Person

Patrick Steel

Occupation:

Investment Banker

Known for:

CEO of Politico until 2021

Lives:

Washington, DC

Patrick Steel is the current CEO of Politico and a former Clinton administration official and investment banker. He took over as the CEO of Politico in 2017 and led the political news organization through the majority of its reporting on the Trump administration. He announced plans to step down from Politico in the summer of 2021. [1]

Steel is a longtime donor to Democratic political campaigns, donating over $60,000 since 2000 to Democratic candidates including former Vice President Al Gore, former President Barack Obama, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [2]

Steel is married to Lee Satterfield,[3] a former staffer in the Obama and Clinton administrations who was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State. [4]

Background and Personal Life

Steel grew up in New York City, where his father was a partner at a New York-based law firm and his mother was a psychoanalyst. Steel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received a master’s degree in legal and political theory from the University of London. [5]

Steel subsequently held a variety of positions throughout Clinton administration. He initially worked in the White House as Scheduler for President Bill Clinton, then went to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) where he served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Agriculture from 1997 to 1999. Also in the Clinton administration, Steel worked as the Associate Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service at the USDA and as Senior Advisor on the White House China Trade Relations Working Group. [6]

In 1997, Steel married fellow Clinton Administration staffer Lee Satterfield. [7] Satterfield, a South Carolina native, also worked as Deputy Scheduler to President Clinton and was later Staff Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. During President Clinton’s second term, Satterfield worked as the Deputy Chief of Staff, then as Chief of Staff to then-Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman. [8]

Satterfield later worked for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), in the Obama administration’s State Department under Secretary Hillary Clinton, and as the president and chief operating officer of the Meridian International Center. [9] In 2021, President 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 the Obama administration. [10]

Following his time in the Clinton administration, Steel worked as an investment banker at FBR & Co., an investment bank based in Arlington, Virginia. [11]

Politico

In 2017, Patrick Steel was hired as the CEO of political trade publication Politico, taking over operations of the news organization from owner and co-founder Robert Albritton. Albritton himself took over CEO duties in 2016 after Politico suffered a public falling out with co-founder Jim VandeHei, who left to start rival political news site Axios. Steel’s departure from FBR & Co, which is based in the same Arlington, Virginia neighborhood as Politico, came at a time when the investment bank was being sold to B. Riley Financial Inc. in a $160 million stock deal. [12]

Upon Steel’s hiring, Politico defended his past partisanship and donations to Democratic campaigns, which totaled over $60,000 and included donations to Democratic presidential campaigns for former Vice President Al Gore, former President Obama, and former Secretary Clinton. In response to criticism, Politico stated that Steel’s duties as CEO ran counter to ideology, claiming that Steel was simply a businessman. [13]

In February 2021, Steel announced his intention to leave Politico at some time during the summer of 2021. Steel stated that with a new presidential administration, it seemed like an opportune time to start another chapter in his career. Steel’s announced departure came upon the heels of three notable reporters, Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer, and John Bresnahan, leaving Politico to start a rival news site, Punchbowl News. [14]

References

  1. 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 ^
  2. Adams, Becket. “Politico defends its CEO’s contributions to Democratic lawmakers.” Washington Examiner. April 26, 2017. Accessed May 20, 2021.  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politico-defends-its-ceos-contributions-to-democratic-lawmakers ^
  3. “Lee Satterfield.” Meridian International Center. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.meridian.org/profile/lee-satterfield/ ^
  4. 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 ^
  5. “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 ^
  6. “Patrick Steel.” Politico. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.politico.com/staff/patrick-steel ^
  7. “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 ^
  8. “Lee Satterfield.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lee-satterfield/ ^
  9. “Lee Satterfield.” Meridian International Center. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://www.meridian.org/profile/lee-satterfield/ ^
  10. 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 ^
  11. Fruehling, Douglas. “Politico Taps FBR Exec as CEO.” Washington Business Journal. April 25, 2017. Accessed May 20, 2021.  https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2017/04/25/politico-taps-fbr-exec-as-ceo.html ^
  12. Fruehling, Douglas. “Politico Taps FBR Exec as CEO.” Washington Business Journal. April 25, 2017. Accessed May 20, 2021.  https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2017/04/25/politico-taps-fbr-exec-as-ceo.html ^
  13. Adams, Becket. “Politico defends its CEO’s contributions to Democratic lawmakers.” Washington Examiner. April 26, 2017. Accessed May 20, 2021.  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politico-defends-its-ceos-contributions-to-democratic-lawmakers ^
  14. 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 ^
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