Michael Sinclair is a nonresident senior fellow in the Forward Defense program of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He currently serves as associate general counsel (aviation and space) at the Office of the General Counsel of the Air Force. He retired from the US Coast Guard in 2023 after over twenty-five years of mixed operational and legal experience.

His previous Coast Guard legal assignments include chief of general law at the US Coast Guard, deputy legal advisor on the US National Security Council, legislative counsel at the Coast Guard Office of Congressional Affairs, and attorney/advisor for the US Department of Homeland Security. Sinclair has also served as a federal executive fellow at the Brookings Institution and has conducted Coast Guard operations afloat and ashore including as a patrol boat commanding officer both in the Gulf and off the coast of the United States.

Sinclair is an adjunct professor at George Washington School of Law where he teaches international law in domestic courts and upper-level writing. He holds a Master of Laws (national security) from the Georgetown University Law Center, a juris doctorate from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, a master’s degree in emergency response and disaster management from Touro College, and a Bachelor of Science in government from the US Coast Guard Academy.