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Who We Are


Students


Clare Burgess
Lead Student Manager and Research Fellow
Government Major
CMC ’20



Romi Feder
Student Manager and Research Fellow
PPE Major
CMC ’20



Samuel Fiske
Student Manager and Reseach Fellow
PPE Major
CMC ’21



Harrison Shreiber
Senior Student Researcher and Research Fellow
Government Major
CMC ’22



Julie Tran
Research Assistant
Government and Literature Dual Major
CMC ’20



Matt Leder
Executive Director of Media
Intended PPE Major
CMC ’22



Lincoln Bernard
Web Developer
PPE and Computer Science Dual Major
CMC ’21


Jane Baldwin
Research Assistant
CMC ’22
Fun Fact: New Zealand citizen

Annie Deckey
Media Manager and Research Assistant
CMC ’22
Fun Fact: Has over 250 cousins on her mom’s side of the family.

Hannah Reilly
Media Manager and Research Assistant
Government Major
CMC ’22
Fun Fact: I love to paint and I have a mini art gallery in my dorm room!

Staff


Jennifer Valdez









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Affiliated Faculty


Dr. George Thomas

DIRECTOR, BURNET C. WOHLFORD PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS

[email protected]

George Thomas is Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions at Claremont McKenna College, where he has taught for over 10 years. He came to Claremont McKenna from Williams College. He is the author of The Founders and the Idea of a National University: Constituting the American Mind(Cambridge University Press, 2015), The Madisonian Constitution (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), and numerous scholarly articles in journals such as Perspectives on PoliticsStudies in American Political DevelopmentPolity, and American Political Thought, as well as essays in more popular journals such as National Affairs and The American Interest.

He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Huntington Library, and is the recipient of the Alexander George Award from the American Political Science Association.

Faculty Profile Page
Publications (links to CV)



Dr. Joseph M. Bessette

ALICE TWEED TUOHY PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT AND ETHICS

[email protected]

Joseph M. Bessette has been at CMC since 1990. He teaches courses in American government, ethics, and crime and public policy. From 1985 to 1990 he served first as Deputy Director for Data Analysis and then as Acting Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the U.S. Department of Justice. Before that he served for three and a half years in the Cook County, Illinois, State’s Attorney’s Office, where he was Director of Planning, Training, and Management. In 1983 he was issues coordinator for the Chicago mayoral campaign of Richard M. Daley. From 1990 to 1993 he served on Mayor Richard Daley’s Blue Ribbon Panel of Police Hiring and Promotion, which dealt with issues of affirmative action in the hiring and promotion of Chicago police officers.

In addition to other published writings on American government and politics, he is author of The Mild Voice of Reason: Deliberative Democracy and American National Government, co-editor and contributor to The Presidency in the Constitutional Order, and co-author of American Government: Origins, Institutions, and Public Policy. He is currently working on a major study of the murders committed by those on death row throughout the United States, to be titled Murder Most Foul: A Portrait of Death Row in the United States.

Faculty Profile Page
Publications (links to CV)



Dr. Mark Blitz

FLETCHER JONES PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

[email protected]

Mark Blitz (A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University) is Fletcher Jones Professor of Political Philosophy. He served during the Reagan Administration as Associate Director of the United States Information Agency, where he was the United States Government’s senior official responsible for educational and cultural exchange, and as Senior Professional Staff Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He has been Vice President and Director of Political and Social Studies at the Hudson Institute, and has taught political theory at Harvard University and at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the co-editor (with William Kristol) of Educating the Prince, and the author of Plato’s Political Philosophy, of Duty Bound: Responsibility and American Public Life, of Heidegger’s “Being and Time” and the Possibility of Political Philosophy, and of many articles on political philosophy, public policy, and foreign affairs.

Faculty Profile Page
Publications (links to CV)



Dr. Charles R. Kesler

DENGLER-DYKEMA DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT

[email protected]

Charles R. Kesler is Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College. He received his A.B. in Social Studies (1978) as well as his A.M. and Ph.D. in Government (1985) from Harvard University.

From 1989 to 2008, Dr. Kesler was Director of CMC’s Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World. From September 2000 to March 2001, he served as Vice Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Congress’s James Madison Commemoration Commission. He was selected in June of 2000 as a member of The Scholars Commission on the Jefferson-Hemings Issue sponsored by The Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society.

Dr. Kesler is editor of Saving the Revolution: The Federalist Papers and the American Founding (Free Press, 1987), and co-editor, with William F. Buckley, Jr., of Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought(HarperCollins, 1988). He has written extensively on American constitutionalism and political thought, and his edition of The Federalist Papers (Signet Classics, 2003) is the best-selling edition in the country.

Dr. Kesler contributes regularly to the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journaland the Los Angeles Times. His articles on contemporary politics have also appeared in The Washington TimesPolicy ReviewNational Review, and The Weekly Standard, among other journals.

Faculty Profile Page



Dr. Susan J. McWilliams

PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, CHAIR OF POLITICS, POMONA COLLEGE

[email protected]

Susan McWilliams is a Professor of Politics at Pomona College, where she has twice won the Wig Award for Excellence in Teaching.

She is the author of Traveling Back: Toward a Global Political Theory (Oxford University Press, 2014) and a co-editor of several books, most recently The Best Kind of College: An Insiders’ Guide to America’s Small Liberal Arts Colleges (co-edited with John Seery, SUNY Press). Her writing has been published widely, including in Boston ReviewBustFront Porch RepublicPerspectives on Political SciencePolitical Science QuarterlyThe Review of Politics, and The Star-Ledger.

McWilliams received her B.A. in political science and Russian from Amherst College, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University, where she won the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni University Teaching Award.

In 2014 she won both the Graves Award in the Humanities and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship. She lives in Claremont, California, with her husband and two children.

Faculty Profile Page
CV



Dr. Christopher Nadon

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT

[email protected]

Christopher Nadon was educated at the University of Chicago (B.A. 1985, M.A. 1989, Ph. D. 1993) and previous to coming to Claremont McKenna College taught at the University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy and Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He is author of Xenophon’s Prince: Republic and Empire in the Cyropaedia and is interested in the relations between religion and politics.

Faculty Profile Page



Dr. James H. Nichols, Jr.

DR. JULES L. WHITEHILL PROFESSOR OF HUMANISM AND ETHICS

[email protected]

James H. Nichols, Jr., is Professor of Government and Dr. Jules L. Whitehill Professor of Humanism and Ethics at Claremont McKenna College and Avery Fellow at Claremont Graduate University. Educated at Yale and Cornell, he has also taught at McMaster University, the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, and Yale University, and spent a year working at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, as Associate Director of the Division of General Programs. He teaches chiefly courses in political philosophy and also the Freshman Humanities Seminar. His publications include Epicurean Political Philosophy: The De rerum natura of Lucretius; translations with introduction, notes, and interpretative essays of Plato’s Gorgias and Phaedrus; and articles on pragmatism, human rights, Plato’s view of philosophic education, liberalism, and political economy. His most recent book is Alexandre Kojève: Wisdom at the End of History, and his current research focuses on the Roman imperial historian Tacitus.

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Publications (links to CV)



Dr. Emily Pears

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT

[email protected]

Emily Pears is Assistant Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College. She earned her B.A. in government from Claremont McKenna College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on the development of patriotic attachments and constitutional union in the American Founding and early 19th century, and she is broadly interested in questions of nationalism and political culture in American political thought.

Faculty Profile Page



Dr. Jon A. Shields

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT

[email protected]

Jon A. Shields is associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right(Princeton University Press) and coauthor of Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University (Oxford University Press). His commentary has appeared in the Los Angeles TimesNew RepublicNew York TimesWall Street JournalWashington Post, and Wilson Quarterly. Currently he is working on a book (with Stephanie Muravchik) on long-standing Democratic communities that voted for Donald Trump. His recent course offerings include classes on campus politics, racial inequality, and the American culture wars.

Faculty Profile Page
CV

Board of Governors

Spencer Abraham P’19
Chairman and CEO of the Abraham Group, and former Secretary of Energy and United States Senator
MI

Peter Clark (emeritus)
CEO (emeritus) Detroit News Assoc. & Gannett Co., Inc.
La Jolla, CA

Christopher DeMuth
Distinguished Fellow Hudson Institute
Washington DC

Robert Ernst III ’74, P’05, P’10
Director Banbury Fund, Inc.
Carmel, CA

William Kristol (Chairman)
Publisher/Editor
The Weekly Standard
Washington, DC

Diane McGimsey ‘99
Sullivan and Cromwell
Santa Monica, CA

Vincent Phillip Munoz ’93
Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life
Department of Political Science at University of Notre Dame
South Bend, IN

James Piereson
President of the William E. Simon Foundation
New York, NY

Henry Salvatori

The Henry Salvatori Center began more than thirty years ago in a conversation between George C.S. Benson, the founding president of CMC, and Henry Salvatori. Its inspiration was Mr. Salvatori’s concern for the nature and problems of freedom in the modern world.

Born in Italy in 1901, he emigrated to America with his family in 1906. He earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and then went on to work for Bell Laboratories in New Jersey while earning an M.A. in Physics from Columbia University. After responding to an ad on a bulletin board, he set out for Oklahoma to experiment with seismic methods of exploring for oil. Working for Geophysical Research Corporation, Salvatori discovered many of the basic techniques of this new applied science. By 1930, he ran the company’s California and west coast operations. In 1933, with a capital investment of one truck and some equipment, he started his own company, Western Geophysical Corporation, which quickly became the industry leader, pioneering methods of offshore oil exploration and establishing offices around the globe.

Salvatori sold his company in 1960 and began a second career as a philanthropist and political activist. He was a major benefactor to numerous private colleges, to Los Angeles civic causes, and to think-tanks and research institutes across the country. His wife, the late Grace Ford Salvatori, was a primary fundraiser for the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.

A dedicated anti-Communist who had been active in Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign, Salvatori soon became the leader of the small group of men (the so-called “kitchen cabinet”) who encouraged Ronald Reagan to enter politics and run for the governorship of California in 1966. Salvatori was concerned not only with the Communist threat to the Free World, but also with the long-range and more fundamental problem of the internal cohesion, the sense of purpose and self-confidence of the West, particularly the United States. With this in mind, he founded the Henry Salvatori Center at Claremont McKenna College to study the moral and intellectual foundations of civil society-the factors that inspire and ordain liberty, elevating it above mere license.

In 1990, after the collapse of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe, he established the Henry Salvatori Foundation to further the study of the American Founding and those civic principles that unite all Americans into one people.