Michael S. Steele was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 30, 2009. As Chairman Mr. Steele is setting a new direction for the Republican Party - actively engaging Americans in their local communities and empowering state and local Republican organizations to do the same.<br /> <br /> A self-described "Lincoln Republican," Mr. Steele earned a place in history in 2003 when he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, becoming the first African-American elected to statewide office in the state.<br /> <br /> An expert on political strategy and election reform, he most recently served as Chairman of GOPAC, and also held posts on the National Federal Election Reform Commission and the NAACP Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform.<br /> <br /> Mr. Steele's experiences as a successful elected conservative African-American Republican and his engaging speaking style have launched him into national prominence. His first major exposure was during an appearance at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Since then, President George W. Bush selected Steele to be part of the U.S. delegation to the investiture of Pope Benedict XVI, and a member of the Presidential Delegation to the Leon H. Sullivan Summit VIII in Tanzania.<br /> <br /> Mr. Steele's ability as a communicator and political analyst have been showcased through his roles as a contributor on the Fox News Channel and regular host of the Salem Radio Network's nationally syndicated Morning in America Show. Additionally, Mr. Steele is an entertaining and eloquent guest on cable political talk shows such as HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher and Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.<br /> <br /> A corporate finance attorney, Mr. Steele founded his own company, The Steele Group, a business and legal consulting firm. His writings on law, business and politics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico.com, Townhall.com, and The Journal of International Security Affairs, among others.<br /> <br /> Born in 1958 at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George's County, Maryland, Mr. Steele was raised in Washington, DC. He spent three years as a seminarian in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood, but, ultimately, chose a career in law instead. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991.