Brette Steele serves as the Senior Director for Preventing Targeted Violence at the McCain Institute for International Leadership. In this capacity, she provides strategic leadership and operational management for the Institute’s program to prevent all forms of targeted violence, terrorism, and their impacts in the United States and around the world.
Under Steele’s leadership, the Preventing Targeted Violence team has launched three separate programs to empower communities to stand up to hate-based violence consisting of global student innovation challenges, creating a national Prevention Practitioners Network, and developing a National Policy Blueprint to End Violent White Supremacy. With her extensive experience working in the Prevention and Intervention space, Steele serves as a resource to the community of experts identifying opportunities to partner with external organizations in order to increase the efficacy of locally based prevention frameworks and programs. Additionally, Steele serves as the Chair for the Board of Life After Hate.
Prior to joining the McCain Institute, Steele served as the Regional Director of Strategic Engagement for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Terrorism Prevention Partnerships. In that role she advised the State of California in the development of a statewide Preventing Violent Extremism Strategy and partnered with counties, cities, and nonprofit organizations to develop and implement Preventing Violent Extremism programs.
Steele established and served as Deputy Director of the U.S. Countering Violent Extremism Task Force, which coordinated all federal efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States. Prior to establishing the Countering Violent Extremism Task Force, Steele served as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General and coordinated the U.S. Department of Justice’s terrorism prevention and forensic science reform initiatives. Steele also chaired the U.S. Department of Justice Arab- and Muslim-American Engagement Advisory Committee and vice chaired the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Steele graduated with a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from UCLA School of Law.