Leanne Erdberg Steadman is the director of violent extremism at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she leads the Institute’s work on preventing and countering violent extremism, including overseeing the RESOLVE Network—a global research consortium—as well as USIP’s newest work on violent extremist disengagement and reconciliation. Directing USIP’s work on violent extremism, Steadman helps advance a deeper understanding of the dynamics that drive terrorism and extremist violence by leveraging peacebuilding tools and techniques, providing a platform to explore novel policy and practical approaches, and linking peacebuilding and conflict disciplines with the unique empirical, practical, and political facets of the study of terrorism.
Prior to joining USIP, Steadman served on the National Security Council staff at the White House as a senior advisor on homeland security, as well as director of African affairs. She’s also worked at the Department of State as a counterterrorism advisor and at the Department of Homeland Security as a presidential management fellow. Steadman has also worked in the private sector with Accenture Federal Services and she began her public service career with positions at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the World Health Organization, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and on a U.S. congressional campaign. Before her work in foreign and public policy, Steadman co-founded an independent record label. She holds a Juris Doctor with honors in international law and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in mass communication studies, both from Boston University.