The Honorable Steve Israel – Director
Former Congressman Steve Israel is a Distinguished Writer-In-Residence at Long Island University in New York and published two critically acclaimed satires of Washington. His latest, Big Guns, skewers the gun lobby. Booklist called it Israel’s “second brilliant political satire”; and best-selling author Christopher Buckley called it “Hilarious and ingenious and pleasingly wicked.” Also, Israel’s mother called it “The best thing Steve’s written since 8th grade.” Branded Pictures has fast-tracked it for film/television development.
Israel’s first novel, “The Global War on Morris” came out in 2015. The Washington Post described the novel as “an unexpected delight… so spirited and funny”. Chris Matthews called Israel “downright hilarious.” And the New York Daily News wrote: “Steve Israel reveals his inner Jon Stewart in his debut novel.” The book was optioned to Rob Reiner for television development. Not unlike so much in Congress, it awaits further action.
Israel was a Member of Congress for sixteen years. He left in 2016, undefeated and un-indicted. He served as House Democrats chief political strategist between 2011-2015. President Bill Clinton called him “one of the most thoughtful Members of Congress.” Which, Israel states, isn’t really saying much at all.
Israel is a regular political commentator on MSNBC. His insights appear regularly in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs and on 60 minutes, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, FoxNews, MSNBC and elsewhere. His recent NY Times op-ed, “Nothing Will Change After The Las Vegas Shooting” went viral; his Mic.Com video on gun violence received nearly 3.5 million views.
He was one of only nine members of the House Democratic leadership, and has a singular behind-the-scenes understanding of how Washington officials think, or don’t think.
As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for four years, Israel was the chief architect of House campaign strategies. He was responsible for four overall development of competitive House campaigns across America. He was lauded for recruiting and electing the most diverse and entrepreneurial freshman congressional class in history. He developed a vast network of local, state and federal officials throughout the nation and is considered a leading expert in congressional dynamics.
Israel is currently the Chairman of the Global Institute at Long Island University; a strategic advisor to the Democratic Governors Association and the think-tank Third Way. He serves on the Boards of Long Island University, the Truman National Security Project, the Theodore Roosevelt Association, and the Civil War Trust.
He lives in Oyster Bay, not far from the home of Theodore Roosevelt, who also wrote a few decent books.