Derrick began his policy career researching and writing on Social Security, Pension, and Health Care Reform at the American Enterprise Institute. Derrick then joined the Majority Staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he held hearings around the country on what works in education. In Washington, DC he organized hearings on the crumbling state of DC’s public schools and the need for school choice. These efforts ultimately led to the passage of DC’s Opportunity Scholarship Program. Derrick also helped lead an investigation into corruption, violence, and election fraud by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters — which ultimately led to the removal of their General President and a forced re-run of their election.
After a short stint as a speechwriter in the United States Senate, Derrick left Capitol Hill to become the Director of Government Affairs for the Cato Institute where he worked on many issues, but mostly on the effort to reform Social Security. Derrick then led two business organizations designed to build support around the country and in Congress to invest a portion of Social Security revenue into private, individually managed accounts.
In the above roles, Derrick was published in National Review, Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, Roll Call, and numerous AEI and Cato Institute publications. He has appeared on the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, The Diane Rehm Show, and hundreds of local radio and television programs. He has been interviewed or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. Finally, Derrick was named one of six individuals who would “shape the future” by USA Today (March 9, 2009). Derrick was also published in Tax Policy and the Economy, an academic journal published by MIT Press.
When the Social Security reform effort failed, Derrick left politics to help oversee giving at a private family foundation. Derrick and his wife, Virginia, have dedicated much of their adult lives to serving children in at-risk communities. Most significantly, in 1997 they co-founded Cornerstone School, a private, K-12 Christian school in Southeast, DC. Derrick served on Cornerstone’s Board for 15 years and after leaving the private family foundation, served as Cornerstone’s Principal and Executive Director for the last seven years.
Derrick met his wife Virginia at Wheaton College and they have been married for 31 years. They are the proud parents of four grown children and were legal guardians to one.
He also served eight years on the Fairfax County School Board, the nation’s 12th largest school system, where he was a strong advocate of educational accountability and research-based reading programs.
Mr. Braunlich has served as Chief of Staff to Congressman John LeBoutillier, Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Association of Manufacturers, president of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, and vice president of the Center for Education Reform.
His articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Northern Virginia Journal, The Washington Times, and The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.
He is a graduate of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, and resides in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County with his wife, Eileen. They are the parents of four children, and grandparents of four grandchildren.
Now retired as an independent government affairs and public relations consultant, he also serves as contributing editor to the online Bacon’s Rebellion.
He has served as Manager of State Government Affairs for Huntington Ingalls Industries, parent company of Newport News Shipbuilding; Vice President for Public Policy at the Virginia Chamber of Commerce; Director of Administration for the Office of Attorney General; Executive Director of the Joint Republican Caucus; and political writer for the Roanoke Times.
Steve and his wife, Pam, reside in Henrico County. Both are graduates of The College of William and Mary.