About Michael Zacharia

Michael Zacharia is an executive coach and consultant to top executives in Fortune 150 companies as well as leaders of prominent non-profits and institutions of higher education. He has developed a thriving coaching practice based purely on word of mouth. Michael also conducts private mediations and teaches cross-cultural negotiations and dispute resolution as Adjunct Professor of Law at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law.

Michael is also Co-Director of the Pacis Project on Faith Based Diplomacy, which is a joint venture between Pepperdine University and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. The Pacis Project was the recipient of the 2011 Peacemaker of the Year Award for its work in the Middle East. The award is given by the Association for Conflict Resolution, the nation’s largest professional association for mediators, arbitrators, educators and other conflict resolution practitioners.

Michael retired in July, 2007 after twelve years as Executive Vice President for Business Development, General Counsel and Secretary of DFS Group Limited, the world’s largest travel retail company, in order to enroll as a full time student at the Straus Institute where he earned his LL.M degree in Conflict Resolution. At DFS, Michael was responsible for negotiating the international deals for the company, and for six years he and his family lived in Hong Kong. Prior to joining DFS, Michael was a partner for seven years in a large and nationally renowned Washington D.C. law firm. Previously, Michael was a litigation partner in the largest law firm in Sacramento, California.

In 1988, Michael was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration. Michael served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Trade Controls where he was responsible for heading the United States delegation in international negotiations with our NATO allies on export trade controls. Michael also served as Special Counsel to the Under Secretary for International Trade in the Commerce Department. In 1981, Michael was selected by a Presidential Commission after a nationwide, highly competitive process as one of 14 White House Fellows and served as Special Assistant in the office of the United States Secretary of State.

Michael is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated in the top 4% of his class and Order of the Coif from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review. After law school, Michael served as a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. He also externed for the California Supreme Court.

Michael and his wife, Debi, live in Folsom, CA, and have six children ranging in age from 38 to 18. Michael is an avid fly fisherman and runner, completing ten marathons and the 100K Trail Walker race in Hong Kong.


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“These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

Colossians 2:17