Sally Steenland

Director, the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, Center for American Progress

Sally Steenland is Director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at American Progress. In 2005, she organized the Initiative’s “national conversations,” a series of town-hall meetings and discussions across the country on pressing issues of faith and policy. She guides the Initiative’s work on a variety of policy issues, including faith and science, the role of religion in the public square, diversity and tolerance, economics, the environment, and cultural and social matters. She also co-edited the Global Common Good, a collection of essays by policy experts and faith leaders that argues that U.S. foreign policy must go beyond preconceived notions of national self-interest and security by including our ethical obligations to the global community.

In the 1990s, she was a frequent op-ed columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In the 1980s, she was Deputy Director of the National Commission on Working Women, where she wrote major studies on women’s employment and women in the media and directed projects involving women in nonprofessional jobs. For several years she taught English, filmmaking and critical media studies in high schools.

Steenland has written two best-selling books, The Magnetic Poetry Book and the award-winning Kids’ Magnetic Book of Poetry. Her short stories have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, and her story collection, Skin and Bones, was a finalist in the 2004 Bakeless Literary Prize for fiction. Steenland was raised in a Dutch Calvinist community in northern New Jersey. She received a B.A. in English from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a Masters in Education from Howard