Michael F. Motala practices freelance business journalism, and his writing has appeared in the Globe & Mail, National Post, National Magazine, the Banking and Finance Law Review, the Canadian Tax Journal, and elsewhere. Michael’s research and writing on the sharing economy has twice been the recipient of the J.S.D. Tory Research and Writing Award at Osgoode Hall Law School (2015 & 2016), and it was recently awarded the Canadian Tax Foundation’s Fasken Martineau DuMoulin Award for best scholarship in international taxation (2016).

Michael is currently a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) student in international relations at the University of Toronto, where he is also a holder of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Fellowship, the most prestigious doctoral award funded the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Michael recently graduated from Columbia Journalism School with an MA in Business and Economics, where he wrote a thesis on Brexit supervised by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist James B. Stewart. Michael also holds a Juris Doctor (JD) from Osgoode Hall Law School and has studied law at Columbia Law School, Cornell Law School, and Ecole droit de la Sorbonne. Michael also holds an M.Sc. in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), and an H.Ba. in International Relations Specialist from the University of Toronto, Trinity College.

Outside writing, Michael has worked in diplomacy, finance, securities, human rights advocacy, federal law reform, and think tanks. He is currently a member and co-principal author on the Just Society Committee at Egale Human Rights Trust. Michael has previously held the Frederic Bastiat Fellowship at the Mercatus Center, George Mason University (2015-16), the NATO Association Junior Research Fellowship (2014 – 2015), and a Junior Research Fellowship with the Canadian Center for the Responsibility to Protect (CCR2P). 

Literary representation

 I am represented by Melissa Flashman at Janklow & Nesbit Associates in New York. Please see janklowandnesbit.com for more details.

I am represented by Melissa Flashman at Janklow & Nesbit Associates in New York. Please see janklowandnesbit.com for more details.

Academic Credentials

  • Ph.D., University of Toronto (2017 - Present)
  • M.A., Columbia University (2016 - 2017)
  • J.D., Osgoode Hall Law School (2014 - 2017)
  • M.Sc., London School of Economics (2011 - 2012)
  • H.Ba., University of Toronto (2007 - 2011)

Selected Awards

  • Finalist (Top 3/109 Submissions), Financial Times-McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize (2017)
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Fellowship $105,000 (2017)
  • JSD Tory Legal Research and Writing Award $1,500 (2017)
  • Canadian Tax Foundation Fasken Martineau Awards $2,000 (2016)
  • Columbia Hearst Scholarship $24,500 (2016)
  • JSD Tory Legal Research and Writing Award $1,500 (2016)
  • LGBT Community Contribution Award $1,500 (2016)
  • Frédéric Bastiat Fellow in Political Economy $5,000 (2015)
  • Borden Ladner Gervais Academic and Professional Excellence Award $1,500 (2015)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top Award $14,000 (2007-11)
  • Canadian Millennium Scholarship $5,000 (2007)


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