OCTOBER 19, 2023


The William F. Buckley Jr. Prize for Leadership in Political Thought
Introduced by Steve Forbes


The William F. Buckley Jr. Prize for Leadership in Supporting Liberty
Introduced by Senator Tom Cotton

Invocation by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik
Music Provided by Juilliard Performers

Watch this video about National Review Capital Matters.
Watch this video about honoree Amity Shlaes.
Watch this video highlighting our 2014-2022 honorees for the WFB Prize for Leadership in Supporting Liberty.

Sean T. Smith / Simon Luethi 

On Thursday October 19, National Review Institute held the William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner in our hometown of New York City, honoring Amity Shlaes with the William F. Buckley Jr. Prize for Leadership in Political Thought and Paul E. Singer with the William F. Buckley Jr. Prize for Leadership in Supporting Liberty. The gala, which included a crowd of 420 conservative leaders and supporters from across the country, raised over $1.5 million for the Institute’s programs.

In its tenth year, the William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner is a marquee gathering in celebration of the founder of the modern-day conservative movement. This year’s sold-out event took place at Cipriani 25 Broadway in the historic Cunard Building in NYC’s financial district. Also known as the Standard and Poors Building, the venue is an impressive example of Neo-Renaissance architecture and, as anyone who has seen its interior can attest, a striking monument significant to New York City’s past as a center for Trans-Atlantic travel in an earlier era. From the welcome reception to the after-dinner dancing, guests were treated to the local talent of Juilliard performers.

We were honored and, under the current circumstances, extremely grateful for the opportunity to welcome Rabbi Meir Soloveichik to lead the invocation. In her welcoming remarks to start the program, NRI president Lindsay Craig emphasized the unwavering support of the entire National Review enterprise for Israel and the Jewish people. “Our founder, William. F. Buckley Jr., was an ardent and steadfast friend of Israel,” she said. “He wrote consistently over the decades about the special relationship between the United States and Israel, a kinship based on a shared dedication to the God-given rights of the free individual.” She also shared fond reminisces about her last meeting with WFB’s “sainted older brother,” James L. Buckley, before he passed away in August at the age of 100. Asking pointedly about NRI’s commitment to defend and advance the timeless conservative principles for which he worked throughout his storied career, JLB took comfort in hearing from Lindsay that the Institute is stronger than ever.

National Review editor in chief Rich Lowry proudly held up a copy of the new, expanded monthly edition of National Review magazine, which is replacing the old biweekly format. In addition to describing how the change is part of a strategic investment in the NR enterprise, Rich quipped that he was glad to no longer need to explain the meaning of the word ‘fortnightly.’

Before entrees were served, guests were treated to a video highlighting NRI’s commitment to free enterprise through our National Review Capital Matters initiative. Appearing in footage from our events hosted over the past year were notable free-market champions Larry Kudlow, Kevin Hassett, Amity Shlaes, David Bahnsen, Linda McMahon, Anne Bradley, Jason Trennert, and more. Capital Matters features commentary and analysis on business, finance, and economics, and is focused, above all, on explaining, defending, and celebrating free markets.

Following a delicious dinner, we moved into the main part of the program: The awarding of the two Buckley Prizes. Lauded best-selling economic historian and new NRI fellow Amity Shlaes, who chairs the board of trustees of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, was honored with the William F. Buckley Jr. Prize for Leadership in Political Thought. She was introduced by longtime friend of NR Steve Forbes, chairman and editor in chief of Forbes Media. In her speech, Shlaes recounted the undergraduate experience of a young WFB, who exposed the collectivist, anti- capitalistic sentiment infusing academia in his first book, God and Man at Yale. She urged guests to emulate Buckley in the media, in their writing, and in the classroom, to dumb nothing down, and to speak clearly. To finish her speech, Shlaes raised a glass to “Buckley’s original mission: unapologetic support for free markets.”

After dessert, legendary investor Paul E. Singer received the William F. Buckley Jr. Prize for Leadership in Supporting Liberty for his foundation’s support of innovative organizations and initiatives that have strengthened American democracy. In his introduction of Singer, Senator Tom Cotton highlighted Singer’s philanthropic emphasis on supporting the free enterprise economic policies that are a key foundational principle of WFB’s legacy. Singer is the founder of The Paul E. Singer Foundation, which, among other areas, has focused on supporting scholars of free-market economics, the rule of law, and transparency. In his remarks, he took aim at the enemies of free enterprise today and warned about where the ideology of stakeholder capitalism could lead. He called to mind “O’Sullivan’s Law,” named for NR’s second editor in chief John O’Sullivan, who maintained that “Any organization which is not expressly right-wing will over time become left-wing.” Singer proposed a new corollary which he calls “Singer’s Law”: “Any corporation that does not explicitly put shareholders’ interests first, will eventually put shareholders’ interests last.” Singer closed his remarks with a call to remember the “unforgettable man who started it all,” Bill Buckley.

Concluding the program, NRI chairman Peter J. Travers thanked our generous sponsors and guests for joining us from across the country for a celebratory evening, and for helping NRI have another successful and well-attended Buckley Prize Dinner.

In addition to the honorees and those introducing them, notable attendees included former Attorney General Michael B.  Mukasey, former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, past honorees Ed Feulner, Virginia James, and Gene Meyer, and movement leaders from the Hoover Institution, Manhattan Institute, Heritage Foundation, Acton Institute, Pacific Legal Foundation, Stand Together, Mercatus Center, Buckeye Institute, Coolidge Foundation, Foundation for Economic Education, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Claremont Institute, Pacific Research Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom, Becket Law, and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.


Peter J. Travers


The Bahnsen Group
John and Ann Buser, Texas
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation
Paul E. Singer Foundation
Karen Buchwald Wright, Ohio


Laurel and Cliff Asness, Connecticut
Kenneth C. Griffin, Florida
Thomas W. Smith Foundation


Robert F. Agostinelli Foundation
Karen and Richard Spencer, California


Wendy and Dale Brott, Ohio
Suzie and Bruce Kovner, Florida
James V. Lacy, California
Napa Institute
Susan and William Oberndorf, California
Marisabel and Jerry Raymond, New York
Kenin M. Spivak, California/Apricity Foundation, Texas
Stand Together Trust
Karan and Alec Taylor, New Jersey
Madelene and Stan Towne, New York


Alliance Defending Freedom
Erika and John Ammirati, California
Janet and Brad Childers, Texas
Teresa and Jack Clem, Texas
Kristen and Charles Correll, California
Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak
Paul Isaac, New York
Dr. and Mrs. Gerard Jensen, California
Sylvie Légère and Todd Ricketts, Illinois
Dan McDonough, Pennsylvania
Debbie and Brian Murdock, Florida
Stephen P. Schaible, California
Dominick Schirripa, Virginia
State Policy Network
Catherine Barr Windels, New York
Penny and Bob Young, Florida


Lucille and Peter Braun, New Jersey
Laura and Peter Claude, Michigan
Drs. Vlad and Ann Coric
Gigi and John Dalsheim, New York
Rachel and Pat English, Wisconsin
Sharon and Jack Fowler, Connecticut
James Grant and Patricia Kavanagh, New York
Peter C. Hein, New York
James Higgins, New York
The Honorable John Hillen, Virginia
Anastasia Marty, New Jersey
The Honorable Linda E. McMahon, Connecticut
Diane and Thomas O’Leary, Florida
Diane and Steve Parrish, Connecticut
Eddie Perkin, Massachusetts
Nancy Reeves Reardon, Massachusetts
David Souther, Texas
Eden and Darren Springer, South Carolina


Gigi and Michael Brakey, Dallas
Helmut E. Fleps, Chicago
Elena Kurtz, Philadelphia
Jonathan Minsker, Miami
Elizabeth Wolf, New York
Shawn Michelle Zierke, Miami

About The Honorees

Amity Shlaes is receiving the WFB Prize for Leadership in Political Thought for her advocacy of classical liberalism in both politics and economics and for her enormous success in communicating its tenets to a broad audience. Amity has enjoyed a distinguished journalistic career, writing for, among other publications, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and, of course, National Review. She is the author of numerous books, including four New York Times bestsellers: The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, The Forgotten Man: Graphic, Coolidge, a biography of the thirtieth president, and The Greedy Hand: How Taxes Drive Americans Crazy. The adaptation of The Forgotten Man as a graphic novel (illustrated by Paul Rivoche and adapted by Chuck Dixon) demonstrated Amity’s creativity in bringing ideas to a wider audience. Her major books, including Great Society: A New History, are significant works of historical scholarship that decisively overturn long-established narratives of modern progressivism. Amity chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving Coolidge’s legacy and advancing his values. Among other awards, she has been a co-winner of the Frederic Bastiat Prize, an international award for writing on political economy, a winner of the Bradley Prize, in part for the influence of her work on America’s economic history, and a winner of the Manhattan Institute’s Hayek Prize for The Forgotten Man.

Paul E. Singer is receiving the WFB Prize for Leadership in Supporting Liberty for his foundation’s support of innovative organizations and initiatives that have strengthened American democracy. As founder, president, co-Chief Executive Officer, and co-Chief Investment Officer of Elliott Investment Management L.P., Paul has been—and continues to be—an immensely successful investor, having turned a stake of $1 million in capital into one of the largest and most admired investment companies in the world, with approximately $55 billion under management at the end of 2022. He was, famously, early to warn of the misallocations and vulnerabilities in the financial system that would lead to the 2008 financial crisis. NRI will highlight Paul’s philanthropic emphasis on supporting the free-enterprise economic policies that are a key foundational principle of WFB’s legacy. He is the founder of The Paul E. Singer Foundation, which, among other areas, has focused on supporting scholars of free-market economics, the rule of law, and transparency. He is a co-founder of Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization committed to deepening ties between Israel’s start- up ecosystem and the global innovation economy. He is also the chairman of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

About The Gala

For his entire life, Bill Buckley sought to preserve and buttress the foundations of our free society. To honor his achievement and inspire others, NRI’s Board of Trustees has created the William F. Buckley Jr. Prizes for Leadership in Political Thought and Leadership in Supporting Liberty. The William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner is an annual marquee event in the conservative movement that we move around the country each year to reach our broad base of supporters. Past galas hosted in New York City, Dallas, San Francisco, Simi Valley, Chicago, and Palm Beach have allowed us to connect with our supporters in those areas and grow our national enterprise.

Today, National Review Institute is enhancing and expanding its programs to better fulfill its mission—from equipping young conservative professionals and journalists, to promoting the work of the nation’s foremost proponents of a free society. With your help NRI continues to spread its influence and reach.