The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership welcomes more than two dozen speakers from universities and institutions across the country to share in a vital debate on this year's conference topic, Citizenship and Civic Leadership in America. 

You can read more about each keynote speach and panel discussion on the conference information page by clicking here. And if you are still planning your trip to Tempe, Arizona for the conference, visit our visitor information page

Keynote Speakers

Rich Lowry, National Review

As one of the most respected conservative voices, Rich Lowry brings his sharp analysis and well-formed opinions to the political discussion through his writing and commentary. Lowry became editor of National Review in 1997 when selected by William F. Buckley, Jr. to lead the magazine.

Today, National Review remains a conservative guidepost, helping to bring to prominence rising conservative leaders and advance conservative policies. Lowry is a syndicated columnist and a political commentator. He also writes a weekly column for Politico. Known for his skillful debating style, Lowry is a frequent guest on Meet the Press, This Week and FOX News Sunday.

He is the author of the Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United and Free and Lincoln Unbound, which follows Abraham Lincoln’s climb to the presidency. Lowry’s book onBill Clinton was aNew York Timesbestseller. He serves on the Board of Counselors at Arizona State University’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. 

Yascha Mounk, Johns Hopkins University

Yascha Mounk is a writer, academic and public speaker known for his work on the rise of populism and the crisis of liberal democracy. Born in Germany to Polish parents, Yascha received his BA in History from Trinity College, Cambridge, and his PhD in Government from Harvard University. 

Mounk is one of the world's leading experts on the crisis of liberal democracy and the rise of populism. The author of three books that have been translated into ten languages, he is an Associate Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University, a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic, a Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, and the host of The Good Fight podcast. 

Yascha is a frequent keynote speaker at high-profile events like the Aspen Ideas Festival and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Fluent in English, German, French and Italian, he provides commentary for leading radio and television programs around the world.

Panelists and Moderators

Elizabeth Beaumont | University of California Santa Cruz

Elizabeth Beaumont is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of Legal Studies at theUniversity of California, Santa Cruz. She was previously a Research Scholar for the CarnegieFoundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Her research focuses on constitutionalism and democracy, as well as civic engagement and education, and she teaches in the areas of public law and legal studies, American political and constitutional thought and development. She is particularly interested in problems of unequal citizenship, the relation between citizenship, democracy, and education, and how civic actors seek to shape rights, law, and political power and policy.

Christopher Caldwell | Contributing Editor, Claremont Review of Books

Christopher Caldwell is a contributing editor at the Claremont Review of Books and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He is the author of The Age ofEntitlement: America Since the Sixties, as well as Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West.

Paul Carrese | Founding Director, School of CIvic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University

Paul Carrese is the founding director of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University. For nearly two decades he was a professor of political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and co-founded a new honors program blending liberal arts education and leadership education. He is author of "The Cloaking of Power: Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Rise of Judicial Activism," and co-editor of three other books – on George Washington, constitutionalism, and American grand strategy. His most recent book is "Democracy in Moderation: Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Sustainable Liberalism." He has held fellowships at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar; Harvard University; the University of Delhi (as a Fulbright fellow); and the James Madison Program, Politics Department, Princeton University. He serves on the advisory board of the Program on Public Discourse at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Susan Collins | Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame

Susan Collins specializes in Ancient Political Philosophy. She is a translator of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, with Robert Bartlett (University of Chicago, 2011) and author of Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship (Cambridge 2006).  Her current work focuses on the Spartan regime in classical political philosophy, a project that was awarded a 2018 fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Elizabeth Corey | Baylor University

Elizabeth Corey is an associate professor of Political Science at Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, where she also serves as director of the Honors Program. Her writing has appeared in First Things, The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education and National Affairs, as well as in a variety of scholarly journals. She received a bachelor’s in Classics from Oberlin College, and master’s and doctoral degrees in Art History and Political Science from Louisiana State University.

Shikha Dalmia | Reason Foundation, The Week

Shikha Dalmia is a columnist at The Week and writes regularly for Reason magazine. Her work also appears in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications such as The Times of London, Time, USA Today and The Daily Beast. She previously served as a columnist for Forbes and the Washington Examiner. Dalmia's feature on sanctuary churches won the first prize in immigration reporting at the 2019 Southern California Journalism Awards.

Gail Heriot | Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law

Gail Heriot is a professor of law at the University of San Diego. She teaches and writes in the areas of civil rights, employment discrimination, and remedies. Since 2007, she has been a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Kurt Lash | University of Richmond School of Law

Professor Kurt Lash teaches and writes about constitutional law. Founder and director of the Richmond Program on the American Constitution, Professor Lash has published widely on the subjects of constitutional history, theory and law, including The Fourteenth Amendment and the Privileges or Immunities of American Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2014), The Lost History of the Ninth Amendment (Oxford University Press, 2009), and The American First Amendment in the Twenty-first Century: Cases and Materials (with William W. Van Alstyne) (5th ed., Foundation Press). He is currently working on a two-volume collection of original documents relating to the framing and ratification of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Titled “The Reconstruction Amendments: Essential Documents,” the work will be published by University of Chicago Press in late 2019. An elected member of the American Law Institute, Professor Lash also serves on the advisory committee for the Reconstruction Amendments exhibit at the National Constitution Center. Professor Lash’s work has appeared in numerous legal journals including the Stanford Law Journal, Georgetown Law Journal, Virginia Law Review, and Notre Dame Law Review. He has been a visiting professor at Northwestern University School of Law and is the former director of the University of Illinois College of Law Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law.

Peter Levine | Academic Dean, Lincoln Filene Professor Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University

Peter Levine is the Academic Dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life. Levine was the founding deputy director (2001-6) and then the second director (2006-15) of TischCollege’s CIRCLE, TheCenter for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. He is the author of We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (2013), five other scholarly books on philosophy and politics, and a novel.

Dr. Stefanie Lindquist | Senior Vice President for Global Academic Initiatives and Foundation Professor of Law and Political Sciences, Arizona State University

Stefanie A. Lindquist became Deputy Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Foundation Professor of Law and Political Science at Arizona State University on September 1, 2016. She served as Arch Professor and Dean of the University of Georgia's School of Public and International Affairs from 2013 to 2016, after serving as Interim Dean, Associate Dean for outreach, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas School of Law. Prior to her time at the University of Texas, Lindquist served as Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at Vanderbilt University. She is recognized as an expert on the U.S. SupremeCourt, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Empirical legal studies, and has co-authored two books and dozens of published articles and book chapters. Her book, Measuring JudicialActivism, is the first publication to define the oft-used term quantitatively. She was recognized for her exceptional teaching skills at both Vanderbilt University, where she was awarded the Robert Birkby Award for Excellence in Teaching Political Science, and at the University of Georgia, where she won the Richard B. RussellAward for outstanding undergraduate teaching and was named Professor of the Year by the graduate students in the Department and PublicAdministration.Dr. Lindquist holds the JD degree from Temple University (magna cum laude) and the Ph.D in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Lindquist served as its Editor in Chief of the Temple Law Review and clerked for the Honorable Anthony J.Scirica at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. She later practiced law at Latham and Watkins in Washington, D.C. She also served as a research associate at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington D.C., assisting committees of the Federal JudicialConference in addressing questions of judicial administration.

Glenn Loury | Brown University

Glenn C. Loury is Merton P. Stoltz Professor of Economics at Brown University. He holds the B.A. in Mathematics (Northwestern) and the Ph.D. in Economics (M.I.T). As an economic theorist he has published widely and lectured throughout the world on his research. He is also among America’s leading critics writing on racial inequality. He has been elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economics Association, as a Member of the American Philosophical Society and of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, and as a Fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Henry Olsen | Ethics and Public Policy Center

Henry Olsen is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a columnist at The Washington Post. He writes about American politics, the global rise of populism, and the future prospects of the democratic center-right. He is the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism (Harper Collins, 2017) and the co-author of The Four Faces of the Republican Party (Palgrave MacMillan 2016).

Clifford Orwin | University of Toronto

Clifford Orwin teaches Political Science at the University of Toronto. A member of the panel of scholars of the bipartisan National Commission on Civic Renewal (1996-98), he is a longtime collaborator of the International Democratic Forum of the National Endowment for Democracy and has studied Rousseau for most of his life.

Lucia Martinez Valdivia | Assistant Professor of English and Humanities, Reed College

Lucia Martinez Valdivia is Assistant Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College. She is completing her first book, Common Meter: A Revised History of English Poetry, and has published in venues such as English Literary History, Notes & Queries, and a recent collection from Cambridge; her op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post and the Oregonian.

Wilfred McClay | Professor, University of Oklahoma

Wilfred McClay is the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, and the Director of the Center for the History of Liberty. His most recent book is Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story.

Susan McWilliams Barndt | Chair and Professor of Politics, Pomona College

Susan McWilliams Barndt is chair and professor of politics at Pomona College, where she has won the Wig Award for Excellence in Teaching three times. McWilliams is the co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal American Political Thought. She is the author of The American Road Trip and American Political Thought (Lexington, 2018) and Traveling Back: Toward a Global Political Theory (Oxford, 2014). McWilliams is also the editor of A Political Companion to James Baldwin (Kentucky, 2017) and a co-editor of several books, most recently The Best Kind of College (with John Seery, SUNY, 2015). Her writing has been published widely, including in The American Conservative, Boston Review, Bust, Front Porch Republic, and The Nation. For her work, McWilliams has received awards including the Graves Award in the Humanities and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Colleen Sheehan | Professor Villanova University / Colorado University Boulder

Colleen A. Sheehan is a Professor of Politics and Director of the Ryan Center at Villanova University; she is currently a Scholar in Residence at the Benson Center of CU Boulder. She has served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and is an author of several works, includingThe Mind of James Madison (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and James Madison and the Spirit of Republican Self-Government (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Rogers M. Smith | Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Rogers M. Smith is a scholar of American constitutional law and modern political thought who has written extensively on issues of citizenship. He also founded and directed for ten years the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, now the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy.

Henry Thomson | Assistant Professor, School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University

Henry Thomson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Politics & Global Studies at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the political economy of authoritarianism and democratization. He is the author of "Food and Power: Regime Type, Agricultural Policy and Political Stability" (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and currently working on a comparative project exploring the secret police agencies of socialist Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

Ann Ward | Professor, Political Science, Baylor University

Ann Ward is Professor of Political Science at Baylor University. Her research interests are ancient political philosophy, especially Herodotus, Plato and Aristotle, and 19th-century political thought. Ward’s most recent book is The Socratic Individual: Philosophy, Faith and Freedom in a Democratic Age (Lexington, forthcoming). She is also the author of Contemplating Friendship in Aristotle’s Ethics (SUNY, 2016), and Herodotus and the Philosophy of Empire (Baylor, 2008). She has edited Classical Rationalism and the Politics of Europe (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017), Socrates and Dionysus: Philosophy and Art in Dialogue (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013), Matter and Form: From Natural Science to Political Philosophy (Lexington, 2009), and Socrates: Reason or Unreason as the Foundation of European Identity (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007). She has co-edited with Lee Ward Natural Right and Political Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Catherine Zuckert and Michael Zuckert (UNDP, 2013), and The Ashgate Research Companion to Federalism (Ashgate, 2009). She has published widely in scholarly journals, including POLIS: The Journal of the Society for Greek Political Thought, Perspectives on Political Science, European Journal of Political Theory, and The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms.

Greg Weiner | Provost and Academic Vice President, Assumption College

Greg Weiner, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs at Assumption College, is an expert in the political thought of the American Founding. A visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Weiner is the author of four books and numerous articles and essays.

Catherine Zuckert | School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University

Catherine H. Zuckert is an American political philosopher and Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Zuckert’s book, Natural Right and the American Imagination: Political Philosophy in Novel Form, won the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award for the best book written in philosophy and religion by the American Association of Publishers in 1990. Understanding the Political Spirit: From Socrates to Nietzsche, edited by Zuckert, received a Choice award as one of the best books published in political theory in 1989. Her book on Plato’s Philosophers: The Coherence of the Dialogues (University of Chicago Press, 2009) won the R.R. Hawkins award from the Association of American Publishers for the best scholarly book published that year. She co-authored The Truth about Leo Strauss (2006) and Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy (2014) with Michael P. Zuckert (both published by the University of Chicago Press), and edited Political Philosophy in the 20th Century: Authors and Arguments (Cambridge University Press, 2011) as well as Leo Strauss on Political Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 2018). Her most recent monograph is Machiavelli’s Politics (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

Michael Zuckert | School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University

Michael Zuckert (BA, Cornell University; PhD, University of Chicago, 1974) is Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, Editor of American Political Thought, and a Visiting Scholar at Arizona State University. He has published extensively in the areas of early modern political philosophy and American political thought. His most recent book is co-authored with Catherine Zuckert, entitled “Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy."