Stephen Steinlight's Biography

Senior Policy Analyst


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One of the nation’s most insightful voices on immigration, Dr. Stephen Steinlight is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in Washington, DC. He focuses on ascending trends in immigration and immigration policy, America’s changing demography and culture, the politics of immigration, the impact of immigration on the nation’s social cohesion, and the consequences of massive low-skill immigration on America’s most vulnerable groups. He is also concerned with the nexus between immigration and national security in an age of Jihadist terrorism and significant Muslim migration to Western Europe and the United States.

Dr. Steinlight has testified before the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives and the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate. He has also provided expert testimony before state legislatures and State Freedom of Information Commissions. He has shared podiums with members of the House and presidential candidates. He has also addressed hundreds of state legislator and civic and religious groups across the country, been a panelist at conferences and public forums, and is frequently interviewed on radio and TV. He has written extensively on many of the central issues in the immigration debate.

Prior to joining CIS, he was Executive Director of the American Anti-Slavery Group, the Boston-based abolitionist organization. For eight years he was National Affairs Director at the American Jewish Committee (AJC) where he oversaw its public policy agenda centered on First Amendment issues, civil rights, immigration, and social policy. While at AJC, Dr. Steinlight was a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and founded and served as Senior Advisor to the critically-acclaimed commonQuest: The Magazine of Black-Jewish Relations.

He also served as Vice President of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ) for three years. He convened the first global interreligious dialogues involving dissident Muslim scholars; played a lead role in propagating community-oriented policing; worked on issues affecting Native Americans; and directed the largest survey of intergroup attitudes ever undertaken in America: Taking America’s Pulse: A Survey of Intergroup Attitudes in the United States.

Prior to joining NCCJ, he was Director of Education at the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the body responsible for developing the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dr. Steinlight was co-creator of the Museum’s “Remember the Children Exhibition.”

A magna cum laude graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University, upon graduation he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and received the Columbia College Alumni Merit Award. He was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a Kellett Fellow, and a Marshall Scholar at the University of Sussex, England, where he received his M.Phil and PhD. He was a professor of English and Victorian Studies for 20 years, teaching at the University of Sussex, the State University of New York; the Institút Britannique de Paris; and the School of Graduate Studies, New York University. The recipient of numerous academic honors and visiting professorship, he has been a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and is currently an Associate Fellow at Timothy Dwight College, Yale University.

Dr. Steinlight is author of two books: Fractious Nation? Unity and Division in Contemporary American Life (UC-Berkeley Press, 2003); and Children of Abraham (K’TAV 2002): An Introduction to Islam and Islamism co-authored with one of the foremost scholar/opponents of Islamism, the late Khalid Durán. Both authors received fatwas for having written the book. Dr. Steinlight was also selected by the United States Council for Peace to join a team of conflict-resolution and civil society experts sent to Macedonia in 2003 to maintain the ceasefire in that nation’s civil war and create a process for President Trajkovski and his cabinet to work with leading jurists and former rebels to amend its constitution.

Dr. Steinlight lives in New York City.