Michael Curley


Michael Curley is a lawyer who has spent the majority of his career in project finance and the last 25 years in energy and environmental finance.  He joined the Environmental Law Institute as a Visiting Scholar in 2013.  He is the author of Finance Policy for Renewable Energy and a Sustainable Environment, published by Taylor & Francis in 2014.  The Central University for Finance & Economics in China is translating this book into Chinese and asked Mr. Curley to write a special Preface for them.

Mr. Curley also wrote The Handbook of Project Finance for Water and Wastewater Systems (Handbook), published by Times/Mirror.  He recently finished writing Fundamentals of Water Finance, which was just published by Taylor & Francis in October, 2016.  He contributes to the Huffington Post, and is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Club, where his sits on the Book & Author Committee.  He has published over 45 articles – 6 in 2015, 3 in 2016, and 3 more in the works. His author page can be found at: “michael-curley-amazon.”

In 1990, Mr. Curley was appointed to the Environmental Financial Advisory Board at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he served for 21 years under four Presidents.  Over the last 20 years, he has taught environmental & energy finance and law courses at the Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University as well as Vermont Law School.  He founded the Environmental Finance Centers at the University of Maryland, Syracuse University and Cleveland State University.

In the early 1980’s, he raised the venture capital for, founded, and served as president and CEO of the third municipal bond insurance company in the world and the first to insure economic development projects.  He sold the company to a major international bank.  He was also a partner in the celebrated New York City law firm of Shea & Gould.

Mr. Curley has also served in several roles in government.  First, as Deputy Commissioner & General Counsel of the New York State Department of Economic Development; and then as President and CEO of the State’s bank for economic development.  He was also the General Counsel of the New York State Science & Technology Foundation, the State’s venture capital agency.  Prior to that, Mr. Curley served as Parliamentarian of the New York State Assembly and Associate Counsel to the Speaker and was also an Assistant to Congressman Richard D. McCarthy (D-NY) in Washington, DC.  He also served as Adjunct Professor of Banking & Finance at New York University teaching Venture Capital and Capital Markets.  He has also taught at the Johns Hopkins University and the George Washington Univerity.  Mr. Curley was appointed to the Board of Directors of the United Nations Development Corporation by New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

For the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Curley served as Senior Financial Advisor to the Office of International Affairs where he developed national municipal bond banks for water, wastewater, district heating and other municipal infrastructure for both the Russian Federation and Ukraine, designed a revolving fund for water resources for the Ministry of the Environment in the Republic of Georgia and built fifteen rural water systems and developed the national model for rural water finance in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

As a member of the Board of the International Rural Water Association, Mr. Curley built water and basic sanitation systems in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.  He continues this work privately today in Guatemala.  In 2017, he and a former colleague from the Bloomberg School of Public Health will start writing a book about bringing safe water and basic sanitation to the rural poor in developing countries.  The book will be published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

When Mr. Curley is not doing environmental finance, he is writing fiction.  His first novel, a thriller entitled YELLOWSTONE: Final Extinction, was published in January 2016.  He has recently published a short story entitled “Bridgette’s Guardians” and is currently working on a sequel novel entitled The Calypso Virus.