Rhea M. Steele, CAE
Chief Operating Officer
Rhea is DECA’s Chief Operating officer, bringing over 14 years of association, non-profit, and education experience to the role. Prior to Joining DECA, Rhea held roles as Chief Operating Officer at the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and Director of Information Technology and Operations at the Council of Chief State School Officers where she where she aligned operational activities to achieve strategic goals while cultivating formal and informal avenues for idea generation and incubation. Rhea is an engaged member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), where she serves on the Technology Section Council, and previously served as Chair of the National Capital Advisory Council. She is a public board member of the National Architectural Accrediting Board where she serves on multiple committees. The Association Forum and USAE named her a Forty Under 40 award winner in 2016, she was honored in 2017 as Association TRENDS Young and Aspiring Association Professional, and in 2019 was recognized by DCA Live as an association innovator. She has presented and written extensively about culture change, process improvement, strategic visioning, ethics, governance, and the future of work. Rhea has a Master’s of Science in Museum Studies and a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology and Studio Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder.