Michael Wiafe is an African immigrant raised in the Inland Empire and a founding member of the California Forward Young Leaders Advisory Council. He was a member of California’s Higher Education Recovery with Equity Task Force, led by the Office of Governor Newsom focusing on the future of California’s higher education in the context of the pandemic alongside state, national and community leaders. Michael is a current graduate student at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and a recent political science graduate of San Diego State University. Michael is a co-founder and co-host of the PolicyWise Podcast, a product of a partnership between Youth Leadership Institute and CA FWD, which offers intergenerational policy discussions centered around today’s youth.
Additionally, he is the season 3 host of the California State University national podcast, Higher Ed Rewired. Wiafe was elected as the 2018-2019 Vice President of External Relations and Chief Communications Officer of Associated Students of San Diego State University, an over $30 million nonprofit organization. In this role, he led student civic engagement, media development, government and community relations, legislative advocacy and student advocacy efforts.
He was subsequently elected to lead the Cal State Student Association (CSSA) as President, which represents and advocates for the over 480,000 students on the 23 campuses of the California State University, the largest 4-year student body in the nation. In this role, he collaborated with institutional and governmental leaders to tackle issues including student basic needs, college affordability, immigration legal services, modernization of the Cal Grant, inequitable student outcomes and more. Continuing in higher education policy, he has spent time at the Public Policy Institute of California’s Higher Education Center and the Lumina Foundation.