Director of Field Outreach and Advocacy, Poverty to Prosperity Program
Expertise: Poverty, education, criminal justice, American Indian/Alaska Native issues, LGBT issues
Erik Stegman is the Director of Field Outreach and Advocacy for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at American Progress. In this role, he leads the team’s advocacy and outreach strategy, working with a national network of grassroots advocates and coalition partners to build the public and political will to dramatically reduce poverty. He also leads the development of the “Half in Ten Annual Poverty and Inequality Indicators Report” and develops policy and analysis supporting opportunity for rural and American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
Prior to joining the team at American Progress, Stegman served as majority counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs under the leadership of Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI). He was an expert on a wide range of policy issues affecting tribal governments, including economic development, law enforcement, violence against women, tax, education, and telecommunications. He also took the lead on developing the Stand Against Violence and Empower Native Women Act, which was signed into law as part of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2013.
Stegman was appointed in 2011 to serve as policy advisor to Assistant Deputy Secretary Kevin Jennings at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. During his time in the administration, he led an intra-agency working group on American Indian policy development. Stegman also organized the first-ever federal lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, youth summit, which brought LGBT youth from across the country together with officials from the departments of education, justice, and health and human services.
He began his career in Washington, D.C., at the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center, where he managed several national networks of policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and tribal leaders to develop research and policy priorities on a range of issues facing tribal governments and communities.
Stegman holds a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, or UCLA, School of Law, an M.A. in American Indian studies from UCLA’s graduate division, and a B.A. from Whittier College. He also served for seven years on the national board of directors for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, from which he earned the Charley Todd Award for Outstanding Board Leadership.