Michael Thielen has served as the Republican National Lawyers Association’s Executive Director since late 2000. He graduated from the University of California Los Angeles (B.A. History, 1989) and Pepperdine School of Law (J.D., 1993). He has helped oversee a twelve-fold increase in the size of the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) and is working on further improving the RNLA for its members and to better advance Republican ideals.
As Executive Director of the RNLA, Michael has organized events both large and small from CLE accredited trainings to major speeches by leading political figures such as Vice President Cheney. Vice President Cheney thanked Michael in 2005 at the RNLA Policy Conference for his work at RNLA when he stated: “I want to thank Harvey Tettlebaum, Bob Horn, Michael Thielen, and their team for making this such a well organized, well run, and effective association.” Even the far left, in a study for the Center for Voting Rights & Protection stated that during Michael’s tenure the RNLA had “professionalized ballot [integrity]…with a cadre of highly trained, aggressive, and mobile lawyers who can go anywhere in the nation on short notice.”
Since coming to Washington, DC in 1994, Michael has had a history of working in Republican and conservative politics. He worked for the Republican National Committee (RNC) from 1994 through the 1996 election. At the end of the cycle, he worked as a Senior Research Analyst for the RNC. In this position, he uncovered the connection between Arief Wiriadinata and the Clinton administration which became the Chinese Campaign Finance Scandal or the John Huang scandal. He also helped to uncover information linking the Clintons to alleged Mafia Union Boss Arthur Coia.
After leaving the RNC, Michael went to work for candidates for elected office in Virginia including candidates for Congress, Attorney General and the Virginia House of Delegates. In the latter, he worked for a candidate who unseated a 22-year incumbent. In addition, Michael has executed independent research projects for candidates for Federal and State office.
Michael has also worked for conservative advocacy organizations. In 1998 and 1999, he worked as Communications Director for a conservative seniors' group, the 60 Plus Association, which has been a leader in the fight to end the Death Tax. He followed his work at 60 Plus by working for CapitolWatch, one of the nation’s oldest taxpayer advocacy groups, first as Communications Director, then as Legislative Director, and finally as Vice President until leaving to work for the RNLA full time.
Michael was also appointed to the 2006 Presidential Rank Review Board which reviews the accomplishments of nominees -- career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES), and Senior-Level (SL) and Scientific and Professional (ST) communities -- for the 2006 Presidential Award of Distinguished Rank.