Pepperdine School of Public Policy Launches “The American Project: On the Future of Conservatism”

University School of Public Policy
(SPP) is proud to announce “The
American Project: On the Future of Conservatism
,” a two-year program
designed to propel innovative ideas for reimagining the future of
America’s conservative movement.

In spring 2017, SPP will gather America’s leading conservative activists
and thought-leaders at Pepperdine’s Malibu campus to assess where
the conservative movement stands today and imagine its healthy future.
Following this gathering, participants will produce essays and media
pieces offering innovative insights on conservatism in an age of rising
populism and socialism.

The American Project will be hosted under the leadership of SPP Dean
Pete Peterson. “As a program founded by the likes of James Q. Wilson,
Jack Kemp, and many other leading center-right leaders and scholars,
Pepperdine School of Public Policy is honored to be chosen to be the
home for this critical initiative,” Dean Peterson announced. “This is a
critical time in our nation’s history to be considering the impact
America’s conservative movement can and should have on our politics and

Peterson is a leading national speaker and writer on issues related to
civic participation. As a former statewide political candidate, he has a
sense of both the power of ideas and the realities of politics. Peterson
plans to engage leading faculty from the School of Public Policy in this

Pepperdine School of Public Policy has engaged Rich Tafel as the
program’s director. A trained facilitator, Tafel has a history
of bringing together people with divergent viewpoints to work toward
common goals. He currently serves as pastor at Church of the Holy City
in Washington, D.C., and as managing director at Raffa
Social Capital Advisors
. Tafel observed, “Conservative principles of
limited government, free markets, radical inclusion and religious
liberty have never been more important.”

The School of Public Policy has begun inviting leading conservative
thinkers and leaders; the schedule will be finalized in March 2017.
Noted political analyst and author, Yuval Levin, offered, “This is a
moment of both risk and opportunity for American conservatives, and
navigating through it in a way that best serves the country’s interests
will require serious thinking. Such thinking is hard to do in a time of
change, and that is why efforts like the Pepperdine School of Public
Policy’s initiative can be so important.”

Initial funding for the project comes through a two-year grant from the Democracy

Proceeding events on the Malibu campus in spring 2017, SPP will launch a
gathering to release a strategic white paper and signatory document “A
Way Forward” at Pepperdine’s Washington, D.C. campus. This will be
followed by a large event on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus in spring 2018.
The American Project’s work and progress will be highlighted on the new

About Pepperdine University School of Public Policy

Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy is built on a
distinctive philosophy of nurturing leaders to use the tools of analysis
and policy design to effect successful implementation and real change.
This requires critical insights that only a broad exposure to great
ideas, courageous thinkers, and extraordinary leaders can encourage. It
is based on the conviction that an elevated and elevating culture, as
well as personal moral certainties, are the valid concern of higher
education and as important as the tools of analysis. This unique
perspective is reflected in the curriculum and unashamedly
differentiates it from most other public policy programs.


Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Christina Ramirez
of Communication