Stephen R. MacNamara, J.D.


Professor Stephen R. MacNamara is a former Chief of Staff to Florida’s House Speaker, the Florida Senate President, and the Governor of the State of Florida.  

He has also been an Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Florida State University (FSU) and served for three years as the Associate Dean of the FSU College of Law.  In addition, MacNamara has been a tenured member of the faculty at FSU since 1994.

In 1975, MacNamara received a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.

In 1982, MacNamara received his Juris Doctorate from Florida State University. He has been recognized in Florida Trend magazine as one of the state’s “Legal Elite”.

He has also worked with members of the U.S. House of Representatives, served as a Page in Congress, and worked as a Special Assistant to a U.S. Senator.

He was Special Assistant to the Florida Senate President in 1982, primarily involved in reapportionment, and served for a short period in 1992 as the federal government’s Florida expert in that area.

In 1989, MacNamara was appointed Secretary of the Florida Department of Business Regulation under Governor Bob Martinez and then succeeded Governor Lawton Chiles as the Executive Director of the LeRoy Collins Center for Public Policy at FSU.   He has worked with or for nine Florida governors.

MacNamara was the general counsel and media consultant to No Casinos, Inc., founding president of the Coalition for Family Safety, and founding president of the Florida Association of Health Plans.

For eight years, MacNamara also assisted the Miami Herald in its annual ranking of the Florida Legislature.  He has been actively involved with numerous statewide campaigns over the years.

During the 1999 legislative session, MacNamara was asked to serve as the first “Professor-in-Residence” to the Florida House of Representatives.  During the 2000 session, served in the position of Chief of Staff for the Florida House under Speaker John Thrasher.

Governor Jeb Bush appointed him Chairman of the Governor’s Ex-Offenders Task Force to investigate ways for former prisoners to reenter society and make recommendations for changes to the Governor and the Florida Legislature.

In July 2009, he was named one of the four finalists for the position of Chancellor to the State University System.

From 2010 to 2011, MacNamara held the post as Chief of Staff and General Counsel under President of the Florida Senate, Mike Haridopolos, and from 2011 to 2012 served as Chief of Staff to then-Governor Rick Scott.

He is currently the Managing Director of the Claude Pepper Center at FSU and is a board member and the  Secretary to the Claude Pepper Foundation. 

MacNamara is the only person in Florida history to serve as Chief of Staff to Florida’s House Speaker, the Florida Senate President, and the Governor of the State of Florida.