Christopher Michel

 Christopher Michel

Christopher Michel is the Managing Director of Nautilus Ventures. He is the founder of Affinity Labs and and serves as a Director of International Data Group (IDG), Dale Carnegie, and Ventana. He is also a Governor on the USO World Board.


Chris is the Managing Director of Nautilus Ventures, a fund focused on supporting entrepreneurs in building great companies. He is also the Founder of Affinity Labs, a digital media company managing a portfolio of leading online professional communities. In 2008, Affinity Labs was acquired by Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW).

Prior to founding Affinity Labs, he founded, the nation's largest military membership organization in the United States. connects its 12 million members to the lifelong benefits of military service and provides public and private sector clients efficient access to the military market. Members trust for career, education and financial services. In 2004, was also acquired by Monster.

Chris also served as a Naval Flight Officer in the United States Navy. While on active duty, Chris flew as a P-3 Navigator, Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander in support of maritime interdiction operations in the Red Sea, NATO enforcement operations in the Adriatic, and counter-narcotics missions in Central America. Following his operational tour, Chris worked in the Pentagon as Aide to the Chief of the Naval Reserve.

Chris serves as a Director of International Data Group (IDG), Dale Carnegie, and Ventana. He is also a Governor on the USO World Board. In addition, he's a Sector Advisor to Maveron LLC, a consumer-focused venture capital firm, and serves on the oversight committee for the Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS), one of six study divisions of the National Academies. He also serves as an advisor to the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), the nation's oldest nonprofit investigative news organization.

Chris is also an avid photographer and spends much of his free time traveling around the world in search of stories to tell through his lens. His images have been published in all kinds of media from magazines to books., his online gallery, contains most of his best work.

Chris earned his commission from the NROTC program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with high distinction and as the Distinguished Naval Graduate. In addition, he holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of The Military Advantage, published by Simon & Schuster in 2005.

Positions held at the OII

  • Advisory Board Member, April 2010 - November 2014