Stephen Kelley

Senior Fellow
civic engagement and public participation; energy and environment; public budgeting; public service redesign; science and technology

Steve Kelley is a senior fellow at the Humphrey School. He served in the Minnesota Senate from January 1997 through December 2006 and the Minnesota House of Representatives from January 1993 through December 1996. He was chair of the Senate Education Committee for four years. He has also run for statewide office.

Before his legislative service, he was a public member of the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice from 1984 to 1992 and served one year as its president. Kelley has served on the boards of many other organizations, including the Sojourner Shelter (a secure residence for victims of domestic abuse), Physicians Health Plan, the Citizens League, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation, and the Sierra Club North Star Chapter Executive Committee.

During his service as a legislator, Kelley served on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and co-chaired its task force on the No Child Left Behind Act. He also chaired NCSL's committees dealing with information technology and telecommunications for two years. He was selected to participate in the Toll Fellows leadership program operated by the Council of State Governments. In the Senate he was the chief author of numerous bills, including the Adverse Health Events Reporting Act, legislation that led to the creation of the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, a bill promoting stem cell research, and education policy bills. He served on utility committees in the House and Senate and authored many bills related to telecommunications and information technology, including digital signatures, electronic real estate recording, broadband infrastructure and technology-enhanced education.

Aside from his public service, Kelley practiced commercial litigation at the Minneapolis firm of Mackall, Crounse, and Moore PLC for over 20 years.

Kelley received his B.A. from Williams College graduating cum laude in 1975 and later earned his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law in 1978.

In The Media

Senior Fellow Steve Kelley is interviewed for this article on compliance with a state requirement for art instruction in St. Paul Schools. Kelley helped write the law in 2003 when he was a state senator. 

MPR News
June 27, 2018

Senior Fellow Steve Kelley comments in this story about recent legislative and legal action to address the low water levels of White Bear Lake. 

St. Paul Pioneer Press
June 1, 2018