Kevin Roberts, Ph.D., was named president of The Heritage Foundation in October 2021. He succeeded former Heritage President Kay C. James as the seventh president in the organization’s 49-year history.
Roberts previously served as the chief executive officer of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), an Austin-based nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute and the largest state think tank in the nation. Under Roberts’ leadership, TPPF more than doubled in size. He also expanded the Texas think tank’s influence nationwide, opening an office in Washington, D.C., so that TPPF research might better inform federal policy debates.
>>> More from Kevin Roberts: The President’s Message
As president of The Heritage Foundation, Roberts will continue to lead policy research efforts on many of the issues he championed at TPPF, including education, health care, border security, election integrity, and more, and his leadership will also be critical in pushing back on the radical, socialist agenda being advanced by the left at all levels of government. At a time when so many bad ideas are coming out of Washington, his experience advancing sound policy at the state and national levels will be vital.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead The Heritage Foundation and honored the board selected me as its next president,” Roberts said. “Heritage has led the conservative movement with distinction and its policy solutions have improved the lives of our fellow citizens. I look forward to continuing this legacy and addressing the challenges we face today and in the future.
“Heritage is known throughout the conservative movement and policy community as a solutions factory. As a lifelong, movement conservative, I have always seen Heritage as the beacon of conservatism and of the American dream. In recent years, as I have worked with Heritage scholars on several issues, I came to appreciate Heritage’s critical role at this particular point in history. Coming from a state as free and prosperous as Texas, I’m eager to share the innovative ideas we developed and build on them.”
A lifelong educator, Roberts earned his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Texas. After several years of teaching history at the collegiate level, Roberts in 2006 left the university to found John Paul the Great Academy, a co-ed, K-12 Catholic liberal arts school in Lafayette, Louisiana. Roberts served as the academy’s president and headmaster for seven years.
In 2013, he resigned from the academy to become president of Wyoming Catholic College. Under his leadership, the college adopted a policy of refusing to accept federal student loans and grants, lest it be forced to violate Catholic tenets. This independent stance led The New York Times to describe the school as being full of “cowboy Catholics.”
In addition to his doctorate, Roberts holds a master’s degree in history from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Roberts and his wife have four children.
A nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education institute, The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s premier conservative think tank. It is the most broadly supported think tank in the world, drawing support from more than 500,000 members. Heritage’s policy impact is also unrivaled, with the University of Pennsylvania’s annual report on think tanks recognizing Heritage three years in a row as the think tank with the most significant impact on public policy.