Commissioner Whaley was elected to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners in August 2018, and re-elected to a second term in August of 2022. Commissioner Whaley represents District 5 in East Memphis and Cordova.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy from Southern Methodist University.
He serves as the Tennessee Director of Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) where he works with current and former teachers to build their civic engagement and leadership. Commissioner Whaley was also the Founder and Executive Director of Memphis College Prep, a kindergarten through fifth-grade public elementary school. He is active in several local communities and civil boards, including Shelby Farms Park, the Downtown Memphis Commission, and Let’s Innovate Through Education (LITE).
A member of 2006 Teach for America corps in Memphis, Michael taught elementary school with Memphis City Schools before being selected for the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship, nationally recognized for its rigorous, year-long training program in school leadership.
Commissioner Whaley is a seasoned traveler, having been to all the continents at least twice, except Antarctica. He is currently studying to be a sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. He is the proud owner of Harper, a Labrador retriever.