Although Steve did not arrive in Oregon until he was 3 years old, he still considers himself a native Oregonian. Steve began his career in public policy on the staff of the House Transportation Committee in the 1981 Legislative Session. His first day of work was also his first day in the Capitol Building. Walking up the Capitol steps, through the revolving doors, and into the rotunda on that day, he knew the work he would do in the building mattered. It still does.

“It was well into adulthood before I fully understood Oregon’s relationship with race. More troubling was learning of the significant role played by the state government in creating Oregon’s legacy of systemic racism. I accepted the invitation to join the State Capitol Foundation Board to shed light on how what happens in the Capitol impacts the health, well-being, safety, prosperity, and opportunity for the success of all Oregonians.”

Steve Lee

Steve has more than 30 years as a public policy expert and racial equity leader. After the 1987 Legislative Session, he worked at the White House National AIDS Policy Office, National Association of Counties, and National Institute for Dispute Resolution. He is a former adjunct professor at the New York University Robert J. Wagner School of Public Service. After 25 years in Washington, D.C., he returned to the northwest in 2013 to serve as a senior policy advisor for the Seattle mayor. From 2019-2021, Steve served as Governor Kate Brown’s Affirmative Action Manager. He currently serves as the City of Hillsboro’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager in the City Manager’s Office.

Steve holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from The George Washington University. He lives in Portland’s Central Eastside.