DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., announced May 17 that Steve Stoute will serve as his next chief-of-staff. Stoute, an attorney and experienced leader in higher education, will assume his new role on June 4, overlapping with Jay Braatz, vice president for planning and presidential administration, before she retires from DePaul on July 2.
"I first worked with Steve when he served as an alumni representative for Seton Hall University's Board of Regents. I was provost at the time," Dr. Esteban says. "He is a highly accomplished individual with a devout commitment to the Catholic and Vincentian mission. His skills both as an attorney and university development officer will be an asset to DePaul as we implement our next strategic plan."
As chief-of-staff, Stoute will serve as Dr. Esteban's senior advisor and oversee operations in the Office of the President. His responsibilities include facilitating the development and delivery of the university's strategic plan, as well as serving as the liaison to the Board of Trustees on key executive matters.
"DePaul's mission speaks to the core of my personal experience, especially as an immigrant and a first-generation college student," says Stoute, who is currently a corporate and securities lawyer at Dechert LLP in Philadelphia. "I know firsthand what an impact a college education can have on a person's life, and it's an honor to work alongside colleagues who provide that same opportunity to other students."
Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, a dual-island Caribbean nation, Stoute immigrated to the United States in 2000 to attend Seton Hall University in New Jersey.
"I am the first of four children, was the first to leave home and the first to leave the country," he says. "My Catholic faith is very important to me, and so I always knew I would go to a Catholic college. I had never been to the United States before though, and the cultural differences were challenging at first."
With a large support system on campus and numerous aunts and uncles living only 30 minutes away in New York City, he adjusted quickly. Assimilating to his first winter, however, took a bit longer. "I still remember my first snowball," he says.
At Seton Hall, Stoute played for the men's soccer team and graduated Magna cum Laude with a bachelor's in business administration. His interest in athletics led him to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he completed a master's in exercise and sport science. With a passion for higher education, he joined University of Southern California's Department of Athletics. He then headed back east to Princeton University, where he was assistant director of the Princeton Varsity Club and later became a capital giving officer in Princeton's Office of Development.
Stoute remained an active alumnus at Seton Hall. In addition to serving on the Board of Regents, he also was a member of Seton Hall's presidential search committee. Stoute's interactions with his fellow board members inspired the next step in his career - law school.
"My interest in the law goes back to my time on the board at Seton Hall," Stoute says. "Law school was a difficult decision though because it led me away from higher education."
He earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and joined Dechert LLP in 2014.
"Practicing law for four years helped me develop a different perspective. I've been exposed to challenging questions in corporate law, but my true passion for higher education has always been present," he says. "I look forward to serving DePaul and helping to make a difference."
Stoute and his wife, Alison, will relocate to Chicago with their two young daughters, Isabelle, who is two, and Genevieve, who is nine months old.