Chair, Republican National Committee, 2009-11
A self-described Lincoln Republican, Michael S. Steele was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 30, 2009 after he earned a place in history in 2003 when he became the first African-American elected to statewide office in Maryland. His first major exposure was during an appearance at the 2004 Republican National Convention, and since then President George W. Bush chose Steele to be part of the U.S. delegation to the investiture of Pope Benedict XVI. Steele has been a guest on cable political talk shows such as HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report.
An expert on political strategy, fund-raising, PACs, and election reform, he has also held posts on the National Federal Election Reform Commission and the NAACP Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform. As a senior advisor to GROWpac, he advised House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts (R–OK) on strategic and political issues.