Person

Lee Satterfield

Occupation:

President and COO, Meridian International Center

Nominee for Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Lives:

Washington, DC

Lee Satterfield is a former Democratic Party operative and Obama administration official who is the president and COO of the Meridian International Center, an international relations organization that is largely funded by grants from the U.S. Department of State. Satterfield worked in several roles within the Clinton administration followed by a stint at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) before she joined the Obama administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the State Department. [1] In 2021, she was nominated by President Joe Biden to be the Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. [2]

Satterfield is married to Patrick Steel, the outgoing CEO of Politico. [3]

Background

Lee Satterfield is a South Carolina native who attended the University of South Carolina, where she received a degree in journalism. Early in her career, she held a variety of roles in the Clinton administration for the entirety of former President Bill Clinton’s two terms. She initially worked in the White House as the Vice Presidential Scheduler for then-Vice President Al Gore before becoming Deputy Director of Presidential Scheduling for President Clinton and Staff Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. [4]

During President Clinton’s second term, Satterfield worked as the Deputy Chief of Staff, then as Chief of Staff to Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman. During her time at the Department of Labor, Satterfield acted as the liaison between the Department of Labor and the White House and directed the Department’s Congressional relations and communications strategies. [5]

Following the Clinton administration, Satterfield worked as the director of planning for the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where she oversaw the site selection for the Boston convention. She also was the deputy chief operating officer and chief of staff at the Democratic National Committee (DNC). [6]

Obama Administration

After President Barack Obama took office in 2009, Lee Satterfield joined the State Department under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, where she initially served as Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States, a position responsible for coordinating visits to the U.S. from foreign heads of state and other dignitaries. She then served as Acting Assistant Secretary of State and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Professional and Cultural Exchanges at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the program responsible for leading global academic and cultural exchanges. While at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Satterfield was part of the U.S. delegation by then-Second Lady Jill Biden to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Satterfield also worked with the Chinese government as the cultural working group chair of the U.S. China Consultation on People-to-People Exchanges in Beijing in 2012. [7]

Meridian International Center

Upon leaving the Obama administration, Satterfield joined the Meridian International Center, a nonprofit international relations organization that leads various international cultural exchanges and education programs. In 2021, she was promoted to president and chief operating officer of the organization. [8] The organization is primarily funded through grants from the State Department. [9]

In 2019, Satterfield earned $273,034 in total compensation from the Meridian International Center. [10]

Biden Administration

In 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Satterfield to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, a role she previously held in an acting capacity during her time as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the same bureau. [11]

Personal Life

Lee Satterfield is married to Patrick Steel, a former investment banker and Clinton administration official. Steel worked as CEO of Politico after taking over leadership of the political news site in 2017. [12] The couple was married in 1997 while both were working in the Clinton administration. At the time of their marriage. Steel was Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of Agriculture and was previously the Deputy Director of Scheduling for President Clinton, and Satterfield was working in the White House Office of Public Liaison. [13]

References

  1. “Lee Satterfield.” Meridian International Center. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.meridian.org/profile/lee-satterfield/ ^
  2. Schechter, Maayan. “Joe Biden nominates SC native, USC graduate to State Department job.” The State. April 28, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article250987084.html ^
  3. Robertson, Katie. “Politico’s chief executive is stepping down this year.” The New York Times. February 2, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/02/business/Patrick-Steel-politico.html ^
  4. “Lee Satterfield.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lee-satterfield/ ^
  5. “Lee Satterfield.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lee-satterfield/ ^
  6. “Lee Satterfield.” Meridian International Center. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.meridian.org/profile/lee-satterfield/ ^
  7. “Lee Satterfield.” Meridian International Center. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.meridian.org/profile/lee-satterfield/ ^
  8. “Meridian International Names Lee Satterfield as President and COO.” Meridian International Center. January 25, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.meridian.org/news/lee-satterfield-meridian-president/ ^
  9. “Questionable Nomination of Meridian President Lee Satterfield to Department that Currently Funds Her Organization.” BidenNoms.com. May 19, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021.  https://www.bidennoms.com/news/641/lee-satterfield-nominated-to-state-with-questionable-ethical-concerns ^
  10. “IRS form 990.” Meridian International Center. 2019. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/530259663/202002189349301230/full ^
  11. Schechter, Maayan. “Joe Biden nominates SC native, USC graduate to State Department job.” The State. April 28, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article250987084.html ^
  12. Robertson, Katie. “Politico’s chief executive is stepping down this year.” The New York Times. February 2, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/02/business/Patrick-Steel-politico.html ^
  13. “Lee Satterfield and Patrick Steel.” The New York Times. May 5, 1997. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/04/style/lee-satterfield-and-patrick-steel.html ^
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