Stephen leverages his experience in the government and nonprofit sectors to advance Common Cause’s mission of open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest.
He has served in senior staff positions on Capitol Hill in both the House and Senate, most recently as the Policy Director of the U.S. Senate Rules Committee where he advised its chair, Senator Amy Klobuchar. He was previously the Senior Elections Counsel to the Committee on House Administration in the U.S. House of Representatives where he advised its chair Representative Zoe Lofgren. Both committees have jurisdiction over federal election law where Stephen led work on campaign finance, election administration, election security, voting rights, and oversight of the Federal Election Commission and the Election Assistance Commission. He played a key role in House passage of multiple bills to strengthen American democracy, curb foreign interference in elections, reduce the undue influence of money in politics, fund election administration, and address voting during the COVID pandemic, and he assisted Senator Klobuchar with final passage of the Electoral Count Reform Act into law at the end of 2022.
Stephen previously served as Special Counsel to former FEC Chair and Commissioner Ann Ravel at the Federal Election Commission. He advised her on enforcement actions, advisory opinions, management of the agency, and public engagement. He was also a litigation associate at Goodwin Procter LLP, and earlier in his career worked on racketeering, organized crime, and white collar investigations as a trial preparation assistant in the Rackets Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. He also served as a law clerk in the office of former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. Stephen previously held other roles at Common Cause, including Senior Advisor, Chief of Strategy, Legal Director, and Senior Policy Counsel.
He has testified in Congress and other governmental bodies about democracy issues. He has written several reports utilized by policymakers and cited by national media outlets, including Bullies at the Ballot Box (co-published with Dēmos to examine voter intimidation and challenge laws), The New Nullification at Work (examining the need for filibuster reform), and Did We Fix That? (analyzing implementation of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration’s recommendations).
Stephen’s writing has appeared in Politico, the Los Angeles Times, NBC News, Salon, Huffington Post, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and The Hill.
He has appeared widely on television and radio, including 60 Minutes; NPR’s All Things Considered, 1A, and On Point; C-SPAN’s Washington Journal; and multiple shows on MSNBC and CNN, including The Beat with Ari Melber, Melissa Harris-Perry, Up with Steve Kornacki, Politics Nation, and The Lead. He has been quoted by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Politico, The Atlantic, Vogue, and many other outlets.
Stephen received his B.A. from Haverford College and his J.D. cum laude from Boston College Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Third World Law Journal, now published as the Boston College Journal of Law and Social Justice. He is a member of the District of Columbia and Massachusetts bars.