Mike Rosenbaum is a businessman and economist who believes that underserved, rural, and urban populations contain just as many people with the talent to succeed but they are often overlooked by an unfair and biased system that locks them out of economic opportunity. Now Mike is running for Governor to help create opportunity for all Marylanders, no matter their race, gender, or class.Watch the launch video
Mike Rosenbaum is a lifelong Marylander who made a bet on Baltimore when he left his career, maxed out his credit cards, and started a company based on the premise that talent is evenly distributed but access to opportunity is not. Mike started his first business in Maryland 21 years ago, has raised his kids with his wife in Baltimore, and has spent his professional life creating jobs throughout Maryland and our country.
Since an early age Mike has been instilled with a belief that any successful community is built on a foundation of hope and dignity. Mike’s mother Susie, a school teacher, and his father Bob, a lawyer, raised Mike and his brother in Montgomery County and built their home and family with values of humility, selflessness, and hard work.
Early in his childhood Mike gravitated to math. It just made sense to him. Mike was a mathlete all through high school on the Math team. It was Mike’s precocious math skills that got him into Harvard, the London School of Economics, and later, Harvard Law School.
Mike was influenced by the experiences of his grandfather, Martin Rosenbaum. Martin and his two brothers escaped Germany and came to the US between 1929 and 1934, as Hitler and the Nazis were coming to power. The idea that violence and hatred could happen anywhere was an important part of Mike’s family’s lore, and he grew up determined to feel safe. Mike’s grandfather’s experiences were a constant reminder of the fragility of life and the daily insecurity we often live with, especially physical and economic security. Some of those same themes—fewer pathways to security and hope—were also present in the United States, and drove his decisions to work on these issues as an academic and a policymaker.
In the 1990s, Mike briefly worked on trade and other issues in the US Department of State, and joined the Clinton White House as an economist focused on tech, labor, urban and rural policy for the Council of Economic Advisers and Vice President Al Gore. Mike also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Diana Gribbon Motz at the Fourth Circuit US Court of Appeals.
It was Mike’s work during the Clinton Administration that really opened his eyes to the fact that talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not. Every day people are overlooked for jobs in which they would thrive. So, through his companies, Catalyte and Arena, Mike took a different approach, using data to identify potential regardless of where people are from, who they are, or who they know and enabling pathways of economic mobility to create hope and dignity for everyone. As a result, Mike and his companies have helped thousands of people move into higher paying careers, training every type of professional from fast-food workers to farmers to gas station attendants to become some of the best software engineers and app developers in the world. Mike knows that underserved, urban, and rural populations contain just as many people with the talent to succeed, but they are often overlooked by a system that fails to recognize talent and create opportunities. And he has spent his life doing something about it.
These two businesses have shown that a more diverse workforce outperforms competitors, creates a more stable workforce, and drives better financial outcomes and better customer service—all by stripping away the bias that plagues the labor market. Mike did this with the belief that every person is worthy. Every person has talent. But the system is broken. If you fix that system, organizations, people, and the greater society thrive.
In the early years of Catalyte, Mike met and fell in love with his wife, Amy, an attorney and former nurse. Mike and Amy doubled down on their bet on Baltimore by buying a home and raising two daughters in the city.
All of Mike’s life he’s believed that society must be built on a foundation of hope and dignity. It was a belief in these ideals that drove Mike to challenge the status quo, to start Catalyte and Arena. Mike is now making a bet on Maryland by running for Governor. Mike is running for Governor with a vision to continue challenging assumptions and taking on the unfair systems that have plagued our society for years. As one of the richest states, in the richest country in the world, the fact that there is poverty in Maryland is a systemic choice.
Mike believes we have the ability to guarantee a career by creating pathways to jobs for every Marylander. He will work to ensure that anyone in Maryland state who is underemployed, jobless, or pushed out of the workforce can be guaranteed training and a good-paying career in professions like nursing, technology, or other growing industries. He believes we have to rethink why our health care costs more and yet we continue to struggle to keep our families healthy. Ask ourselves, what do we actually want to get out of our schools? And we must redesign the institution plagued by centuries of systemic bias – our criminal justice system.
It will take courage to challenge the system and question assumptions, but Mike will be the Governor that can create a Maryland that works for everyone.