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Steve Kelley


Steve Kelley is the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. He was appointed by Governor Tim Walz in January 2019. 

Steve was most recently a Senior Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Before joining the Humphrey School in 2007, he served in the Minnesota Senate for 10 years and the Minnesota House of Representatives for 4 years.  During his legislative service, Steve chaired the Senate Education Committee and served on committees dealing with energy and telecommunications regulation in both the House and the Senate. He was one of the Legislature’s leading experts on telecommunications policy, including issues related to broadband service.

Steve has taught courses in education law and policy, science, technology and environmental policy, and global venture design. He has worked on issues relating to energy and environmental policy, design thinking and innovation, STEM education and public engagement with science. One of his projects at the University of Minnesota was assisting with the bipartisan Renewable Energy Policy Exchange sponsored by the German federal government through which the University introduces Minnesota policymakers to Germany’s energy policy and brings German experts to Minnesota to share policy ideas.

Before his election to the Legislature, Steve was a member of the Board of Directors of Medica (formerly Physicians Health Plan) and a public member of the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.

Before and during his legislative service, Steve practiced commercial litigation in Minneapolis. He represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex cases involving securities fraud, accounting malpractice and other financial transactions.

He is married to Sophie Bell Kelley. They have two married children and 4 grandchildren.  Steve and Sophie live in Hopkins.  Steve received a B.A in political science and political economy from Williams College and his law degree from Columbia University.

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