Steve Gunderson

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Steve Gunderson
House Republican Chief Deputy Whip
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1993
Serving with Bob Walker
LeaderBob Michel
Preceded byEd Madigan
Succeeded byBob Walker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1997
Preceded byAlvin Baldus
Succeeded byRon Kind
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 91st district
In office
January 6, 1975 – July 9, 1979
Preceded byEugene Oberle[1]
Succeeded byAlan S. Robertson[2]
Personal details
Born (1951-05-10) May 10, 1951 (age 69)
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Ethan Ngo
(m. 2015)
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison (BA)
Brown College

Steven Craig Gunderson (born May 10, 1951) is the former President and CEO of the Council on Foundations,[3] the current president and CEO of the Career Education Colleges and Universities,[4] and a former Republican congressman from Wisconsin, he was succeeded by Democrat Ron Kind.

Early years[edit]

Gunderson grew up near Whitehall, Wisconsin. After studying at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he went on to train at the Brown School of Broadcasting in Minneapolis.

Political career[edit]

Gunderson served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1975 to 1979 before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980, to represent Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district. First elected to the 97th Congress, he served eight terms in the House and did not seek re-election to the 105th Congress in 1996.[5] He was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Commission on White House Fellows in January 2010.[6]

In 1994, Gunderson was outed as gay on the House floor by representative Bob Dornan (R-CA) during a debate over federal funding for gay-friendly curricula,[7] making him one of the first openly gay members of Congress and the first openly gay Republican representative.[8] In 1996, Gunderson was the only Republican in Congress to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act,[9][10] and he has been a vocal supporter of gay rights causes since leaving Congress. During his time in the House, Gunderson was one of only two openly gay Republicans serving in Congress, the other being Jim Kolbe of Arizona.[11]

Gunderson advocated for expedited immigration rights to the Laotian Hmong people, who had been allied with U.S. war efforts during the Vietnam War and later faced persecution under the Communist government of Laos. In an October 1995 National Review article, Michael Johns, a former Republican White House aide and Heritage Foundation policy analyst, praised Gunderson's efforts in behalf of the Hmong people, quoting Gunderson as telling a Hmong gathering in Wisconsin: "I do not enjoy standing up and saying to my government that you are not telling the truth, but if that is necessary to defend truth and justice, I will do that."[12] Republicans also called several congressional hearings on alleged persecution of the Hmong in Laos in an apparent attempt to generate further support for their opposition to the Hmong's repatriation to Laos. Led by Gunderson and other Hmong advocates in Congress, the Clinton administration's policy of forced repatriation of the Hmong was ultimately overturned and thousands were granted U.S. immigration rights.

Published works[edit]

  • House and Home, E. P. Dutton, 1996, ISBN 978-0-525-94197-2 (with Rob Morris and Bruce Bawer)

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Steven Gunderson, President & CEO". Council on Foundations. Archived from the original on February 3, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  4. ^ "Bio; Steve Gunderson, President and CEO". 3 January 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 1/19/10". January 19, 2010. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved November 22, 2010 – via National Archives.
  7. ^ Chris Bull (May 3, 1994), The Out House: Congressional Debate over an Education Bill Gets Personal and Nasty, The Advocate, p. 29.
  8. ^ Bergling, Tim (May 11, 2004). "Closeted in the capital: they're powerful, Republican, and gay. Will the marriage battle finally get them to come out to their bosses?". The Advocate. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  9. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 316". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. July 12, 1996.
  10. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 104th Congress - 2nd Session: On Passage of the Bill (H.R.3396 )". United States Senate. September 10, 1996.
  11. ^ Mendelberg, Tali (2001). The Race Card: Campaign Strategy, Implicit Messages, and the Norm of Equality. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691070717. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  12. ^ Johns, Michael (1995-10-23). "Acts of betrayal – persecution of Hmong". National Review. Archived from the original on April 29, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2008.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Alvin Baldus
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Ron Kind
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ed Madigan
House Republican Chief Deputy Whip
Served alongside: Bob Walker
Succeeded by
Bob Walker