WASHINGTON—Rick A. Dearborn, former White House deputy chief of staff to President Donald Trump, is returning to The Heritage Foundation as a visiting fellow to support Project 2025, an initiative launched this year to prepare the next presidential administration.
Dearborn will serve on the Project 2025 steering committee and write a chapter for the forthcoming “Mandate for Leadership” book, which will feature authors from across the conservative movement as well as former administration officials.
Project 2025 was created by Heritage President Kevin Roberts to provide conservative policy recommendations and the properly vetted and trained personnel needed to take back America. The initiative is led by Paul Dans, former chief of staff of the Office of Personnel Management during the Trump administration.
Dearborn will advise on personnel recommendations and help implement a secure database of conservative staff who are ready to work on day one. He’ll also collaborate with Project 2025’s other partners to develop a policy playbook for the incoming presidential administration.
Roberts made the following statement:
“Conservatives must step up and lead now if we’re going to shape the direction of the next presidential administration in 2025. Rick Dearborn has a proven record of success and we’re excited to have him on our team to support Project 2025. Heritage is committed to providing not just the intellectual firepower to policymakers, but also to do everything we can to ensure the right people hold positions of influence in Washington—and are empowered to root out those who no longer serve the interests of the American people.”
Dearborn is currently a partner at Mindset, bringing three decades of experience that includes service under two U.S. presidents and six U.S. senators. He previously served as deputy chief of staff in the White House. In that role, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of approximately 100 staff in five separate Executive Offices of the President departments. He was executive director of the 2016 Presidential Transition Team and was responsible for the direction and management of the Transition Team’s 600-plus members.
Dearborn made the following statement:
“I’m honored to once again work with The Heritage Foundation and to support the important work of Project 2025. Having seen the presidential transition process firsthand in 2016, I know what is required for a new president to hit the ground running. The combination of a strong team with vetted personnel recommendations and conservative policy solutions will be a game-changer for whoever ends up in the White House on Jan. 20, 2025.”
Dearborn previously served Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for over two decades, both as his chief of staff and legislative director. He was appointed by President George W. Bush as assistant secretary of energy for congressional affairs, where he worked with the Senate, House, and tribal governments on the president’s energy agenda. Earlier in his career, he worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate Republican Conference, and the Senate Steering Committee.
Dearborn graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in public administration with a minor in economics.