At a Glance
- Career History: Communications Director, House Committee on Ways and Means (2007 to 2008); Press secretary, Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La. (2006); Communications Director, Republican Policy Committee (2005 to 2006)
- Birthday: Feb. 5, 1977
- Hometown: Durham, N.C.
- Alma Mater: University of North Carolina, B.A. (journalism), 1999; Columbia University School of Journalism, M.S., , 2003
- Spouse: Single
- Office: 1011 Longworth H.O.B.; 202-225-4000
- Email : N/A
- Web site
Path to Power
Steel was born in Durham, N.C., in 1977. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina in 1999, where he studied journalism. After graduation, he pursued a career as a political reporter in Washington, D.C.. He worked for the National Journal where he "got sent to cover the least popular story of the day on Capitol Hill" for two years before returning to the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, where he earned his M.S. in 2003.
Steel returned to Washington soon after, but this time, he was giving the quotes not getting them. He took a job as press secretary for Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.). He campaigned for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in 2004. Steel explained his decision to join Shadegg's office this way: "I decided I enjoyed being on the other side of the telephone," he said.
"You don't get better than Mike Steel when it comes to messaging," wrote conservative blogger Sean Noble in March 2009. It's a good thing - in the 110th Congress, House Republicans had to sell their ideas to the American public while in the minority.
As a chief spokesman for the House GOP cause, Steel is part of a high-profile staff that pushes daily stories, responds to dust-ups and crafts long-term GOP messaging. He has said that having the Democrats in power is "a great opportunity to contrast the Republican vision."
Steel has worked closely with Kevin Smith, who leads Boehner's communications team.
He is also in frequent contact with Brad Dayspring , communications director for House GOP Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.); Matt Lloyd , communications director for Rep. Mike Pence ; and Josh Holmes , staff director for the Senate Republican Communications Center.