Michael R. Wessel is an American commissioner of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission since 2001, and president of The Wessel Group, a public affairs consulting firm. Wessel previously worked for House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt from 1977 until 1998, becoming General Counsel for congressman Gephardt in 1991. He became a Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in 1996, and has worked for the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Barack Obama.
He received a B.A. and a J.D. from George Washington University.
He worked for Missouri Democratic Representative Dick Gephardt for more than twenty years. Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in 1996. In 1999, he was appointed by the United States Congress to serve as a commissioner on the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission which published its report to Congress in 2000.
In 2001, he was appointed by the United States Congress as a commissioner of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He was reappointed from 2010 to 2014. From 1999 to 2005, he served as Senior Vice President with the Downey McGrath Group, a lobbying firm co-founded by Thomas Downey and Raymond J. McGrath. He served as its Executive Vice President in 2006.
He worked on the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In May 2006, he founded The Wessel Group, a consulting firm on government, politics, and international affairs. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves as staff liaison to two statutory trade advisory committees: The Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations and the Labor Advisory Committee.
He has been a frequent commentator on television, radio and in print media. He has authored articles that have appeared in a variety of international publications.
He sits on the Board of Directors of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (since 2005).
He is married to Andrea Wessel, and they have four children.