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President & Executive Director

Brief info

Mike Dovilla is the inaugural President and Executive Director of the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Ohio. As the key management leader of the Foundation, he has overall strategic and operational responsibility for executing the organization’s purpose and overseeing its administration, programs, and strategic plan.

A native of Cleveland, Mike has dedicated his life to public service. Among other roles, he has served as chief of staff of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; majority whip of the Ohio House of Representatives, in which he was elected to three terms as a state legislator for southwestern Cuyahoga County; advisor to U.S. Sen. George V. Voinovich; and Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State.

As an entrepreneur, Mike has founded and led two small businesses in northeast Ohio, The Dovilla Group, a strategic consulting firm engaged in government relations and public policy advocacy, and The Grindstone Institute, a human resources and leadership development company.

Mike is a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He earned his commission in 2002 and is qualified as an Intelligence Officer and an Information Warfare Officer. In 2007-2008, he completed a 12-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; he was again recalled to active duty in 2020 for service in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various campaign and unit awards.

Mike holds a Master of Public Administration from American University and a Bachelor of Arts from Baldwin Wallace University. He has earned a Joint Professional Military Education diploma from the U.S. Naval War College and a certificate for the Senior Managers in Government executive education program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in educational policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

During more than two decades as a volunteer, Mike has coached college students as a mentor with College Now Greater Cleveland and as a graduate advisor for Phi Kappa Tau, a men’s leadership organization of which he is a Past National President. A member of the Class of 2020 in the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, he is an engaged alumnus of the American Marshall Memorial Fellows program, a Scottish Rite Mason, and a member of numerous civic, fraternal, and veterans organizations. Mike resides in his hometown of Berea, Ohio.

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