2019 Annual Report

Principled Leadership in a Challenging World

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Policy Promotion

Charles Mitchell

Commonwealth Foundation CEO

It’s almost a given that Heritage interns will go on to successful careers in government, academia, public policy, and the private sector.

Some, such as Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Susan B. Anthony List CEO Marjorie Dannenfelser, and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neomi Rao, become conservative icons, due in no small measure to the grounding they received in our Young Leaders Program.

In 2019, we honored another conservative leader, Charles Mitchell (shown above accepting the Robin and Jocelyn Martin Young Leaders Program Distinguished Intern Alumni Award from Vice President Bridgett Wagner), with our Robin and Jocelyn Martin Young Leaders Program Distinguished Intern Alumni Award.

Mitchell interned at Heritage 15 years ago. Today, he serves as president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives, an increasingly influential free-market think tank in Pennsylvania. In 2019, the organization’s research and advocacy efforts helped convince state lawmakers to pass criminal justice reforms, boost school choice, and reject all proposed tax hikes.

In accepting the award, Mitchell traced much of his success back to our Young Leaders Program. “At a very young age, Heritage gave me an amazing environment in which to begin that transition from being an activist and writer, to being a leader … and I am only one of thousands of people for whom you have done that,” he said.

Young Leaders Program Turns 40

Mentorship, hands-on experience, intellectual rigor—these are the key elements of the intern experience at Heritage. Launched in 1979, our Young Leaders Program gives young people a firm grounding in our nation’s founding principles and equips them to identify “True North” on policy questions and stand up for what is right. Over the last four decades, we’ve sent more than 4,500 nascent conservative leaders out into the world.

In 2019, we welcomed 188 interns from 118 colleges and universities in 31 different states. Each of our three intern classes participated in our First Principles lecture series, attended weekly policy briefings by Heritage experts, and worked shoulder to shoulder with our staff. Every group enjoyed unique experiences, as well.

For example, our spring interns participated in the March for Life and helped represent Heritage at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference. Following a tour of the Supreme Court, they had a private meeting with Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who fielded their questions for nearly an hour.

Our fall interns met with another “Supreme,” Justice Clarence Thomas. The summer interns visited the National Archives and enjoyed an inspiring tour of Mount Vernon.

Twelve interns also participated in a pilot program co-sponsored by the Gloucester Institute. They travelled to historic Holly Knoll in Gloucester County, Virginia, for two daylong sessions with members of Gloucester’s Emerging Leaders Program. Their frank talks and probing discussions addressed four issues critical to the future of civil society: race, criminal justice reform, school choice, and health care. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we are planning for more collaborations with the Gloucester Institute in 2020.

Gloucester wasn’t the only new partnership established this year. Always looking to reach new audiences that seldom hear the conservative side of debates, the Young Leaders Program also conducted joint events with the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Turning Point USA’s Young Jewish Leadership Summit, and Christians United for Israel.

Additionally, we hosted briefings for over 65 student groups and spoke at 19 outside youth conferences. In all, the Young Leaders Program carried the conservative message to more than 3,000 students and young professionals in 2019.

Our Phillip N. Truluck Center for Leadership Development also was active in developing young talent. Center staff trained college students at meetings of the Forge Leadership Network and the Hispanic Action Network and conducted two multisession programs of their own.

Through its Local University Conservatives Program and its Conservative Hill Intern Program, the center introduced more than 160 Gen Z and millennials to our country’s First Principles and to Heritage policy solutions. These sessions help us to identify strong candidates for our intern program and to develop young talent for future placement across the conservative movement.

Our Job Bank hosts its Conservative Career Fair in October.

Our Job Bank hosts its Conservative Career Fair in October.

Beyond the Internships

Heritage doesn’t just develop strong conservatives and prepare them for leadership roles—we help them find work where they can lead the nation forward. In 2019, our Job Bank helped 30 former interns land their first public policy jobs.

Over the course of the year, the Job Bank placed 120 conservatives in excellent positions—42 of them in slots on Capitol Hill or in the Trump administration.

Having the right people in the right places is often pivotal to achieving policy success. Dr. Brian Blase is a prime example.

Blase first came to Heritage as a graduate fellow in health policy. He was later promoted to policy analyst. In 2017, he joined the Trump administration as special assistant to the president for health care policy.

Serving on the White House’s National Economic Council, he helped draft and advance regulatory changes to lower health care costs and expand insurance choices. He also coordinated development of the administration’s groundbreaking report, “Reforming America’s Health Care System Through Choice and Competition,” which pairs nicely with our Health Care Choices reform plan.

In September 2019, Blase returned to Heritage as a visiting fellow, where he will continue working to advance conservative policy on health care and entitlement reform.

Some Interns Find Their Dream Job at Heritage

Not all of our interns go on to do great things outside of Heritage. A lot of them come back to Heritage and do great things for us. Meet two such “keepers”: Anthony Kim and Gloria Taylor.

Anthony Kim
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South Korean-born Anthony Kim came to the U.S. in 1995 as a college student. Even then, he knew about The Heritage Foundation. “The Heritage Foundation was already a big power player in Asia,” he recalls.

After graduating from Rutgers University, he began graduate studies at George Washington University. “After one semester, I decided I wanted to spend my time and energy in a more practical way,” he says.

In the summer of 2000, Kim was accepted as an intern in our Center for Data Analysis. There he found the hands-on, real-life experience he was looking for: “The internship program is like a practical MBA—without the formal requirements,” he says.

In 2001, he became a full-time Heritage staff member, eventually joining our Center for International Trade and Economics. There, he started working on our annual Index of Economic Freedom.

Over the years, Kim helped make the Index more detailed, more dynamic, and more widely disseminated (via an interactive website, heritage.org/index). In 2007, he received our Drs. W. Glenn and Rita Ricardo Campbell Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the analysis and promotion of a free society. In 2013, he was named editor of the Index.

Gloria Taylor
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Gloria Taylor was well aware of Heritage long before setting foot in D.C. “I was raised in the conservative movement,” she says. “I grew up listening to Rush Limbaugh and reading National Review. In high school, ‘intern at Heritage’ was on my five-year plan.”

Taylor attended Furman University, majoring in economics and political science. Following her sophomore year, she got a call from intern recruiter Kyle Bonnell. “It was like a dream come true,” Taylor says. “I couldn’t wait to apply.”

In 2015, Taylor interned for Dr. Norbert Michel, analyzing banking data as part of his research on Dodd-Frank legislation. “I was able to put my theoretical knowledge of econometrics to practical use. But by summer’s end, I realized that I didn’t want a career crunching numbers; I wanted one where I could amplify the conservative economic message,” she says.

While finishing her senior year, Taylor learned that Heritage Action was hiring. Within weeks, she was Heritage Action’s newest grassroots associate. She later went to work in the communications shop of Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va.

In May 2019, she returned to Heritage. Today, as communications manager for our Institute for Economic Freedom, she books interviews and arranges press briefings for our economics team. And she doesn’t have to crunch a single number.

Rising to the Challenge

Vice President Bridgett Wagner organized another outstanding Resource Bank Meeting, held May 28-30 in Scottsdale, Arizona. With a theme of “Rise and Renew,” it was a clarion call for all elements of the conservative movement to rise to meet the challenges of the Left and renew our commitment to conservative principles.

The 547 attendees—including local, state, and national leaders, as well as four foreign ambassadors to the U.S.—represented the full range of modern conservatism. They heard from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, members of Congress, pollsters, fundraising and communications experts, journalists, and businesspeople, as well as leading national policy experts.

Among the panel discussions, the session on immigration reform generated the greatest interest. It drew a crowd that went beyond standing-room-only to full-fledged overflow.

Two other highlights of the meeting: the presentation of our Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship to journalist and Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway, and the annual Robert H. Krieble Lecture, in which former U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Janice Rogers Brown spoke on “Constitutional Law and Judicial Restraint.”

Wagner’s team also added a new element to the meeting: the Rising Leaders Fellowship. After soliciting movement allies for recommendations of outstanding conservative students and young professionals, we selected 35 of these “Rising Leaders” to join us for the conference. In addition to having access to all general sessions, they attended special networking and communications-training sessions designed just for them. On the strength of participants’ reviews, we have decided to expand the program in 2020.

Bridgett Wagner with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey at Resource Bank’s opening luncheon.

Heritage President Kay C. James speaks at Resource Bank.

Barnstorming for Health Care Reform

Coalition Relations teamed with our domestic policy experts to conduct a nationwide tour to educate state leaders, lawmakers, activists, and students on the Health Care Choices reform proposal.

The first stop, Kentucky, included briefings with Gov. Matt Bevin, Health Secretary Adam Meier, state lawmakers, and local activists, as well as local staff from the offices of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr.

Following the briefings, our health experts participated in a well-attended press conference, then met with the editorial board of the Louisville Courier-Journal before topping off the evening with a roundtable discussion of single-payer health care with student leaders of the University of Louisville. By the time they moved on to the next stop, they had generated more than a dozen news stories.

Coalition Relations Director Jordan Hess followed this model on similar stops in Arizona, Florida, and Georgia, always partnering with local think tanks. In each instance, the program generated new support for our health care plan—from state think tank leaders, taxpayer advocates, and faith-based organizations, as well as state legislators.

Public Programs 2019

President-elect Nayib Bukele of El Salvador spoke at Heritage in March.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., spoke at Heritage in February about Venezuela.

Our public programs team ran full tilt throughout the year, presenting 159 public events. Among those welcomed to our lecture halls were Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, 14 U.S. senators, 10 U.S. representatives, and one governor.

We also made the Heritage podium available to 13 foreign dignitaries, including the president-elect of El Salvador (above), the president of Taiwan, and the president of the Central Tibetan Administration—more evidence that Heritage’s influence extends not just to Capitol Hill but around the world.

Named Interns 2019

Interns at the inaugural Heritage Honors Gala in October.

Caesar Arredondo Interns

Annelise Butler, Providence College

Joseph Carl, Liberty University

Antonia Passalacqua, Florida International University

Miguel Pontifis, Liberty University

Matthew Prillman, Virginia Tech

Joseph Rodriguez, University of California, Berkeley

Rick and Pattie Barrett Intern

Kavya Ramagiri, Baylor University

H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation Interns

Isaac Ahn, College of William and Mary

Bryn Allen, University of Notre Dame

Alexandria Halton, Grove City College

Michael May, Seton Hall University

Patricia Patnode, Loras College

Andrew Smith, George Washington University

John and Barbara Bruning Intern

Courtney Joyner, University of Texas at Austin

Elizabeth Mallinckrodt Bryden Intern

Joshua Nelson, Syracuse University

David V. Burgett Interns

Jonathan Marcus, University of Michigan

Zachary Mettler, William Jessup University

Terra Schroder, University of Michigan

David Joseph Burke Intern

Nicholas Marr, Notre Dame

Mary H. Campbell Foundation Intern

Delayne Smith, Texas A&M University

Carter and Moyers Interns

Seamus Brennan, College of the Holy Cross

Ben Sachrison, University of California, Los Angeles

James Selvey, Olivet Nazarene University

Richard Earl Carter Meese Center Intern

Abby Klose, Liberty University

Clough Family Intern

Nicole Staley, Pensacola Christian College

Gene D’Agostino Meese Center Intern

Sarah Erickson, Catholic University

John R. and Margrite Davis Foundation Intern

Sarah Ford, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Gary L. Dawson Interns

Benjamin Burke, University of Virginia

Lianna Farnesi, Florida International University

Rebecca Eddy de Broekert Intern

Clara Hathorne, Williams College

Raymond Albert Ferrell Intern

Graham Filby, Grove City College

Franklet Intern

Timothy Kennedy, George Washington University

Richard and Barbara Gaby Interns

Caleb Hempstead, Liberty University

Anthony Jones, Wyoming Catholic College

Berniece and William Grewcock Interns

Riley Arlinghaus, Hillsdale College

Carmel Kookogey, Hillsdale College

Michael Maher, Brigham Young University

Jan Hair Interns

Samuel Lucas, University of Notre Dame

Alexandra Nieuwsma, Westmont College

Linda Boyce Haller Intern

Elias Gavilian, Patrick Henry College

Haskell Robinson Interns

Joseph Casais, Columbia University

Kelly Craig, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sean-Michael Pigeon, Yale University

Marjorie W. Herrick Intern

Alex Roegge, Wake Forest University

Chet and Patricia Houston Intern

Thea Dunlevie, University of North Carolina

Huston Foundation Intern

Paige Pristas, Pennsylvania State University

David A. King Interns

Bradley Devlin, University of California, Berkeley

Grant Steele, Wittenberg University

Kevin Kline Intern

Abigail Vendt, University of Virginia

Kevin Kookogey Meese Center Intern

Patrick Henry Featherston, Texas A&M University

Kuchta Family Intern

Samantha Michon, Brigham Young University

Robert E. Lamb II Interns

William Coudret, Miami University

Andrea Hitt, University of Virginia

Julia Mroz, Wake Forest University

Spencer Peck, American University

Sam Wolf, Cornell University

Sandy and Bruce Lang Interns

Elena Ehrlin, University of Northern Colorado

Megan Snitchler, Grove City College

David and Rebecca Laschinger Intern

Madison Ferguson, Wichita State University

Robert Mair Meese Center Interns

Lucas Drill, Columbia University

Christina Eastman, University of Rochester

Mayer Intern

Ellen Wittman, Miami University

Robert S. and Janet L. Miller Foundation Interns

Sophia Bagley, University of Utah

Jonathan Biagini, University of Notre Dame

Johanna Burke, Christendom College

Josh Cosby, Southern Utah University

Aaron Credeur, University of Dallas/Georgetown

Rachel Gill, Texas A&M University

Clare Hepler, Christendom College

Emma O’Connor, George Washington University

Coleman Raush, Patrick Henry College

Emma Watkins, George Washington University

Guido and Sue Pichini Intern

Alexander Hyatt, Bryn Athyn College

Pilgrim Foundation Interns

Michael Bugay, Florida International University

Heidi Thom, Whitworth College

Doris and Richard Pistole Intern

Jacob Flood, Washington and Lee University

Ray Foundation Interns

Caroline Downey, Boston College

Alexander Morales, Florida International University

Jacob Paolillo, Florida State University

Howard and Jill Sadkin Intern

Benjamin Paris, Harvard University

Jordan Saunders Intern

Kaylee Greenlee, Baylor University

Joe H. Scales Intern

Caleb Kostreva, Carnegie Mellon University

Greg Sheehan Meese Center Interns

Cooper Conway, Boise State University

Elisabeth Daigle, Spring Hill College

Shining City on a Hill Interns

Morgan Bevin, Grove City College

Kelsey Gaudette, George Mason University

Derek Hosford, Michigan State University

Danielle Merwin, Hope College

Alexander Rigsby, University of Richmond

Brandon Weber, University of Michigan

Harry E. Sims Intern

Elise Stebick, American University

Sontheimer Intern

Roe Willcox, Clemson University

Corinne Spence Interns

Kiran Menon, University of Virginia

Greg Walsh, University of California, Los Angeles

Col. Charles B. and Sally G. Stevenson Intern

Victor Xiao, Duke University

Sydney A. Swensrud Foundation Interns

Dwayne Clark, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Fabio van Loon, Luiss Guido Carli University

George W. Tippins Intern

Justin Corbin, Grove City College

Tom Tracy Intern

Caroline Lindey, Grove City College

Triad Foundation Interns

Michael Johns, Cornell University

Paul Zepeda, University of Dallas

James A. West Intern for Defense in the Davis Institute

Danielle Ford, Patrick Henry College

Samuel L. Westerman Foundation Interns

Chase Floyd, University of South Carolina

Emily Turek, Drake University

William M. Young Meese Center Internz

Alexis Huggins, Wheaton College

Robert and Audrey Zinser Meese Center Intern

Peyton Smith, Taylor University