Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor
Michael S. Steele is a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Board of Directors. Steele made history when he became the first African-American to be elected to statewide office in Maryland, where he served as lieutenant governor from 2003 to 2007, and when he was chosen to be the first African-American chairperson of the Republican National Committee (RNC) from 2009 to 2011.
As chairman of the RNC, Steele was charged with revitalizing the Republican Party. Under his leadership the RNC broke fundraising records, with more than $198 million raised during the 2010 congressional cycle; and Republicans won 63 House seats, the biggest pickup since 1938. Steele’s commitment to grassroots organizing and party-building at the state and local levels produced 12 governorships and the greatest share of state legislative seats since 1928, reflecting a pickup of more than 600 seats.
As lieutenant governor of Maryland, Steele’s priorities included improving the quality of Maryland’s public education system (he championed the state’s charter school law); expanding economic development in the state; reforming the state’s Minority Business Enterprise program; and fostering cooperation between government and faith-based organizations to help those in need.
Steele’s abilities as a communicator and commentator have been showcased through his current role as a political analyst for MSNBC. He has appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’s Face the Nation, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. In addition to his work in television, Steele can be heard each week on his radio program, Steele & Ungar, on the POTUS Channel on SiriusXM.
Steele’s writings on law, business and politics have appeared in The Grio.com, The Root.com, BET.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico.com, Townhall.com, The Journal of International Security Affairs and Catholic University Law Review, among others.
He is the author of Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda and a contributor to The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis.
Born at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Steele was raised in Washington, D.C. Upon graduating from Johns Hopkins University in 1981, he entered the Order of St. Augustine, where studied for the priesthood. He is a 1991 graduate of Georgetown Law Center, an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership and a fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.