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#SPA80for80: Michael Galano, SPA/BA ’94

Michael Galano

Michael Galano came to AU in 1990 to study political science in Washington, DC. When he walked into his first class as a freshman with Dr. James Thurber, he knew immediately he had chosen a great school. Later, as a junior, Galano took the Lobbying Institute offered during winter break. "It was an amazing course taught by real world professionals,” Galano said. “There was no other school in the nation offering such a unique and intensive program.”

Today, Galano is a partner at the international law firm of Holland & Knight LLP where he designs and implements complex federal government affairs strategies for a wide variety of clients ranging from professional trade associations to tribal governments. He joined Holland & Knight in 1997 as one of the original members of the firm's Public Policy & Regulation Practice Group, which is consistently ranked among the top law and government affairs teams in nation.

In addition to his regular practice, Galano frequently provides pro bono services to charitable, humanitarian, and veterans organizations. Most recently, he and his team at Holland and Knight led the advocacy effort on behalf of their pro bono client, the Honor Flight Network, to enact the Honor Flight Act, which passed Congress in the closing days of the recent "lame-duck" session and was signed by President Obama on December 16, 2014. The new law directs the Transportation Security Administration to establish an expedited and dignified passenger screening process for veterans traveling to Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials built and dedicated to honor their service. 


"While the political players and technology may have changed from my days at SPA, the lessons I learned are as true today as they were then.”