2019 Ideas Summit Speakers

Tammy Bruce, an Independent Tea Party Conservative, is a radio talk show host, New York Times bestselling author, blogger, Fox News Political Contributor and columnist at Newsmax.com and The Guardian newspaper. Ms. Bruce is also President of the Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) organization, a nonpartisan, nonprofit that supports women and families. Ms. Bruce holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California, from which she graduated cum laude. Ms. Bruce notes her interest in politics and individual liberty was sparked during her childhood in part because of the work of authors Ray Bradbury and George Orwell, both of whom remain her favorite writers.

Robert Bryce has been writing professionally about energy for three decades. He is the author of five books, including most recently, Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong. A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, he has published articles in dozens of publications including the Wall Street Journal, National Review, New York Times, and Sydney Morning Herald. Bryce has given over 200 invited and keynote lectures to groups of all kinds and has also appeared on numerous television and radio programs. This year, he will release a feature-length documentary film: Juice: How Electricity Explains the World.

James L. Buckley served as a naval officer in World War II, after which he returned to New Haven to secure his law degree, having already earned a BA from Yale. After several years in private practice, he joined a group of small companies engaged in oil exploration abroad. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1970 as the candidate of New York’s Conservative Party. He failed of re-election; but he has since served as an undersecretary of state in the Reagan administration, as president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany, and, most recently, as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Tucker Carlson is the host of FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight (weekdays 8PM/ET). On his program each night, Carlson features powerful analysis and spirited debates with guests from across the political and cultural spectrum. He joined CNN in 2000 as its youngest anchor ever, co-hosting The Spin Room and went on to become co-host of CNN’s Crossfire until its 2005 cancellation. His latest book, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution, was a #1 Amazon Best Seller. Additionally, Carlson founded and acted as editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller, a political news website he launched in 2010.

Adam Carolla is an American comedian, radio personality, television host, actor, podcaster, and director. He hosts The Adam Carolla Show, a talk show distributed as a podcast which set the record as the “most downloaded podcast” as judged by Guinness World Records in 2011. Carolla co-hosted the syndicated radio call-in program Loveline from 1995 to 2005 as well as the show’s television incarnation on MTV from 1996 to 2000. He was the co-host and co-creator of the television program The Man Show (1999–2004). Carolla has made numerous guest appearances on political talk shows as a commentator. He hosted a weekly segment, “Rollin’ with Carolla”, on Bill O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor.

Matthew Continetti is co-founder and editor in chief of the Washington Free Beacon and a fellow at the National Review Institute. Matthew is part of NRI’s new Buckley Legacy Project Advisory Committee, which was formed in 2019 to serve as a clearinghouse for new WFB projects, provide advice and guidance to the Institute’s leadership, and participate in Buckley Legacy events around the country. The author of The K Street Gang: The Rise and Fall of the Republican Machine (Doubleday, 2006) and The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star (Sentinel, 2009), his articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, and Wall Street Journal.

Charles C. W. Cooke is the editor of National Review Online and a graduate of the University of Oxford, at which he studied modern history and politics. His work has focused especially on Anglo-American history, British liberty, free speech, the Second Amendment, and American exceptionalism. He is the co-host of the Mad Dogs and Englishmen podcast, and is a regular guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.

Lindsay Craig is the president of National Review Institute. Before joining NRI in August of 2013, Lindsay spent 16 years at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. As vice president of communications and marketing, she oversaw the development of the public-relations department, social-media and web development, and strategic marketing. Lindsay spearheaded numerous other Manhattan Institute projects — leading special initiatives, organizing major conferences, and overseeing MI’s internship program. In 2007 she launched MI’s Young Leaders Circle, a monthly forum for young professionals in the New York metropolitan area who are concerned about free-market ideas and public policy. Lindsay has worked with policy organizations and policymakers around the country creating partnerships, organizing events, serving on advisory boards, and speaking at conferences. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and young daughter.

Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Representative, is a proud 6th generation Texan. He graduated from Tufts University in 2006, where he earned his Naval officer commission through Navy ROTC. Following graduation, he immediately reported to SEAL training in Coronado, CA, where he met his future wife, Tara. After graduating SEAL training, Dan deployed to Fallujah, Iraq to join SEAL Team Three, his first of five deployments overseas. In November 2018, Dan was elected to represent the people of Texas’s Second Congressional District. He believes in service before self and understands that there is no higher calling than service to the American people.

Betsy DeVos serves as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education. Secretary DeVos has been involved in education policy for nearly three decades as an advocate for children and a voice for parents. As secretary, DeVos will work with President Trump to advance equal opportunities for quality education for all students and will advocate for returning control of education to states and localities, giving parents greater power to choose the educational settings that are best for their children, and ensuring that higher education puts students on the path to successful careers. DeVos has also served as chairman of The Windquest Group and on the boards of numerous national and local charitable and civic organizations.

Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, the founder and senior partner of Dhillon Law Group Inc., is an experienced business trial lawyer, trusted boardroom advisor, and passionate advocate for individual, corporate and institutional clients across numerous industries and walks of life. Dhillon’s practice, in addition to business and employment litigation, includes a substantial amount of constitutional litigation, including numerous free speech, due process, equal protection, and other fundamental rights issues. Some of her current cases include representing Trump supporters injured in a June, 2016 riot in San Jose and suing the California Teachers Association on behalf of teachers forced to pay dues after Janus.

Michael Brendan Dougherty is the author of My Father Left Me Ireland, a meditation on fatherhood, belonging, and nationalism due out this April 30th from Penguin Random House. He is a senior writer on NationalReview.com, where he writes widely on topics like the Trump presidency, Brexit, the rise of national populism in Central Europe, and even pop culture. He is also a regular member of the podcast The Editors. He is a 2009 winner of the Robert Novak Fellowship. His work has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN Magazine, and many other publications.

Lee Edwards, distinguished fellow in conservative thought at The Heritage Foundation, is a leading historian of American conservatism and the author or editor of 25 books. Edwards also is adjunct professor of politics at the Catholic University of America and chairman of a foundation that dedicated the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 2007. Edwards was the founding director of the Institute of Political Journalism at Georgetown University and a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and National Review, among other places.

Neal B. Freeman is Chairman of The Blackwell Corporation, an advisory firm with clients in the communications, defense and wealth management businesses. Mr. Freeman is an experienced corporate director, having served on the boards of seven public and sixteen private companies. As a television producer, Mr. Freeman has produced more than one thousand programs for national broadcast and his productions have won many awards for journalistic excellence. Freeman was associated for many years with the late William F. Buckley, Jr., serving as an editor and columnist for National Review, founding producer of Firing Line, manager of the Buckley for Mayor campaign, and a Director of National Review, Inc.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, an attorney (concentrating his practice in constitutional law and the law of armed conflict), and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the past president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and a former lecturer at Cornell Law School. David is a former major in the United States Army Reserve (IRR). In 2007, he deployed to Iraq, serving in Diyala Province as Squadron Judge Advocate for the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Jim Geraghty is a conservative blogger and regular contributor to National Review. He is the author of National Review’s Campaign Spot blog and “Morning Jolt” newsletter. Geraghty has written two books: Voting to Kill: How 9/11 Launched the Era of Republican Leadership and The Weed Agency: A Comic Tale of Federal Bureaucracy Without Limits.

Jonah Goldberg is a bestselling author and columnist, senior editor of National Review, and fellow at National Review Institute. His nationally syndicated column appears regularly in scores of newspapers across the United States. He was the founding editor of NationalReview.com. The Atlantic magazine identified Goldberg as one of the top 50 political commentators in America. In 2011 he was named the Robert J. Novak Journalist of the Year at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He has written on politics, media, and culture for a wide variety of publications and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. His most recent book is New York Times bestseller Suicide of the West (Crown Forum, 2018).

Kevin Hassett was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 12th and sworn in as the 29th Chairman on September 13, 2017. Prior to becoming Chairman of the CEA, he was an economist at the American Enterprise Institute beginning in 1997. Hassett was also a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business of Columbia University. A noted expert in the field of public finance, Hassett has authored peer-reviewed articles in leading economics journals and has served as a columnist in leading media outlets.

Mark Janus is a Senior Fellow at the Liberty Justice Center and Illinois Policy Institute, where he serves as an advocate and spokesperson for workers’ rights. Mark spent the last 11 years of his career as a child support specialist for the Illinois state government, ensuring that children get all the resources to which they are entitled. It was during that time that Mark courageously took on one of the most powerful political forces in the country: the public employee unions. Mark fought for his First Amendment rights – and the rights of more than 5 million other government workers – all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court with his case, Janus v. AFSCME. Mark’s bravery resulted in the single greatest victory for First Amendment rights in a generation.

David Keating has a long and distinguished career in nonprofit advocacy. Prior to joining the Institute for Free Speech, he was the Executive Director of the Club for Growth. While there, he played a key role in growing the organization’s membership and influencing economic freedom through public policy and politics. In 2007, Keating founded SpeechNow.org due to his frustration with the incessant attacks on the First Amendment. group won the lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission that created what’s now known as the super PAC. Keating has appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” NBC’s “Today,” ABC’s “20/20,” PBS’s “The NewsHour,” Fox News Channel, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” and many other news and talk programs.

Leonard Leo is Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society, joining the organization over 25 years ago. Since that time he has been instrumental in helping the organization top 70,000, focusing on the growth of lawyers membership, operations and activities advancing limited, constitutional government. In addition to his work at the Society, Leonard has advised President Trump on judicial selection, assisted with the Gorsuch and Kavanaugh Supreme Court selection and confirmation process, and served as a member of the transition team. Leonard was appointed by President George W. Bush to three terms to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom as chairman.

Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at National Review Institute where she directs the Center for Religion, Culture, and Civil Society, and editor-at-large of National Review. “K-Lo” is also a nationally syndicated columnist, contributor to a number of national Catholic publications, and author of the upcoming A Year with the Mystics from Saint Benedict’s Press. She is also co-author of How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice. She was awarded the annual Washington Women in Journalism Award for Outstanding Journalism in the Periodic Press from CQ Roll Call in 2016 for writing about Christian genocide and persecution.

Richard Lowry is the editor of National Review. He is a syndicated columnist and a commentator for the Fox News Channel. He writes for Politico, and often appears on such public affairs programs as Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He is a regular panelist on the KCRW program Left, Right, and Center. He is the author of Lincoln Unbound and Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years — a New York Times bestseller. Lowry began his career as a research assistant for Charles Krauthammer. In 1997 he was selected by William F. Buckley to lead National Review.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at National Review Institute, a contributing editor at National Review, and a Fox News contributor. He is a former Chief Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York and led the terrorism prosecution against the “Blind Sheikh” (Omar Abdel Rahman) and eleven other jihadists for conducting a war of urban terrorism against the United States that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. He has testified before Congress as an expert on issues of constitutional law, counterterrorism, and law-enforcement. His upcoming book, Ball of Collusion, will be published this spring.

Jay Nordlinger is a senior editor of National Review and a book fellow of the National Review Institute. He writes about a variety of subjects, including politics, foreign affairs, and the arts. Since 2002, he has hosted a series of public interviews at the Salzburg Festival. For NationalReview.com, he writes a column called “Impromptus.” With Mona Charen, he hosts the Need to Know podcast, and he also hosts a podcast called “Q&A.” In 2011, he filmed The Human Parade, with Jay Nordlinger, a TV series bringing hour-long interviews with various personalities. His latest book is Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators.

John O’Sullivan is an author and journalist. He is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He spent the last four decades as a writer, columnist, and editor on news organizations and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, most recently as the Executive Editor of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in Prague and a Vice-President of the RFERL Corporation. He stepped down from this position in December 2011. Mr. O’Sullivan is also editor-at-large of National Review where he served as editor in chief for almost a decade. He is currently president of the Danube Institute, a Budapest-based non-profit dedicated to reinvigorating U.S.-Central European relations.

Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He was designated Chairman by President Donald J. Trump in January 2017. He had previously served as Commissioner at the FCC, appointed by then-President Barack Obama and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate in May 2012. His regulatory philosophy is informed by a few simple principles, among them the importance of competition. Rules that reflect these principles will result in more innovation, more investment, better products and services, lower prices, more job creation, and faster economic growth. Some of the issues that Chairman Pai takes a particular interest in are the First Amendment and fiscal responsibility.>

Michael R. Pompeo was sworn in as Secretary of State on April 26, 2018. He previously served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 2017 to April 2018. Prior to joining the Trump Administration, Mr. Pompeo was serving in his fourth term as congressman from Kansas’ 4th District. Before serving in Congress, Mr. Pompeo founded Thayer Aerospace, where he served as CEO for more than a decade. Mr. Pompeo graduated first in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and served as a cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mr. Pompeo was the editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a senior editor at National Review, where he has covered national politics and policy for 20 years. He is also a columnist for Bloomberg View, which syndicates his articles in newspapers across the nation. In 2014, Ponnuru contributed to and (with Yuval Levin) edited the book Room to Grow: Conservative Reforms for a Limited Government and a Thriving Middle Class. New York Times columnist David Brooks called the book “the most coherent and compelling policy agenda the American right has produced this century.” Ponnuru was subsequently featured in a New York Times Magazine cover story about reform-minded conservatives.

Brooke Rollins is the Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives, and Director of the White House Office of American Innovation. Mrs. Rollins’s role serving the American people in the White House is preceded and informed by her own lifetime of extraordinary achievement. She was President and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, one of the most consequential and effective policy institutions in the country. Before her fifteen years at the Foundation, Mrs. Rollins was a recognized leader in policy and public affairs in the Lone Star State. She served as Texas Governor Rick Perry’s first deputy general counsel and policy director.

Marco Rubio arrived in the Senate in January 2011. Since then, has fought against the Washington establishment’s big government vision, supported replacing ObamaCare with a better health care system, and opposed bloated budgets that increased taxpayer debt at the expense of creating jobs and real prosperity. He has served on the Special Committee on Aging, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In addition to the unique federal issues affecting Florida, some of his top priorities include fighting poverty by encouraging states to empower their people and defending families by revitalizing America’s military strength.

Reihan Salam has been named Manhattan Institute’s fifth president. From 2014 to 2019, Salam served as the executive editor of National Review. He is also a National Review Institute Policy Fellow, a contributing editor at The Atlantic and National Affairs, and, in 2017, was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. Mr. Salam is the author of Melting Pot or Civil War? (Sentinel, 2018). His writing has appeared in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Times of London—and he has appeared as an analyst on a number of radio and television programs, including All Things Considered, and Face the Nation.

Father Scalia grew up in the Diocese of Arlington and attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He then studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Since his ordination in 1996 he has served as parochial vicar at several parishes and as pastor of Saint John the Beloved in McLean. He currently serves as the Episcopal Vicar for Clergy and directs the permanent diaconate program. He has written for various publications and is a frequent speaker on matters of faith and doctrine. Father Scalia is the author of That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion (Ignatius Press, 2017) and Sermons in Times of Crisis: Twelve Homilies to Stir Your Soul (Saint Benedict Press, 2019).

Mike Sommers is the 15th chief executive of the American Petroleum Institute, the largest national trade association representing all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Sommers spent two decades in critical staff leadership roles in the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House, including chief of staff for Speaker of the House John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Special Assistant to President George W. Bush at the National Economic Council. Sommers has been instrumental in crafting landmark legislation, including leading efforts to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program through Congress and brokering a resolution between the administration and Congress ahead of the fiscal cliff in 2013.

Luke Thompson is a Republican political consultant. He has directed strategy, messaging, and targeting in more than a dozen US House races, numerous state legislative elections, and several statewide campaigns across the country. In 2016 he led data and digital strategy for Right to Rise and in 2014 was the Director of Analytics at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He has also run data-driven public affairs projects for some of the country’s leading trade associations and corporations. In addition to his campaign work, Luke is the co-host with Jay Cost of Constitutionally Speaking, a weekly-ish National Review podcast on the history of the American constitution.

John Tillman is the CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute. He has transformed what many wrote off as a blue state into a place ripe for free-market reform. John has founded or co-founded a variety of key organizations in Illinois to create the competitive capacity needed to turn Illinois around, including Illinois Policy 501(c)(4), and the Liberty Justice Center, a 501(c)(3) public-interest law firm. In 2011, John won the State Policy Network’s prestigious Roe Award for his leadership, innovation and accomplishments in the world of public policy. This annual award pays tribute to those in the state public policy movement whose achievements have greatly advanced the free-market philosophy.

Kevin D. Williamson is National Review’s roving correspondent. He is the author of The End Is Near and It’s Going To Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure. When he is not sounding the alarm about Fiscal Armageddon, he is the theater critic at The New Criterion. Williamson began his journalism career at the Bombay-based Indian Express Newspaper Group and spent 15 years in the newspaper business in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. He served as editor-in-chief of three newspapers and was the founding editor of Philadelphia’s Bulletin. His work has appeared in the New York Post and Commentary, among other publications.

John Yoo is the Emanuel Heller Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, where he directs the Public Law and Policy program and the Korea Law Center. Professor Yoo has published almost 100 scholarly articles on subjects including national security, constitutional law, international law, and the Supreme Court. He also regularly contributes to the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and National Review, among others. Professor Yoo was an official in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked on national security and terrorism issues after the September 11 attacks.