Michael Kitay’s interest in overseas development began after his graduation from the University of Virginia Law School when, as a Peace Corps volunteer, he served for two years as a law professor at the University of Liberia Law School. Upon leaving the Peace Corps, he joined a Manhattan law firm where he worked in the firm’s litigation department and later its corporate finance department. After three years in private law practice in Manhattan, he was recruited by the USAID General Counsel’s office where he served until his retirement.
At USAID, he was promoted to the Senior Executive Service and served at different times as the Assistant General Counsel for the Asia Bureau, the Near East Bureau, the Bureau for Population and Health and the Economic Growth Bureau. He won various USAID service awards including a Presidential Rank Award as the creator of USAID’s multi-billion-dollar Development Credit Authority and the USAID Distinguished Career Award. During his USAID career when he was Counsel to the Office of Housing and Urban Programs, he wrote a book on land policy while a visiting scholar at the Harvard Law School — Land Acquisition in Developing Countries, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, hard cover series. He also authored various academic journal articles on issues of land policy and other housing and urban development issues
After retirement from USAID, he was recruited by Abt Associates Inc. where he became its General Counsel. And shortly after retiring from Abt, he was recruited by the nonprofit Plan International USA to be the Vice President and General Counsel. He retired from Plan International in December 2018 and is now serving Counterpart International on a part-time basis as “of counsel.”