Steve Delie was born and raised in Michigan, attended a charter school as an elementary student, benefited from private school choice in high school, and then attended Hillsdale College.
So you could say he was destined to work here.
“I probably first heard about the Mackinac Center while I was a student at Hillsdale,” Steve says. “But it wasn’t until I was looking around for a better job doing legal and labor work that I found a job description, read up on the work and realized this fit what I wanted to do, perfectly.”
The son of two engineers, he grew up in Jackson and attended a National Heritage Academies charter school. After graduating from Hillsdale, Steve went to Michigan State University for law school.
His first jobs after law school prepared him for work at Michigan’s largest think tank. “I worked for two firms in the Lansing area, initially doing municipal law work — learning about the Freedom of Information Act, the Open Meetings Act, writing ordinances for townships and more,” Steve says. He got a taste of everything, including work on marijuana business licensing, tort law, family law and defense work.
Steve’s work now is equally varied.
“Like all great jobs, my work at the Mackinac Center depends on the day!” he says with a laugh. Steve wears several hats, including director of labor policy and head of the Workers for Opportunity Initiative. He’s also executive director of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government, a volunteer job that lines up with his Mackinac Center work.
He may spend his time testifying before lawmakers in Lansing or Washington, D.C., on a labor bill, or submitting research to a federal agency as part of its rule-making process. On other days, he’s representing clients on behalf of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, meaning he meets with the client, writes a legal brief, and works with the communications department. And there’s also open government work — filing FOIA requests and answering questions from individuals or the media.
“It’s hard work, but rewarding,” Steve says. “I love the culture here. We are all trying to accomplish similar goals and are pulling in the same direction. It’s refreshing to have a group of people who are aligned and love working together.”
Outside of work, Steve enjoys camping and playing video games (“separately,” he adds) and watching the Detroit Red Wings and MSU football.