Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Update on the Future of The American Conservative

State of the Union: As TAC’s executive director prepares to step down at the end of 2023, the magazine is in an unprecedently strong position financially and operationally.

JCC TAC 20th Anniversary Video Still #27 (1)

Editor’s note: Dominique Watkins is chairman of the board of the American Ideas Institute, which publishes The American Conservative.

I wanted to share with our readers that TAC’s executive director, Emile Doak, has informed me that he intends to step down from his position at The American Conservative at the end of 2023. Emile will take a new position as Executive Director of the Chelsea Academy Foundation and Director of Advancement at Chelsea Academy in Front Royal, Virginia. (Read more about Emile’s decision here.)


During Emile’s nearly seven year tenure at TAC, the last three of which he served as Executive Director, he has greatly improved our financial position and internal operations, refocused our content, spearheaded the redesign of our website, and expanded our audience. TAC is in a firmer position today both financially and editorially than it has been in many years. 

It is a confirmation of The American Conservative’s positions and Emile’s leadership that conservatism writ large now reflects TAC’s sensibilities. Many of our positions that were once considered outliers on the right are now squarely and firmly at center stage. TAC’s “Main Street” conservatism has arrived.

Emile will continue to guide TAC throughout the transition this fall, and our editorial content will remain under the direction of senior editor Helen Andrews and managing editor Jude Russo. TAC’s Board of Directors is hard at work conducting a thorough search for our next organizational leader. I’m confident that we’ll attract candidates of the caliber necessary to build on our significant successes of recent years, and take our publication to even greater heights.

I am grateful to all of our readers and supporters and look forward with confidence to many great things to come.