Michael Gessel has managed the Coalition’s Washington, D.C. office since 2003. He is responsible for government relations and advocacy for the Coalition’s programs to federal government agencies and the Ohio Congressional delegation.
Michael has spent more than four decades working with Dayton region-related federal issues in Washington, D.C., including supporting Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and other federal installations. His work resulted in blocking the proposed 1996 closing of the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), authorizing construction funding for the National Museum of the United States Air Force, increasing defense research funding, and directing the National Research Council to study Air Force organizational issues affecting science and technology, and establishing the Department of Veteran’s Affairs National History Center in Dayton.
Michael helped draft legislation to create the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Centennial of Flight Commission, and National Aviation Heritage Area. He also helped develop legislation paving the way to convert the Energy Department’s Mound Plant to the Mound Advanced Technology Center, a science technology and business park focused on companies in key advanced technological growth areas. He assisted in securing federal funding to launch the National Center for Industrial Competitiveness and the National Composite Center. In addition, Michael’s work supported federal funding for the construction of various Dayton region landmarks, including the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, Fifth Third Field, RiverScape, Dayton Veterans Affairs Patient Tower, Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, and air traffic control tower of the Dayton International Airport.
His articles about legislative process have appeared in the “Outlook” section of the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Roll Call newspaper.
Prior to joining the Coalition in 2003, Michael served as an associate staff member of the House Rules Committee and minority counsel of its Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House. In addition, Michael served as chief of staff and press secretary to former Representative Tony Hall (D-Dayton). Following Representative Hall’s resignation from the House of Representatives in 2002, Michael was appointed by the Clerk of the House as Administrator for Ohio’s 3rd District Congressional office. Previously, he was legislative assistant to Representative Robert T. Matsui (D-Sacramento) and Representative Charles W. Whalen (R- Dayton).
Michael is a 1978 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in American Civilization.