Michael J.

Managing Principal & Regional Lead

San Francisco Bay Area

Michael Torra draws on a decade of experience in the political arena and more than 15 years as a public affairs consultant to help clients understand, navigate, and leverage the political and policymaking process, develop, and effectively articulate their public policy priorities, and anticipate the outlook for the issues they care about. 

In his role as Raben’s managing principal for California and as part of the firm's Government Affairs andIssue Campaigns practice areas, Michael leads our California team members and helps “translate DC” for clients in the Golden State so that they can better advance their priorities.

Michael has always been inspired by the desire to fight injustice. When a U.S. senator — motivated purely by his antipathy toward gay people — tried to block the nomination of the first openly gay U.S. ambassador, Michael decided to enter politics. He worked on congressional campaigns in four southwestern states. He spent a decade on Capitol Hill working for various members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including as chief of staff for Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.).

At Raben, Michael has advised foundations, nonprofit organizations, and corporations on their efforts to advance more inclusive policies across a range of issue areas. He has helped them understand how resources flow from the federal to the state and local levels and how to maximize those opportunities toward advancing equity, as well as how to mitigate the harmful impacts of negative federal policies. Michael has supported clients in their efforts to empower Latino and LGBTQ communities, improve health outcomes, reform the criminal justice system, transform immigration policies, and promote diversity and inclusion, among other issues. He has also helped clients identify opportunities for new partnerships and built coalitions of diverse stakeholders to advance the confirmation of high-profile nominees to the Supreme Court and President Barack Obama’s cabinet.

Michael graduated from Occidental College and received his master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is an abstract and non-representational painter who brings a creative and thoughtful approach to all his endeavors — whether in art or public policy.