Rademaker attended the University of Virginia where he received a B.A. (1981) in Foreign Affairs, a J.D. (1984), and an M.A. in Foreign Affairs (1985). He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, and president of the Student Council during his time at the university.
From 1987 to 1989, Stephen served as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs. From 1986 to 1987, he served as Counsel to the Vice Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission. In 1986 he was a law clerk for James L. Buckley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
From 1989 to 1992, Rademaker held a joint appointment as Associate Counsel to the President in the Office of Counsel to the President and as Deputy Legal Adviser to the National Security Council. From 1992 to 1993, Stephen served as General Counsel of the Peace Corps. For most of the following decade, he held positions on the staff of the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives, including Minority Chief Counsel (1993-1995), Chief Counsel (1995-2001), and Deputy Staff Director and Chief Counsel (2001-2002). He returned briefly to the Peace Corps in 2000-2001 as the Bush-Cheney Transition's Director of Transition for the Peace Corps.
In 2002, he was Chief Counsel to the Select Committee on Homeland Security of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he had lead responsibility for drafting the legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security. Later that year he was confirmed by the United States Senate as an Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, and from then until 2006 he headed at various times three bureaus of the Department of State, including the Bureau of Arms Control and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.
After leaving government, Rademaker joined Barbour, Griffith and Rogers in January 2007. He came to the firm from the staff of Senate majority Leader Bill Frist, where he served as Policy Director for National Security Affairs and Senior Counsel. In February 2011, Rademaker left Barbour, Griffith and Rogers and joined the Podesta Group.
A report written by Siddharth Varadarajan and published in The Hindu quoted Rademaker as acknowledging that the United States had coerced India into voting against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Though Mr. Rademaker has never disputed the accuracy of the remarks attributed to him, the U.S. Ambassador in Delhi, David C. Mulford, issued a press release stating that "Mr. Rademaker is not a U.S. official and the statements attributed to him are inaccurate." The Hindu, however, denied this, claiming that the quotes attributed to Mr.Rademaker were "wholly accurate".
Mr. Rademaker is married to Danielle Pletka, vice-president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Rademaker has four children: Andrew, Olivia, Sophia, and Nicky.
- Silverstein, Ken (2 January 2015). "How the Iraq War Financed a Beltway Real Estate Boom". The Intercept. Retrieved 8 May 2017.