Director of Field Outreach and Advocacy
Expertise: Poverty, education, criminal justice, American Indian/Alaska Native issues, LGBT issues
Erik Stegman is the Director of Field Outreach and Advocacy for Half in Ten at American Progress. In this role, he leads Half in Ten’s “Restoring Shared Prosperity” project, contributes to policy development, and manages Half in Ten’s network of grassroots partners and coalition members to support its mission of building the political and public will to reduce poverty.
Prior to joining the team at American Progress, Erik served as majority counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs under the leadership of Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (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 recently signed into law as part of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization.
Erik 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. Erik also organized the first-ever federal gay and transgender youth summit, which brought gay and transgender 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.
Erik holds a J.D. from 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 where he earned the Charley Todd Award for Outstanding Board Leadership.