Former Heritage staff fill Trump Administration

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Since January, numerous Heritage staff and alumni have gone on to serve in the Trump Administration or are awaiting nomination. Below is an updated list of 52 Heritage staff who have assumed or are in the nomination process for positions in the Administration, including nearly ten advisors, four center directors, two general counsel, one chiefs of staff, four deputy directors, one director, and one secretary. This does not include the numerous individuals who served as part of the transition efforts.

We congratulate our former coworkers on these positions and are excited to see the work they do as they apply their expertise to tackling today’s critical issues.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Nina Owcharenko, is now a senior advisor within the Department of Health and Human Services. She formerly served as Director of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies and Preston A. Wells, Jr. Fellow. Owcharenko is well known as a champion of patient choice and robust competition in America’s health insurance markets. For years, she has advanced free-market, patient-centered solutions that fix the real problems in America’s healthcare system.
  • Roger Severino, is the new director of the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. He formerly served as Director of Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. Prior to his time at Heritage, Severino was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. He previously worked as the Chief Operations Officer and Legal Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
  • Laura Trueman, Special Assistant
  • Matt Grinney, Speechwriter
  • Steve Wagner, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families

Department of the Interior

  • Ryan Nichols, is now serving as an advisor in the Office of Water and Science within the Department of Interior. He formerly served as Heritage’s Associate Director of Coalition Relations. Over the past five years, Nichols has helped strengthen and align key players in the conservative movement by serving as a liaison to non-partisan conservative organizations.
  • Lori Mashburn, serves as the White House liaison to the Department of the Interior. Formerly she served as Heritage’s Associate Director of Coalition Relations. As a key member of Heritage’s coalition relations team, Lori worked with conservative state allies to advance shared policy priorities.
  • Elinor Werner, serves as the Executive Assistant to Secretary of the Interior. She formerly served as Heritage’s Assistant Director of the Young Leaders Program.

Department of Defense

  • Charles “Cully” Stimson, has been nominated to serve as General Counsel of the Department of the U.S. Navy. He manages Heritage’s National Security Law Program, is a Senior Legal Fellow in Heritage’s Center for National Defense and is Chief of Staff for Dr. Ed Feulner. Stimson is a widely recognized expert in national security, homeland security, crime control, drug policy & immigration.
  • Justin Johnson, is serving at the Pentagon and conducts research on related defense budgeting matters. He formerly served as Heritage’s senior policy analyst for defense budgeting policy. While at Heritage, Johnson conducted important research on how to achieve a fully-equipped, combat-ready military, as outlined in his recent Heritage report “Congress Should Enact a Strong Defense Budget in FY 2017.”
  • Brian Slattery, currently serves as Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe/NATO. He formerly served as a policy analyst in Heritage’s Center for National Defense. At Heritage, Slattery advocated for a strong national defense and robust security enterprise, focusing particularly on maritime security, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Arctic.
  • Mark Esper, nominated to be Secretary of the Army. He formerly served as Chief of Staff for Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in DOD: Rebecca Buchheit, Beachhead/White House Liaison

Office of Management and the Budget

  • Russ Vought, has been nominated to serve as Deputy Director of the Office of the Management and Budget. Russ formerly served as Heritage Action’s vice president of grassroots outreach.
  • Lisa Curtis, now leads the Trump National Security Council’s work on South and Central Asia. A former CIA analyst and senior advisor in the Bush White House, Lisa formerly served as a Research Fellow in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center. At Heritage, Curtis analyzed America’s economic, security and political relationships with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other nations of South Asia as a senior research fellow.
  • Jessica Anderson, has joined the Office of Management and Budget to help restore fiscal responsibility. She formerly served as the grassroots director for Heritage Action for America.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in OMB: John Gray, advisor; Brad Bishop, Confidential Assistant to the Associate Director; Amanda Robbins, Confidential Assistant.

Other White House Positions

  • Paul Winfree, serves as deputy assistant to the president, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and director of budget policy. He formerly served as director of Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Winfree, well-known in Washington for his tough stance on fiscal responsibility, took a leading role in drafting Heritage’s budget plan, and Politico named him “one of the most important people in the Administration to watch.” Roll Call highlighted Winfree in a list of rising stars in the Administration.
  • Hans von Spakovsky, has been appointed to the Presidential Advisory Commission on voter fraud. The appointment of von Spakovsky is a testament to the extensive work he has done throughout his career, specializing in voting and election issues including campaign finance reform, voter fraud, and election administration.  A former Commissioner at the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice official, von Spakovsky currently runs the Election Law Reform Initiative at Heritage.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in other White House positions: Rick Dearborn, Deputy Chief of Staff, White House Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Cabinet Affairs; Matt Flynn, Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs, Executive Office of the President; Duncan Braid, Vetting; Lara Barger, Digital Media; Brian Blasé, Special Assistant to the President for Health Care Policy; Sean Doocey, Deputy Director, Presidential Personnel; Emily Lataif, Executive Assistant to the Staff Secretary and Ann Conant. James Sherk, White House Domestic Policy Council.

Department of State

  • Brittany Balmer,  works in the State Department as Protocol Officer for Diplomatic Visits and Ceremonies. She formerly served as Heritage’s Senior Event Producer. Other former Heritage staff who now work in the State Department: William Wolfe, Congressional Advisor/Legislative Affairs; Ory Rinat, Beachhead team; Mary Monica Allen, Executive Assistant

Department of Homeland Security

  • John Mitnickhas been nominated to serve as to general counsel in the Department of Homeland Security. He currently serves as Heritage’s senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary, general counsel’s office. At Heritage, Mitnick advises on and oversees all legal, regulatory, and compliance matters . His experience prior to Heritage includes serving as an Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush in the White House, Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council, and Associate General Counsel for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Diem (Nguyen) Salmon, currently serves as Chief of Staff in the DHS and formerly served as Heritage’s senior policy analyst for defense budgeting.

Department of Transportation

  • Elaine Chao, serves as the United States Secretary of Transportation. She formerly served as a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Chao also previously served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009. Secretary Chao’s distinguished career spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She has served as President and CEO of United Way of America, Director of the Peace Corps, Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Deputy Maritime Administrator, a White House Fellow, Vice President of Syndications at BankAmerica Capital Markets Group, and a banker with Citicorp in New York.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in the State Department: Owen Morgan, Special Assistant.

National Institute of Justice

  • David Muhlhausen, has been appointed Director of the NIJ.  He formerly served as Heritage’s research fellow in empirical policy analysis. Muhlhausen is a leading expert on evaluating the effectiveness of federal social programs, and a veteran analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Muhlhausen joined Heritage in 1999 after serving on the staff for the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he specialized in crime and juvenile justice policies. He previously was a manager at a juvenile correctional facility in Baltimore.

Environmental Protection Agency

  • David Kreutzer, worked on a beachhead team within the EPA (during which time he helped undo Obama-era climate initiatives). He formerly served at Heritage as a senior research fellow on energy economics and climate change and has returned to Heritage where he continues to research and write about labor markets and trade.

Department of Labor

  • James Sherk, has taken on an influential role on a beachhead team within the Department of Labor. James formerly served as a Heritage research fellow in labor economics. Sherk’s research has helped equip right-to-work states with the ammo they need to resist union coercion and bad labor policy.

Department of Transportation:

  • Nick Yonkovich, Special Assistant to the CFO.
  • Tina Henry, Special Assistant for Scheduling
  • Andrew Fink, Special Assistant for Advance

Department of Housing and Urban Development:

  • William Gribbin, speech writer for HUD Secretary Ben Carson
  • Anne Gribbin, Special Assistant
  • Benjamin Hobbs, Special Policy Advisor, Office of Public and Indian Housing

Office of the Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Jeet Gurram, Senior Advisor
  • Randy Pate, Deputy Administrator

Office of Personnel Management

  • Mike Rigas, nominated to be Deputy Director

Department of Education

  • Gerren McHam, Government Affairs
  • Jessica Newman, Office of the Secretary as Director of Scheduling

Small Business Administration: Maryann Bradfield, Chief of Staff

National Economic Council: Maggie Delahoyde, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: Anthony Campau

What is the most important policy these conservative leaders can advance while serving in the administration?

Building a network of conservative professors

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Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics is busy fighting against the liberal indoctrination in colleges by building a network of conservative professors and providing them with the research and support they need.

We know that in order to win the hearts and minds of the young people in our country we have to train and educate their professors in conservatism. That’s why the Simon Center has created a targeted academic outreach to over 200 professors across the country– getting conservative materials and discussions on students’ syllabi. We are training professors on our founding principles, how to defend the Constitution, and on current conservative thought so that they are equipped to prepare their students to defend the conservative principles this great nation was founded on.

The Simon Center’s main objectives are to:

  • Promote conservatism in a way that connects with people in the 21st century
  • Undermine Progressivism by exposing it’s lies
  • Defend the Constitution and rein in the administrative state
  • Protect free speech by countering it’s main threats

During the year, the Simon Center hosts academic conferences in which 10-20 senior academics from prestigious schools discuss the Center’s research interests, including topics like race relations, the administrative state, and the future of the family. Such conferences help conservative professors think more deeply about these issues and better articulate a worldview based on absolute truth, logic, morality, and the wisdom of history when they return to their campuses and students. These conferences also give professors the confidence to expose the dishonest tactics of their liberal colleagues.

The Simon Center is also combating liberal indoctrination through our exceptional Young Leaders Program.

Thanks to your support, Heritage is able to keep working to turn the tide against liberal indoctrination in higher education.

What do you think are the most effective ways to fight against liberal indoctrination in higher education?

Saving America’s courts from activist judges

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As America’s top conservative think tank, Heritage is constantly researching, vetting, and recommending individuals to the President as viable candidates for nomination to judicial offices. Meanwhile, our sister organization, Heritage Action, is committed to engaging and encouraging the Senate to get committed constitutionalists judges confirmed.

In a recent article, John Malcolm, the Vice President for the Institute for Constitutional Government and Director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at Heritage, states:

President Trump, ably assisted by White House Counsel Don McGahn and his team, has nominated 25 highly-qualified men and women to the federal bench.  There are currently 138 vacancies, with 22 more on the horizon.  The president has his work cut out for him, but reshaping the judiciary by appointing constitutionalist judges may well become the defining feature and most lasting legacy of the Trump administration.

Read John Malcolm’s complete statement>>

Approximately 390,000 cases are heard in the federal courts each year. Only around 70 make it to the Supreme Court which means the vast majority lie in the hands of one of the 849 federal judges.

As lifetime appointees, nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, the impact of these judges is long-lasting. They hold considerable power in deciding today’s most important legal and political issues, which emphasizes the importance of filling these positions with committed, conservative appointees.

So far, President Trump has demonstrated a dedication and willingness to appoint conservative judges, outpacing his predecessors in making conservative court nominations.

Thank you for helping save our federal courts from activist judges.

Do you think enough people realize the importance and impact of courts, especially federal courts, in shaping the direction America takes on key issues of national concern?

Former Heritage expert joins National Security Council

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During a time when there are many complex foreign relationships and looming threats on the global scene, the National Security Council (NSC) needs to rely on wise leadership and counsel. None is better equipped than former Heritage expert Lisa Curtis.

According to Dr. James Carafano, Heritage Vice President of the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy,

“She is exactly the skilled, principled expert the NSC needs during this pivotal time in our nation’s history.”

Curtis was appointed to the National Security Council earlier this year as the senior director for South Asia. This appointment was recently highlighted by CQ Magazine, which described her as one of “five Washington hands who have a knack for smoothing out the process.” The feature story goes on to describe Curtis’s role and responsibilities at the NSC:

Tasked with making headway in the thorny and knotty relationship with Islamabad is Lisa Curtis, a longtime expert on Pakistan and counterterrorism…Curtis has the unenviable job of finding a way to convince Islamabad to crack down on the terrorist organizations operating from its territory rather than continuing to covertly provide support to groups such as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.

Read the full CQ article>>

Curtis worked at The Heritage Foundation for 10 years, where she was a senior research fellow in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center. She’s written extensively on U.S. national security interests and regional geopolitics. Read some of Curtis’s research >>

Previously she worked in the U.S. government on South Asian issues for 16 years. During that time she worked as a staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a senior advisor to the assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, an analyst for the CIA, and as a diplomat in the U.S. embassies in Pakistan and India.

Thanks to you, Heritage scholars like Lisa Curtis continue to fight for and support our country by applying their expertise and experience in powerful positions of influence.

Read more about Lisa Curtis’s appointment to the NSC >>

How should the U.S. address terrorism?

Foreign leaders look to Heritage

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Last week – in one day alone – Heritage hosted 18 diplomats, including 6 ambassadors, for a roundtable discussion led by Heritage president, Ed Feulner.

Heritage not only provides critical insight and support to U.S. policymakers and leaders, but is also an important partner and resource for foreign leaders. Just this past summer, for example, Heritage hosted the Presidents of Romania and Ukraine and the Prime Ministers of Vietnam and Tunisia.

Your support is facilitating these opportunities to influence foreign leaders and, consequently, foreign policy. Heritage experts work hard to cultivate relationships with foreign leaders and provides Heritage’s conservative perspective on critical policy issues.

While so much of Washington is stuck in the swamp — a circus consumed with petty concerns — Heritage is busy working on issues that will provide real change.

Thanks to your support, we are able to make this happen.

How do you think the U.S. is doing when it comes to cultivating relationships with our allies and strategic partners? What would you change? Why?

Meet Heritage’s newest education expert, dedicated to the fight for school choice

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About two-dozen states have considered Education Savings Account (ESA) legislation in the past 4-5 years. Six have ESA programs in place. We are truly moving into a golden age of school choice now that the debate has shifted from, “should there be school choice,” to “what are the best practices for education choice.”

Heritage recently brought education expert Jonathan Butcher, of the Goldwater Institute, onto our education policy team. Jonathan began as an education research assistant at Heritage in the early 2000s. We are excited to have him back and to share his story with you.

This week I had the privilege of speaking with Jonathan to talk about highlights of his career, recent victories in education policy, and the work he is doing at Heritage.

Interview with Jonathan Butcher

Kathleen: What did you do before Heritage and what brought you to Heritage?

Jonathan: My previous position was at the Goldwater Institute as their Education Director. What I’m most proud of is that our team at Goldwater was creating the first Education Savings Account program in the nation in Arizona. We took that program and expanded it almost every year that I was there, until this year when we helped to craft the legislation that would make the program available to every child in the state of Arizona that wanted to apply. We also helped make ESAs possible in five other states while I was there.  And then this year we created, at Goldwater, alongside Stanley Kurtz at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a proposal to protect free speech on campus. The legislators in North Carolina used that proposal and just passed a law based on our proposal on Monday. They became the first state to do that and there are three other states considering the legislation.

Kathleen: How would you describe your role at Heritage on the education policy team?

Jonathan: We will be continuing to research how ESAs are having an impact on the children that are using them and the communities those children are a part of – so the impact they are having on the way that families choose their family’s educational experience, the way that families customize their child’s educational experience. Heritage has an important role to play in holding the line on the truth about how parental choice in education benefits children. And that is a high profile issue right now because the president has voiced his support for school choice, the secretary of education obviously has a background that is strong in the area of school choice, and that has made this issue a hot button one in the media. Heritage has an important role to play when it comes to putting the truth in front of people about how parental choices in education have helped children succeed from all walks of life all around the country.

Kathleen: Have we influenced public opinion enough when it comes to explaining why our conservative solutions are the best solutions on school choice?

Jonathan: Surveys show that when parents are asked what they think about public education in the United States, they generally give it a poor rating. But when they are asked what they think of their local school, they tend to over-estimate how well-performing their local school is. What we’ve found is that public schools have a similar place in their communities, and people still feel an affinity towards their local public school while thinking the overall public school system is low-performing. That makes for a challenging dialogue when you talk about giving people access to other learning options.

I think the people who understand the value of school choice the most are those that have children that, for whatever reason, don’t fit in in their local school. Families that have children with special needs often find themselves arguing with their school districts about how their children should be taken care of in the classroom, and they tend to be very open early on to finding other options. But it could be something as simple as a child being bullied in class, a child who had a great teacher one year and a sub-par teacher the next year and parents can think – gosh this up and down isn’t really going to work for my child; we can’t have this 50/50 chance that a child is going to have a quality instructor each year.

And that will open their eyes to what else is out there. You know when you make the idea of choosing how and where your child learns mainstream and normal, people grow accustomed to it and if they don’t start to demand it they’ll at least think it’s normal and not strange that families want more choices in education. So that’s what we have to do…

Kathleen: How did you first get involved in politics and how did you get interested in education choice?

Jonathan: When I was working for a small think tank in Northern Virginia, I met someone…who was working at Heritage…I got to know [him], and I came over to Heritage and worked my way in as a temp and then as an intern and then the position opened in education research and I was in the right place at the right time.

So I had to learn very quickly what was going on around the country with state laws. Now remember this was 2002, so school choice was still pretty new, right on the horizon…So I scaled the wall of information pretty quickly doing research at Heritage, and after that I went and did various other things, I worked for a school district, a charter school authorizer. I worked at a university and was able to try different parts of education research.

The foundation that Heritage gave me prior to doing those things was really a great place to lift off and be able to do different things in the policy world in education policy because of what I learned at Heritage. And now coming back, hopefully I bring back with me the experience from working in a variety of places around the country on this issue.

Kathleen: Why are you a conservative?

Jonathan: There is a difference between right and wrong. There are things that are true and there are things that are false. Our worldview as free market conservatives – about what is best for individuals, family and liberty, protecting liberty and what that means – is all built into that free market conservative worldview. And I think that protecting that and interpreting that for people as they come across the complicated questions in policy and the news and our world today is really an important role.

And I think being able to decipher for people and help them understand why things like the minimum wage are harmful to young workers, why public school assignment is not the best answer for every child…those things aren’t obvious to people who don’t study these issues. So being a part of a movement that helps translate these important lessons to the general public and to lawmakers…is a blessing.

Please join me in welcoming Jonathan back to The Heritage Foundation. What questions do you have for Jonathan?

Campus free speech is in danger, Heritage highlights need for reform

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In 2016, college student Michelle Gregoire and her classmates were arrested and put in jail for distributing copies of the U.S. Constitution on their college campus. Ben Shapiro was disinvited from DePaul and AEI scholar Charles Murray was notably shouted-down at Middlebury. Ensuing riots sent a Middlebury professor to the hospital.

Our constitutional right to free speech is under assault. And antagonism towards free speech is displayed with concerning violence.

The very notion of the pervasive “campus free speech zones” is self-contradictory. Yet one in ten of the top colleges have such zones. Many are severely restricted. Free speech cannot be literally put in a box, only to be exercised in certain places, during certain hours, under certain conditions, and at the discretion of certain authorities. And no institution that receives federal funding should be allowed to infringe upon rights like this.

Heritage is committed to protecting and preserving our First Amendment rights. Tuesday, Heritage hosted a discussion entitled “Doublespeak 101: “Free Speech Zones” and the Threat to Free Speech on Campus,” featuring opening remarks by Congressman Phil Roe, a key proponent of Congressional measures to eliminate unconstitutional campus speech policies.

In this insightful panel, these experts discussed the state of free speech on campus, the problem of free speech zones, and potential remedies at the state and federal level.

As Congressman Phil Roe said:

Free speech is the oxygen of democracy, and without that oxygen – free speech – democracy will cease to exist. And that’s why we have to protect it so rigorously.

And the Goldwater Institute’s Timothy Sandefur added:

We owe it to future generations to do what is necessary to protect free speech rights…We owe it to future generations to leave America as free as we found it or freer.

The Goldwater Institute released suggested state-level legislation earlier this year that is designed to protect free speech at public universities. This legislation was discussed on the Heritage panel.

Watch this week’s panel discussion on campus free speech zones below:

Why is it important to oppose campus policies that restrict First Amendment rights?

Take a look at the impact you had in 2016

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Last week Heritage released its 2016 annual report. What a year to remember! The report details the impact you made possible.

As the Washington Examiner remarked:

The Heritage Foundation might be the biggest winner of 2016.

Below are just a few of the accomplishments you made possible in 2016:

  • Forty Heritage officers and staff members contributed their time and talents to the Trump transition efforts, turning over more than 5,000 resumes of exceptional candidates to fill the approximately 4,000 appointed positions in the Executive Branch.
  • You helped expand school choice in Maryland and South Dakota.
  • Right-to-work legislation that passed in west Virginia and Wisconsin has been a signature issue for Heritage since our founding in 1973. Now the majority of states no longer force workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.
  • The U.S. and our allies adopted many of our policy recommendations for restraining North Korea. In addition to toughening sanctions against the rouge regime, Washington and Seoul agreed to deploy THAAD missile defenses in South Korea.
  • You were influential in winning funding to address the serious military readiness problems identified in our Index of U.S. Military Strength.
  • Heritage’s Young Leaders Program trained 184 interns and the Heritage Congressional Fellows program graduated its largest class of junior Hill staffers ever.
  • By year-end, Heritage hosted 185 lectures and seminars, conducted 810 television and 3,029 radio interviews, released 134 issue briefs and 1,107 commentaries, and the Daily Signal achieved over 25 million video views.

Read the full annual report to see more impact that you made possible in 2016 >>

What do you think has been the most important victory for conservatives since 2016? What should be the focus of conservatives for the rest of the year?

Heritage leads the charge for a vibrant conservative movement

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Heritage’s Coalitions team, lead by Jordan Hess, hosts numerous events to bring the conservative movement together and Hess actively presenting at movement events around the country. According to Hess, these events are especially important to gather information on what Americans care about.

In this chaotic political climate it’s more critical than ever for conservatives to stand together.

A Washington Times article published this week highlighted the current strength of conservative rallies and events, noting Heritage’s solid presence, and hypothesizing what those events mean for the conservative movement at large.

Read the full Washington Times article here >>

After highlighting the 18+ events that Heritage staff have attended this year alone, the piece points how these events reach young conservatives.

Heritage will continue to lay the groundwork and forge ahead in promoting the principles of conservatism to the next generation of conservative leaders.

A stronger Heritage equals a stronger conservative movement.

Thanks to you, Heritage is able to continue this impact that will have a huge influence on conservative policy for generations to come.

What are the conservative movement’s biggest opportunities for growth?

Hear what a NYT best-selling author has to say about the American culture

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J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, delivered the keynote address yesterday during Heritage’s panel on the release of the 2017 Index of Culture and Opportunity.

Vance’s upbringing was riddled with hardship, poverty, abuse and instability giving him first-hand experience of how culture plays a critical role in shaping people’s lives.

According to Vance:

When you think about a person who grows up in a disadvantaged circumstance, their culture is really the set of environmental and social circumstances that affect them…and if you want to understand why some of these kids are doing well and some aren’t, you really have to understand that social environment, the culture in which they grew up.

And I think that unfortunately it’s something that a lot of folks aren’t comfortable talking about, but it is a really important component in determining whether these kids are able to have much in the way of opportunity.

In his introduction to the Index he goes on to say:

It is harder to mea­sure culture and how it affects the people who occupy it, and judging by much of our recent discourse, it is harder still to talk about culture. But talk about it we must, because the evi­dence that culture matters should now over­whelm any suggestion to the contrary

This is the purpose behind Heritage’s Index–to analyze the cultural trends facing our nation and lead the conversation on how those trends should be addressed.

Read more about the Index and review this year’s edition.

While at Heritage Vance also sat down with Genevieve Wood from the Daily Signal and explained why the American dream is in crisis.

You can watch his interview below.

J.D. Vance on Why the American Dream is in Crisis

Why is the American dream in jeopardy? Author of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis," J.D. Vance joins us live with the answer.

Posted by The Daily Signal on Thursday, July 20, 2017

Many thanks to J.D. Vance for bringing us this message and drawing attention to the importance of civil society building a positive culture.

Why do you think it is important to emphasize the connection between culture and opportunity? To emphasize the family and social institutions? How can we as a nation promote and support these critical links?

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