Burke to Buckley Program

NRI’s Burke to Buckley Program is an eight-session dinner discussion program for mid-career professionals that explores the foundations of conservative thought and builds a network of talented individuals who assist one another professionally and personally. NRI is pleased to offer in-person programs in the fall and spring and virtual programs in the summer.

Applications to the spring programs in Miami, New York City, and Philadelphia are due on December 15th!

Burke to Buckley In-Person Programs

The in-person Burke to Buckley Program follows a syllabus, designed by NRI trustee and celebrated academic Daniel J. Mahoney, that fosters a rigorous examination of conservative principles and how they apply to the issues of the day. Incorporating readings from Burke to Buckley, the syllabus focuses on the foundations of conservative thought. For each session of the eight seminars, participants are expected to complete a reading assignment which typically takes between one and two hours to complete. During each meeting, participants will discuss the readings with a leading conservative thinker. Past discussion leaders have included luminaries such as Lee Edwards, Kathryn Jean Lopez, Bobbi Herzberg, John Hillen, Yuval Levin, Christopher Wolfe, and John Yoo.

The Burke to Buckley Program began in Washington, D.C. and has since expanded to five additional cities: New York City (2014), Dallas (2014), San Francisco (2016), Philadelphia (2018), and Chicago (2019). The Washington and San Francisco chapters were ended in 2020.

Each chapter is run by a regional coordinator, who is an aluma/nus of the program. The current coordinators are Dan McDonough (Philadelphia), Kate O’Connor (New York City), and Lathan Watts (Dallas).

The classes are comprised of approximately 20 mid-career professionals, representing a wide variety of professions and industries outside public policy. Applicants should have between 10 and 25 years of professional work experience. This program is not intended for recent graduates or people working in the fields of public policy or politics. Applicants for the program generally live in or within the vicinity of the city to which they are applying as travel expenses are not provided by NRI.

A fee of $500 will be charged upon acceptance into the program to cover a portion of the cost of the program, meals, and discussion leaders (speakers). Limited scholarships are available. 

Participants and alumni receive invitations to exclusive networking happy hours and other annual and regional events when they occur. They also receive a complimentary ticket to the Buckley Prize Dinner in the year that they participate in the program.

Applications for these programs, which generally run from mid-September to mid-November of each year, open on May 1. Once the link is live, you may click on one of the city names below to be directed to the application.

  • CHICAGO, IL: Speakers for the Chicago Program have included: NRI fellow Kathryn Jean Lopez; Lee Edwards, The Heritage Foundation; Matthew Continetti, The Washington Free Beacon; and William Schambra, Hudson Institute.
  • DALLAS, TX: Speakers for the Dallas Program have included: NRI fellow Kathryn Jean Lopez; NationalReview.com editor Charles C. W. Cooke; Lee Edwards, The Heritage Foundation; Richard Dougherty, Gladden Pappin, and Christopher Wolfe, The University of Dallas; and Robert Lawson, Southern Methodist University.

Applications for these programs, which generally run from mid-January to May of each year, open on September 1. Once the link is live, you may click on one of the city names below to be directed to the application.

  • MIAMI, FL: New Program Starting Spring 2022! Miami was chosen because of its rich and diverse history and population. The program is seeking applicants that represent that rich history and a varying array of business and industry. Those in the biotechnology and medical-research industries, tourism, education, law enforcement, finance, banking, fashion, sports, etc. are encouraged to apply.
  • NEW YORK, NY: Speakers for the New York Program have included: NRI fellows Kathryn Jean Lopez and Richard Brookhiser; NationalReview.com editor Charles C. W. Cooke; Lee Edwards, The Heritage Foundation; Brian Anderson, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; William Schambra, Hudson Institute, and John Hillen, Hillen Consulting.
  • PHILADELPHIA, PA: Speakers for the Philadelphia Program have included: NRI fellow Kathryn Jean Lopez; Matthew Continetti, The Washington Free Beacon; Lee Edwards, The Heritage Foundation; William Schambra, Hudson Institute; Jeffrey Nelson, Intercollegiate Studies Institute; Michael Noonan, Foreign Policy Research Institute; and Michael Moreland, Villanova University.

Burke to Buckley Virtual Programs

In addition to the in-person programs, NRI launched a six-week virtual course (B2B 101) during the summer of 2020, with a shorter version of the syllabus used during the regular spring and fall programs. Past discussion leaders for B2B 101 have included Lee Edwards, Bobbi Herzberg, John Hillen, John Yoo, Brian C. Anderson, and Dan Mahoney.

B2B 101: #1 William F. Buckley Jr. & American Conservatism // #2 Burke, Prudence & the Spirit of Conservatism // #3 The Founders’ Constitution // #4 Economic Freedom & Political Freedom // #5 Conservatism, Democracy & Foreign Policy // and #6 Mediating Structures Between the State & the Individual.

NRI developed Burke to Buckley 201—open to anyone who has completed 101 in person or online. Daniel J. Mahoney, Professor Emeritus at Assumption University and NRI trustee, developed the new syllabus for a dynamic second-level program that continued to foster substantive dialogue. The first session explores the American Constitution in relation to the broader tradition of Western constitutionalism. Subsequent readings include Lincoln’s 1854 Peoria address on why slavery is incompatible with America’s Founding principles and natural moral law alongside Frederick Douglass’s 1852 address on the Constitution; selections from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago; and readings from Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.

B2B 201: #1 The Constitution & the Moral Imagination // #2 Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass // #3 The Abolition of Character: Identity Politics & Guilt by Race // #4 The Morality of the Markets // #5 Communism in Theory & Practice // #6 Religious Liberty.

DALLAS, TEXAS – OCTOBER 21: 2015 William F. Buckley Awards Dinner on October 21, 2015 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on October 21, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 Jerome Miron

Regional Fellowship Program alumni at the 2015 William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner in Dallas, Texas.