Michael Rein, a seven-year veteran of the Office of Government Relations, has been named the university’s director of community relations.
In his new role, Rein will support and coordinate partnerships and services among the University of Michigan, local government and community organizations representing the greater Ann Arbor area.
He will serve as the primary point of contact on all “town-and-gown” issues, including parking, transportation, off-campus neighborhoods, facility construction, economic development, tourism, public service and safety.
“Mike has shown tremendous leadership and initiative on our team, and we’re thrilled to have him take on this critical role,” said Cynthia H. Wilbanks, vice president for government relations. “His outreach experience and long track record of community leadership made him stand out among our candidates. Mike really knows this community.”
Rein served as the associate director for state outreach prior to taking on the new position. In that role, he built strategic partnerships in the business, institutional, government, education and non-profit sectors throughout the east side of Michigan, from Detroit to Alpena.
He also has been integral to the design and implementation of the past seven Michigan Road Scholar tours for U-M faculty, researchers and executives. The program is designed to increase mutual knowledge and understanding between the university and the people and communities of the state.
Rein said he looks forward to the new challenge of further strengthening the university’s relationship with the local community.
“I am looking forward to the responsibilities and challenges associated with this position,” Rein said. “The relationship with the city of Ann Arbor and the greater community is critically important to the university. I hope to build on the strong foundation that exists today by fostering positive communication and identifying additional opportunities for collaboration.”
Rein has a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Michigan State University. Before joining the Government Relations team in 2011, Rein owned an Ann Arbor-based architectural and planning firm for about 25 years. The business provided the opportunity to regularly work with neighborhood groups, municipal staff and elected officials.
A Saline resident, Rein holds leadership roles on a number of local non-profit boards and business advocacy organizations, including as board chairman of the Washtenaw 100 Club. He also serves on the boards for Destination Ann Arbor and Midtown Detroit Inc., as well as on the public policy committee for the A2Y Chamber of Commerce.