Katie Steen-James, Manager of Public Policy & Advocacy
Katie Steen-James is the Manager of Public Policy & Advocacy at SPARC where she is responsible for promoting policy and coalition activities to advance SPARC’s commitment to making Open the default in research and education. In this role, she works closely with the Executive Director and the entire SPARC team to develop SPARC’s policy goals and priorities, and lead SPARC’s implementation of federal advocacy with Congress and the Executive Branch.
Previously, Katie served as a federal relations officer at the Association of American Universities (AAU) where she led advocacy for the organization on policy issues ranging from humanities and foreign language education to agricultural research. At AAU, she was also active on Open Data issues, serving as project manager for the association’s National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Accelerating Public Access to Research Data, and as co-principal investigator on a joint NSF grant with the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the California Digital Library.
Katie has a long connection with SPARC, beginning with her participation in OpenCon in 2014. As a graduate student, she was involved in advocacy on Capitol Hill, promoting Open Access and Open Educational Resources. In 2017, she became a full-time consultant for SPARC as an open education policy manager and helped secure the first appropriation for an Open Textbook Pilot Grant Program in the U.S. Department of Education.
Katie is a graduate of the University of Missouri where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and her master’s degree in public affairs with an emphasis in public policy.