Michelle Park Steel

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Michelle Park Steel
Born Seoul, South Korea
Nationality American
Occupation California State Board of Equalization Vice Chair
Political party
Spouse(s) Shawn Steel
Children 2
Korean name
Hangul 박은주
Hanja 朴銀珠
Revised Romanization Bak Eunju
McCune–Reischauer Pak Ŭn-ju

Michelle Eunjoo Park Steel (born June 21, 1955) is the Vice Chair of the California Board of Equalization, the Republican member representing the Board's 3rd District.[1][2][3] She is currently California's senior-ranking Republican constitutional officer.[4] In the 2014 general elections, she ran successfully for the Orange County Board of Supervisors, easily defeating state Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.[5]

Early life[edit]

Steel was born in South Korea.[3] Her father was both born in Shanghai to Korean expatriate parents. Steel was educated in South Korea, Japan, and the United States. She holds a degree in Business from Pepperdine University, an Executive MBA from the University of Southern California, and is fluent in Korean and Japanese.[2]

Steel's interest in tax issues began at an early age when she watched her mother fight what they believed was an unwarranted Board of Equalization tax bill. As an immigrant small business owner, Steel's mother lacked the resources to successfully fight the massive state agency and reluctantly acceded to the Board's demands.

Steel began her community involvement as a commentator on Radio Seoul from 1993 until 2007. She has also volunteered for several youth organizations, including Options House, a local emergency shelter helping runaway children, and the Coalition of Brothers and Sisters Unlimited, an African-American after-school program.[1]

Steel and her husband, former California Republican Party Chairman and current Republican National Committee Committeeman from California Shawn Steel, have been married since 1981 and have two daughters, Cheyenne and Siobhan. They live in Surfside, California.[6]

Political career[edit]

Early career[edit]

From 2001-2003, Steel served on the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under President George W. Bush, the California World Trade Commission, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and the Los Angeles Airport and Fire Commissions. She was later appointed to the White House Conference on Aging under President George W. Bush.

Her public policy experience includes service as a member of the California Orange County Deputy District Office: Korean American Community Commission and member of the Tax Advisory Committee for the State Board of Equalization.

Outside of government, she has also been active in Republican Party positions, serving as a board member for the Korean American Republican Association and having been an honorary chair of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2006 Gubernatorial Campaign.

Election to the Board of Equalization[edit]

Steel was elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006 when Republican incumbent Claude Parrish ran unseccessfully for state Treasurer,[7] Michelle Steel serves as the country’s highest ranking Korean American officeholder and California's highest ranking Republican woman.[1] She represents more than eight million people in the Board of Equalization's Third District, which includes the counties of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. Steel promised to protect taxpayers from the overbearing government that her family encountered. A signatory of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, she has said she will oppose all new taxes and tax increases, and when adjudicating tax appeals, will always presume a taxpayer is innocent until proven guilty.[1]

In 2011, she was elected Vice Chair of the Board of Equalization.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Steel, Michelle Park. "Board Member Michelle Steel". California State Board of Equalization. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  2. ^ a b "亞裔支持朴銀珠選稅委" [Asian Americans support Park's election to tax board]. 2006-08-23. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  3. ^ a b Michelle Steel, JoinCalifornia.com, retrieved 2011-09-29 
  4. ^ Steel, Michelle Park. "Vice Chair Michelle Steel". California State Board of Equalization. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.ocregister.com/articles/county-641102-steel-board.html
  6. ^ Steel, Michelle Park. "Vice Chair Michelle Steel". California State Board of Equalization. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  7. ^ California State Treasurer election, 2006
  8. ^ Arie Dana (January 26, 2011). "Michelle Steel Named Vice Chair of the State Board of Equalization". California Board of Equalization. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Claude Parrish
California State Board of Equalization Member
3rd District