Policy Analyst
 Community Organizer
 Strategic Communicator

Michael is a policy analyst, community organizer, and strategic communicator doggedly working his way toward food and energy systems that are secure, sovereign, and resilient. Despite running away briefly to California, he's PNW to the bone. Michael holds a M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management and a B.S. in Earth System Science, with Honors, both from Stanford University. He currently sits on the board of the Riveters Collective, the Campaign Committee of the Whatcom Democrats, and is a proud member of the Bellingham Tenants Union.

Michael is currently

Legislative assistant


01 consulting

Michael has lived on the West Coast of the US for 25 years, surrounded by the boldest innovators on the planet. As a millennial, he brings a unique capacity for pattern-recognition and trend-spotting to the business of project consulting and research. Click on any image below for a brief project description.
In 2017-18, his clients have included Sightline Institute, the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, and MASH Strategy Studio. In 2015-16, he conducted his first four projects as a Student Consultant with the Stanford Global Projects Center (GPC) and the Stanford Community Engaged Learning Program (CELP).
Beginning in May of 2018, Michael began adapting his experience with grassroots campaigning to the project of candidate campaigns. He specializes in running strong progressives in swing and safe red districts, under the theory that we must contest disproportionate corporate power wherever it holds.
He provides targeting, messaging, and graphic design services.
NOTE: Because Michael is currently employed by the State of Washington, these services are available only on a volunteer basis and so do not constitute in-kind contributions.

02 Organizing

Michael has been involved in organizing work since early high school. He's devoted his efforts to electing strong progressive candidates; to the resilience of civil society to protect democratic institutions and expression; and to dismantling the disproportionate, distortional power of the fossil fuel industry.
While it's worth noting that Michael is available for hire to do all manner of campaign work, the core of his work has never been and will never be for profit. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need general assistance with a campaign that you think fits with Michael's theory of change and do not have a way to compensate him financially for his work. Michael lives and breathes system change, and will do everything in his power to help.
<<< Click logos for descriptions.

03 Story

August 2018 - November 2018

December 2018 - Present

Legislative Assistant

May 2017- Januar 2019

Independent Project Consultant

Consult on research and marketing projects regarding food and climate. Clients have included Sightline Institute, MASH Strategy Studio, The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, and The Markets Institute at World Wildlife Fund.

May 2018 - August 2018

Field Campaign Manager

Michael managed the field campaign for a primary bid to elect Tim Ballew II to the WA State Senate. Ballew was the Chairman of the Lummi Nation for five years and a member of the Whatcom County Council.

Published: June 2018


This approachable textbook was published by Island Press in 2018. Other co-authors include Danielle Nierenberg, Laurie Fisher, and Brian Frederick. Funding from Barilla Center for Food And Nutrition and from Food Tank.

June 2017 - December 2017

Production and Operations Intern

Supported through an educational program of the Organic Seed Alliance, Michael interned with Uprising Seeds, Washington State's first organic-certified seed company. Working in the fields and in the office, he learned the ins and outs of one of the most economically and culturally vital elements of a sustainable food system. 

2013 - June 2016

Fossil Free Stanford

Campaign Director for Media and Communications, and Co-Founder

Along with two other Campaign Directors, built and directed a campaign team of 50+ core members. Drove divestment of Stanford's $25 Billion endowment from thermal coal extraction, among other victories.


The Markets Institute at World Wildlife Fund - US

Research and Strategy Intern, and

Volpert Scholar in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science

Worked with the MI team during its early structuring stages. Interned with the ED, VP, and four Directors as they engaged in defining the niche that the Institute now fills: focusing on proactive strategic and scalable solutions to risk management and long-term raw material access challenges for the largest agricultural processors and traders. 

Sept 2017 - May 2018

Research and Writing Fellow

Year-long fellowship rotating between the policy writing, comms, and operations teams of a dynamic think-tank-cum-advocacy group. Coordinated a 450-person summit in Seattle, coordinated and executed a number of grant-funded research and communications initiatives, coordination of major regional U.S. summits, and publishing lots of articles.

Field Director


Get in touch. 



Tel: 1-206-218-4345

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© 2018 by Michael Peñuelas.