.

Michael’s professional experience ranges from legal and policy consulting to real estate negotiation, and from organizational management to community engagement. Michael has served as the Managing Director of Locus Economica, a boutique SEZ consulting firm advising on numerous World Bank, UNIDO, and direct-government projects. He has also been a consultant with the World Bank, Legal Vice Presidency, specializing in urban law and development issues. Before that, he worked for the Public International Law and Policy Group, where he provided legal assistance to the governments of South Sudan, Georgia, and Yemen on a variety of matters.

Michael earned a J.D., summa cum laude, from American University, Washington College of Law and an M.A. in International Politics from American University, School of International Service. His publications in legal journals cover the political economy of international trade and investment, comparative local government, “Charter Cities,” U.S. immigration law, and expropriation jurisprudence. He regularly gives talks and participates in panel discussions on SEZs and refugee cities at conferences internationally.

Michael is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and a Senior Program Officer of WEPZA, a trade association of SEZ practitioners. He is also an active member of the New York State Bar Association and licensed to practice law in New York.

Read Michael’s Note from the Executive Director >>