Dr. Michael Lea is the director of The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate and Professor of Finance at San Diego State University. As director he is responsible for fostering real estate education, industry outreach and research. Dr. Lea is also a principal of Cardiff Economic Consulting, with a focus on the analysis of domestic and international mortgage markets and institutions. He has provided advice on a wide variety of mortgage and securitization topics as a consultant to international development agencies, government-sponsored enterprises, trade groups, regulatory agencies and major private and public sector financial institutions.


He has more than 25 years of financial services industry experience, including more than 20 years of international advisory work in 30 countries spanning six continents. Dr. Lea has served in senior executive positions at several major U.S. financial institutions including Executive Vice President for Global Market Development at Countrywide Financial and Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. He also served as a staff member for the Presidentís Commission on Housing and was a Brookings Institution Economic Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Dr. Lea has published more than 75 articles and book chapters. He has taught at Cornell University, San Diego State University, the University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.