The Leadership Institute is an Arlington, Virginia group that trains young conservatives and provides them with the skills necessary to be effective organizers on campuses, in government, in the media, and in other arenas necessary for building political power. The organization has trained over 40,000 youth in the past 25 years, including such significant leaders as Karl Rove (an influential Republican strategist) and Ralph Reed (former Christian Coalition director) as well as 223 members of Congress or other legislators. The Institute has recently placed an emphasis on organizing on college campuses and has provided funding to students to form conservative student groups and newspapers. While the organization claims to be “bi-partisan” “the overwhelming majority of its advisors are Republican”:. The Leadership Institute’s director is Morton Blackwell who is the Executive Director of the Council for National Policy and who helped author President Ronald Reagan’s voluntary prayer amendment.
No similar organizations exist on the left, which can in part explain the Leadership Institute’s success (source). Moreover, because it has not been focused on getting specific candidates elected, it has spent 25 years doing capacity-building work that has contributed to the success of the right-wing movements in the United States.
Resources on the Leadership Institute
- People for the American Way Profile of the Leadership Institute
- Jeff Gannon’s Alma Mater: The Leadership Institute
- My Right-Wing Degree from the Leadership Institute
- Conservative Campus Organizing – Growing Pains or Arrested Development?