The American Conservative exists to promote a “Main Street” conservatism that opposes unchecked power in government and business; promotes the flourishing of families and communities through vibrant markets and free people; and embraces realism and restraint in foreign affairs based on America’s vital national interests.
The American Conservative is published by the American Ideas Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) organization that presents a measured, pertinent, principled conservatism for our time. We believe in constitutional government, fiscal prudence, sound monetary policy, clearly delineated borders, protection of civil liberties, authentically free markets, and restraint in foreign policy mixed with diplomatic acuity. We adhere closely to our institutional maxim: ideas over ideology; principles over party.
We want an America that remains the world’s most powerful nation but husbands its power for protecting its own interests and promoting balance-of-power stability at crucial strategic points upon the globe. We want urban and rural places that are well stewarded and whose physical fabric promotes human flourishing. We want a federal government that restrains itself from intrusive forays into the lives and businesses of Americans. We want a corporate America that pursues profit in a market of fairness, unassisted by special favors and emoluments from invidious government. We want to protect and preserve our citizens’ legitimate interests through measured immigration policies that take into account the challenges of assimilation.
The American Conservative adheres to old and proven principles that are often discarded or paid lip service in the pursuit of power. We keep faith with the best of what the generations before us learned and teach us. We apply those lessons to the dislocations, temptations, and crises of the present day. The greatest of those lessons is to incline always to trust in the ultimate wisdom of the American people.
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The American Conservative team
Robert W. Merry, editor, a longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, spent 12 years as a political reporter for The Wall Street Journal and 22 years as an executive at Congressional Quarterly Inc., including 12 years as CEO. After CQ was sold to The Economist of London, he served as editor of The National Interest before retiring to Washington State to write books. He was lured from retirement in November 2016 to become editor of The American Conservative. Merry has produced five volumes on American history and foreign policy, including the most recent, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century, released on November 7 by Simon & Schuster.
John A. Burtka IV, executive director, graduated from Hillsdale College and the Faculté Jean Calvin in Aix-en-Provence, France. Previously, he worked in development for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, participated in academic fellowships at Washington College and the Trinity Forum Academy, and helped to launch two businesses, Cherry Creek Winery and Grand River Brewery, in Michigan.
Lewis McCrary, executive editor, began his career in journalism as an editorial assistant and later senior editor at The American Conservative. Before returning to TAC, he was managing editor of The National Interest and Robert Novak Journalism Fellow at the Fund for American Studies. His writing has also appeared at RealClearPolitics, The Atlantic, and Next City. An alumnus of The Catholic University of America, Cambridge, and Georgetown, he now resides in central Indiana with his wife and son.
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, executive editor, has been writing for TAC for the last decade, focusing on national security, foreign policy, civil liberties and domestic politics. She served for 15 years as a Washington bureau reporter for FoxNews.com, and at WTOP News in Washington from 2013-2017 as a writer, digital editor and social media strategist. She has also worked as a beat reporter at Bridge News financial wire (now part of Reuters) and Homeland Security Today, and as a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. A native Nutmegger, she got her start in Connecticut newspapers, but now resides with her family in Arlington, Va.
Matt Purple is the managing editor of The American Conservative. Prior to that, he worked as the assistant managing editor at The American Spectator and as deputy editor for Rare Politics. His work has appeared in National Review, The National Interest, the UK Spectator, the Washington Times, Townhall.com, and elsewhere. A native of Avon, Connecticut, he currently lives in Virginia.
Rod Dreher, senior editor, focuses on social and cultural conservatism, with a particular interest in religion in the public square. He has written and served as editor for the New York Post, National Review, Dallas Morning News, and other publications. Rod’s commentary has been widely published and broadcast. He is the author of four books, Crunchy Cons (2006), The Little Way of Ruthie Leming (2013), How Dante Can Save Your Life (2015), and The Benedict Option (2017). Rod writes from south Louisiana.
Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, Culture11, and The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.
Noah Millman, senior editor, is an opinion journalist, critic, and filmmaker who joined The American Conservative in 2012. He writes regularly for The Week, and his work has also appeared in Politico, First Things, Commentary, and the New York Times Book Review, and on The Economist’s online blogs. Prior to joining TAC, he was a regular contributor to The American Scene. He is working on a book on Shakespeare and the Hebrew Bible. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Addison Del Mastro is assistant editor of The American Conservative. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and writes on topics of politics, culture, and the environment.
Daniel Kishi is associate editor of The American Conservative. He is an alumnus of Patrick Henry College where he studied journalism and the classical liberal arts. He writes about culture, political economy, and baseball.
Emile A. Doak, director of events & outreach, coordinates The American Conservative’s conferences and media efforts. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he studied political philosophy and theology. Prior to joining TAC, Emile worked in education, teaching and managing college preparation courses for high school students. He and his wife reside in their hometown of Herndon, Virginia.
Leonora Cravotta is director of operations with The American Conservative. She is also the co-host of The Scott Adams Show, a live daily show on Red State Talk Radio. Leonora’s diverse background includes ten years with JPMorgan Chase and TD Bank where she held various VP level marketing and product development positions. She has also previously served as director of development for several non-profit organizations. Leonora received a BA in English/French from Denison University, an MA in English from the University of Kentucky and an MBA in Marketing from Fordham University. A native of Northern NJ, Leonora currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.
The American Ideas Institute Board of Trustees
Jeremy Beer is the Chairman of the Board of the American Ideas Institute. He has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2000. Prior to co-founding American Philanthropic, LLC, in 2009, he was vice president of publishing and information systems at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, where he also served as the editor in chief of the institute’s award-winning press, ISI Books.
As a partner at American Philanthropic, Jeremy has worked closely with dozens of philanthropies and nonprofit clients in such areas as strategic planning, message creation, program analyses and audits, major-donor club creation and implementation, direct mail, grantwriting, and collateral material development. He is also the co-founder of AmP Publishers Group and has served as a literary agent for a select group of clients, including the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn family.
Jeremy has published more than 40 essays and articles on philanthropy, culture, and politics in various academic and popular journals. He has lectured at Georgetown University, Calvin College, Augustana College, national meetings of the American Political Science Association, and elsewhere.
Jeremy holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, where he held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He is a member of the Mars Hill Audio, Front Porch Republic, and Catholic Phoenix boards of directors.
Bradley J. Birzer, TAC scholar-in-residence, holds the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies and is Professor of History at Hillsdale College. He served as the second Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought and Policy at Colorado University–Boulder and is the author or editor of seven books, including Russell Kirk: American Conservative and J.R.R Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth. He has written and taught extensively on the American experience, focusing mostly on the period from the American Revolution through Reconstruction. Birzer is also editor at large and co-founder of The Imaginative Conservative.
Wick Allison is Chairman and Publisher of D Magazine, which he founded in 1974 and returned to in 1995. A fifth-generation Texan, he attended the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University’s Graduate School of Business in Dallas. After completing his undergraduate degree, he worked in the White House and served in the U.S. Army. In 1984, Allison left his company and Dallas for New York, where he founded Art & Antiques and built it into the largest circulated art and antiques magazine in the world. He also served as publisher of William F. Buckley’s National Review and made it the only profitable publication in the history of American journals of opinion. Allison edited The Bible Designed to be Read as Living Literature for Simon & Schuster and wrote That’s in the Bible? For Delacorte. His book Condemned to Repeat It: Lessons of History for Leaders was published by Viking in 1997.
Michael C. Desch is professor and chair of the department of political science at the University of Notre Dame. A graduate of Marquette and the University of Chicago, he is the author of numerous articles and books on international relations and foreign policy including When the Third World Matters: Latin America and U.S. Grand Strategy (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), Civilian Control of the Military: The Changing Security Environment (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), and Power and Military Effectiveness: The Fallacy of Democratic Triumphalism (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). He has worked on the staff of a U.S. Senator, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State, and in the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division of the Congressional Research Service.
C. Boyden Gray, of the District of Columbia, is the former Ambassador to the European Union (2006-2007) and former Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Diplomacy (2008-2009). He also served as former Special Envoy for European Union Affairs (2008-2009) and as White House Counsel in the administration of President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993).
Prior to his appointment as Special Envoy, Mr. Gray served as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union in Brussels from 2006 to 2007. From 1969 to 1981 and 1993 to 2005, Mr. Gray was a partner in the Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr law firm in Washington. He served as White House Counsel in the administration of President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993) and served as Legal Counsel to Vice President Bush (1981-1989). Mr. Gray also served as counsel to the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief during the Reagan Administration.
Howard Ahmanson, Jr. is a philanthropist living in Orange County, California.
William Ruger is the vice president of research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute. His most recent academic appointments have been as an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Texas State University and an adjunct assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin. Ruger is the author of a biography titled Milton Friedman and co-author of two books on state politics: The State of Texas: Government, Politics, and Policy and Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom.
Scott McConnell co-founded The American Conservative in 2002, where he has held the positions of executive editor and editor, and where he is currently a founding editor. A former editorial page editor of the New York Post, McConnell continues to write on politics and American foreign policy.
George O’Neill, Jr. is an artist living in Lake Wales, Florida.
Jon Basil Utley is publisher of The American Conservative. Utley is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with language studies in Germany and France. He first worked for American International Group insurance in Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia. Later he became a foreign correspondent in South America for Knight Ridder newspapers and for 17 years, starting during the Reagan Administration, was a commentator about third world issues on the Voice of America. He managed an oil drilling partnership in Pennsylvania and later worked in real estate development. He has written for the Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, and other papers. He was formerly founding editor of The Bogota Bulletin, associate editor of The Times of the Americas, and a contributing editor to The Conservative Digest. He was born in Moscow.His father, a Russian trade official, was sent to the gulag and executed at the Brick Quarry in Vorkuta for being one of three leaders of a hunger strike. His mother, Freda Utley, became a prominent anticommunist author and activist.
Robert W. Merry, a longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, spent 12 years as a political reporter for The Wall Street Journal and 22 years as an executive at Congressional Quarterly Inc., including 12 years as CEO. After CQ was sold to The Economist of London, he served as editor of The National Interest before retiring to Washington State to write books. He was lured from retirement in November 2016 to become editor of The American Conservative. Merry has produced five volumes on American history and foreign policy, including the most recent, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century, released on November 7 by Simon & Schuster.