Graham Steele

Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Treasury

Oakland, CA



  • U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • U.S. Senate
  • Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco


  • U.S. economic policy
  • Financial and banking regulation
  • Competition and anti-trust


  • George Washington University, J.D.
  • University of Rochester, B.A.

Recent Coverage

JAN 18, 2024

The Block | Treasury officials call for action from US policymakers to regulate crypto before the next crisis hits

Lawmakers in the U.S. need to take action before the next crisis to develop standards to regulate crypto, a U.S. Treasury official warned on Thursday. 

After each financial crisis, new regulations are adopted, such as the Dodd Frank Act and the National Bank Act, said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Graham Steele. For crypto, policymakers have the ability to act before a crisis happens, he said.

“For crypto-assets, policymakers have a chance to act before a crisis to adopt higher standards that support responsible innovation,” Steele said. “At the same time, it is critical that any legislative proposals don’t undermine the already robust regulatory foundations that apply to financial institutions and capital markets.”

NOV 27, 2023

Wall Street Journal | Cyber Insurers Warn Catastrophic Hacks Will Require Government Help

Graham Steele, assistant secretary for financial institutions at the Treasury Department, said at the Nov. 17 conference that the government has reached the conclusion that it must investigate the topic more thoroughly. A simple “yes” or “no” answer to the question of whether a federal response is required demands a more nuanced answer, he said.

“We believe that further exploration of the proper federal insurance response to catastrophic cyber risks is warranted, and should be undertaken,” he said.

While a well-designed backstop could provide assurance to carriers, and encourage cybersecurity best practices, a poorly designed program could shift too much risk onto the government, he said.

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About Graham

Graham Steele most recently served as the Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  He is an expert on financial regulation and financial institutions, with more than a decade of experience working at the highest levels of law and policy in Washington, D.C.

Graham was previously the director of the Corporations and Society Initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Business, a research initiative that examines issues at the intersection of markets, business, and government to promote more accountable capitalism and governance.

Prior to joining Stanford GSB, Graham was a member of the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. From 2015 to 2017, Graham was the Minority Chief Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs. From 2010 to 2015 he was a Legislative Assistant for United States Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), handling the Senator’s work as a member of the Senate Banking Committee. During that time, he also spent four years as the staff director of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions & Consumer Protection. Prior to joining Senator Brown’s staff, Graham was a policy counsel at Public Citizen’s Congress Watch in Washington, D.C.

Graham received his bachelors degree in political science from the University of Rochester and his law degree from The George Washington University Law School. He is originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, and is a member of the Massachusetts State Bar.