About Us

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.

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


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. 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).

Pratik Chougule, executive editor, was the managing editor at The National Interest. He served as the policy coordinator on the 2016 presidential campaign of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Chougule has contributed to projects for the Trilateral Commission, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, and Baron Public Affairs. He has assisted a number of senior officials with their memoirs, most recently, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad. From 2008-2009, Chougule was a Bush appointee at the State Department in the Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security. Chougule graduated from Brown University and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School.

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.


Robert VerBruggen, managing editor, joined TAC after a decade in journalism that included stints at The National Interest, the Washington TimesNational Review, and RealClearPolicy. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, a 2009 Robert Novak Fellow, and the recipient of a 2005 Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Press Club.


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.


Tim Markatos, editorial fellow, is lead print designer and manages special projects for The American Conservative, in addition to assisting the web and print editorial teams. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, Italy. He also writes about film and the arts for TAC, where he was previously an editorial assistant.


John Burtka, director of development, oversees donor relations for The American Conservative. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College and the Faculté Jean Calvin in Aix-en-Provence, France. Previously, he worked in development for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, participated in the Trinity Fellows Academy class of 2014, and assisted his parents in the launch of a winery and microbrewery in Jackson, MI.


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, The Dallas Morning News, and other publications. Rod’s commentary has been widely published and broadcast. He is the author of three books, Crunchy Cons (2006), The Little Way of Ruthie Leming (2013), and How Dante Can Save Your Life (2015). His next book, The Benedict Option, will be published in 2017. 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, and filmmaker who joined The American Conservative in 2012. He writes regularly for The Week, and his work has also appeared in PoliticoFirst ThingsCommentary, 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.

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).