From an early age, Robert was involved in politics, volunteering on many local, state, and national political campaigns. He served on President George H.W. Bush’s advance team, worked on both the 1990 Economic Summit and the 1992 Republican National Convention, and managed several campaigns, including Greg Abbott’s first successful campaign for district court judge.
It was while attending Robert E. Lee High School where he distinguished himself as a leader, elected Student Body President, among other distinctions.
Steinhagen received a full scholarship to the University of Houston’s to study Theater Arts, but after a year he transferred to Texas A&M Univerity in College Station where he changed majors and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He also served as President of the 12th Man Student Foundation, which was then the second largest student organization on campus.
The day after graduation, to help a long-time political friend who was managing a race, he moved to Nebraska to work in for the unsuccessful Jan Stoney for US Senate campaign, where he planned to return to Texas. It was during the campaign that he attended Christ Community Church in Omaha where he met his future wife, Michelle, who was working to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree at Creighton University. He stayed in Omaha to work as Press Director for Republican Chuck Hagel’s successful campaign for US Senate.
Following his stint as Senator Hagel’s Press Secretary, he returned to Texas to join Winning Strategies, a consulting firm that focused on conservative political candidates like retired Col. Dennis Boerner & Dr. Jim Loehmeyer for Congress, Dan Flynn & Leo Berman for Texas State Representative, & Judy Strickland & Don McLeroy for State Board of Education. The firm also served non-profit public policy groups and organizations including Christian Coalition, Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Wall Builders.
Robert left politics to help guide Christ-centered, non-profit organizations with successful strategic-development strategies.
He served as Director of Communications and Development for Champions for Life International (formerly Bill Glass Ministries) a prison and crusade ministry, WorldServe Ministries, an international ministry serving the suffering Church in closed and restricted access countries, and Vice President of Advancement for Bakke Graduate University, a school that develops Christ-centered leaders who change global cities.
Robert joined the consulting firm Pursuant/RSI in 2012 where he led Christ-centered, non-profit ministries through successful major gift and capital campaigns as well as organizational and strategic training to their boards and staff before starting Inspiritous, a consulting firm that helps ministries work better.
On March 23, 2014, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recognized Robert with the distinction as Master Trainer for his innovative, entertaining, and highly effective seminars and courses that he has conducted over the last ten years on behalf of the association. In addition to AFP’s annual national conference, Robert is a frequent speaker and facilitator at national conferences for the Christian Leadership Alliance, Association of Christian Schools International, National Religious Broadcasters, and Christian Camping and Conference Association, on subjects relating to fundraising development, policy board governance, and “earned media” strategies.
Robert is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and Accredited American Professional Statistician (PSTAT), and is a Candidate for Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive ACFRE. Robert also served for eight years on the Standards Committee for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability [ECFA] and helped write many of ECFA’s guidelines and commentaries for fundraising practices.
By a unanimous vote, Steinhagen was appointed Mayor on April 25, 2017, to fulfill the unexpired term of Nathan Hodges, who resigned from office a month earlier. He was elected to the city council in May 2016 by a landslide that saw the largest voter turnout for a municipal election in the city’s history by a factor of three.
A voracious reader, Steinhagen has been influenced by authors like Whittaker Chambers, Witness, Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, Harry Jaffa, The Crisis of the Houses Divided, Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, all of which points to the calamitous impact that modern political liberalism, which advocates power to government, has on freedom and liberty.
As Mayor of McLendon-Chisholm, which is a volunteer position, Steinhagen has established an aggressive agenda to limit the size and scope of the city government so that citizens can live more freely as they work to protect the city’s wide-open spaces and more rural lifestyle.
Robert & his wife, Dr. Michelle Steinhagen, have been married for twenty-three years and are the proud parents of a nine-year-old daughter, Campbell, who attends Dallas Christian School. They have attended Watermark Church in Dallas since it began in 1999 where Robert performs often as a member of the church drama team.