Former chair of the Republican National Committee to speak at Benedictine

August 31, 2012

Steele M-Photo (High Res HEADSHOT 2011)Lisle, Illinois ~ Some Republicans blame former party chairman Michael Steele for the selection of Tampa, Fla. as the site of this year's national convention, a charge he vehemently refutes.

"These guys still want to pick over bones with me about the Republican National Committee – they didn't like my style, but to blame the hurricane on me when they voted on it unanimously is amazing to me," Steele was quoted in the Washington Post on August 27.

Despite his acrimonious relationship with the Republican Party – he was voted out as chairman after serving from 2009 to 2011 and was not invited to the convention – Steele still espouses many of the party's philosophies and can often be seen on MSNBC presenting and defending their views.

Steele will share his experiences as party chairman, his expertise on political strategy and other topics related to the heated 2012 presidential election when he speaks at Benedictine University's Krasa Student Center at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19 as part of the "Presidential Election Series 2012" sponsored by the Center for Civic Leadership (CCL).

Last April, CCL's "Presidential Election Series 2012" featured Democratic strategist and political advisor David Axelrod. Steele was invited to speak at Benedictine by Jim Ryan, the former Illinois Attorney General who serves as director of CCL.

Adopted at birth and educated at Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University School of Law, Steele has worked in both the public and private sectors. He was an associate at a Washington, D.C. law firm and later served as lieutenant governor in Maryland before an unsuccessful run for the U.S. senate in 2006.

Steele served in various capacities in state and national party politics before he was elected RNC chairman in 2009. Since his exit from the chairmanship, Steele consults and writes on law, business and politics. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times,, and The Journal of International Security Affairs.

Established in 2005 under the direction of Ryan, a 1968 Benedictine graduate and Distinguished Fellow at his alma mater, CCL seeks to shape a new generation of public leaders and responsible citizens. Each year, CCL invites prominent public figures to speak about the importance of active citizenship and public service.

In recent years, CCL has hosted then-state Sen. Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.), Washington Post columnists Bob Woodward and David Broder, CNN's Peter Bergen, Children's Defense Fund Director Marian Wright Edelman, University of Chicago legal scholar Cass Sunstein, human rights advocate Paul Rusesabagina and former Illinois Gov. James Edgar.

The event is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. A 2016 PayScale Inc. report ranked BenU one of the top 10 colleges in Illinois for return on investment and in the top 20 percent nationally. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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