Michael Collins is faculty director of the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a faculty affiliate of the Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, the Institute for Research on Poverty, and the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Collins studies consumer decision-making in the financial marketplace, including the role of public policy in influencing credit, savings and investment choices. His work includes the study of financial capability with a focus on low-income families. He directs the Social Security Administration Financial Literacy Research Consortium site at Wisconsin, a 5 year multi-disciplinary project focused on financial literacy for vulnerable populations. He is also working on projects related to mortgage foreclosure supported by the John D and Catherine T. MacArthur foundation, as well as work on financial counseling and coaching supported by the Annie E. Casey foundation.
Collins brings nearly a decade of applied experience to his research. He founded PolicyLab Consulting Group, a research consulting firm working with national foundations and government agencies, and co-founded MortgageKeeper Referral Services, an online database for mortgage servicers and counselors. He also worked for NeighborWorks America (Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation) and the Millennial Housing Commission. He holds a Masters from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and a B.S. from Miami University (OH).