About Us

The American Conservative is published by the American Ideas Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to educate and inform Americans about the need for fiscal responsibility, a prudent foreign policy, and the protection of civil liberties.

In both domestic and foreign affairs, The American Conservative promotes a conservatism of realism and reform. A conservatism of ideas over ideology, and principles over party. In an age of trillion-dollar deficits, crumbling communities, and endless wars and rumors of war, we can no longer allow American public life to be guided by fantasies. The realist knows what Edmund Burke knew: that while revolution is terrifyingly destructive, reform is always necessary, for it is the means of our preservation.

The American Conservative represents a new voice for a new generation of conservatives. We invest in creative thinking about serious challenges facing the United States, from how to rebuild the middle class to how to reconceptualize America’s role in the world, and we are having an impact. The conversation is changing, and our readership is at an all-time high. These readers are people like you, willing to engage in the ideas that will guide our nation’s future.

You can be a part of this effort by joining the American Ideas Institute today! Together we’ll reshape the Right, and move the political debate in more hopeful directions.

The American Conservative team


Daniel McCarthy, editor, has written and lectured widely. His work has appeared in The Spectator, the New York Times, Reason, Orion, and many other outlets. Before becoming editor of The American Conservative he was a senior editor of ISI Books and the internet communications coordinator for the 2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied classics.


Benjamin Schwarz, national editor, was for 13 years the literary and national editor at The Atlantic, where he recruited and published writers from Christopher Hitchens to Sandra Tsing Loh. The Los Angeles Times called his books section there “the shrewdest, best-written and most surprising cultural report currently on offer between slick covers.” Before that he was a national correspondent for The Atlantic, executive editor of World Policy Journal, and a national-security analyst at the RAND Corporation.


Jonathan Coppage, senior staff editor, manages web editorial and runs the “New Urbs” blog at The American Conservative. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University, and attended the University of Chicago. Previously he worked for The New Atlantis, and participated in the 2012 Hertog Political Studies Program.


Gracy Olmstead, senior writer, blogs for The American Conservative and is design director for the magazine. She is a graduate of Patrick Henry College and an Idaho native. In addition to The American Conservative, she has written for The Washington Times, the Idaho Press Tribune, The Federalist, and Acculturated.

Catherine Addington, editorial fellow, is lead print designer and manages special projects for The American Conservative, in addition to assisting the web and print editorial teams. She also contributes writing to TAC, where she was previously an editorial assistant. She is a recent graduate of New York University and a native of Alexandria, 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 editor for the New York Post, National Review, The Dallas Morning News, and other publications. Rod’s commentary has been widely published and broadcast. He is the author of two books, Crunchy Cons (2006) and The Little Way of Ruthie Leming (2013). His next book, How Dante Can Save Your Life, will be published in 2015. Rod writes from south Louisiana.


Daniel Larison, senior editor, has contributed to The American Conservative since 2007. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Politico, The Week, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, and The American Scene. He holds a PhD in Byzantine history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Dallas.


Noah Millman, senior editor, is an opinion journalist, critic, screenwriter, and filmmaker who joined The American Conservative in 2012. Prior to joining TAC, he was a regular blogger at The American Scene. Millman’s work has also appeared in First Things, Commentary, and the New York Times Book Review, and on The Economist’s online blogs. Before embarking on a second career as a writer, Millman worked for 16 years in finance.

The American Ideas Institute Board of Trustees

Jeremy Beer is the President of the American Ideas Institute, which publishes The American Conservative. 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.

Wick Allison is the Chairman of the Board of the American Ideas Institute. He is also 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.

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. After his father, a Russian trade official, was sent to a gulag and killed by Stalin, his mother, Freda Utley, became a prominent anticommunist author and activist.

Robert W. Merry, 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. Merry has produced four volumes on American history and foreign policy, including the most recent, Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians (2012).