The Future of American Political Economy Conference

July 23-24, 2021
Alexandria, VA

How should conservative economic policy address emerging threats?

American Political Economy speakers

It’s one of the biggest questions facing our country: How can our economy better advance the safety and happiness of the American people?

On July 23–24, explore this pivotal issue with some of the country’s most respected thinkers and writers.

ISI’s weekend conference in Alexandria, Virginia, will feature an all-star roster of speakers: Hillbilly Elegy author J. D. VanceSenator Marco Rubio, bestselling author Amity Shlaes, former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJudge Neomi Rao, and many others.

If you are a student, the conference is free to attend!

Featured Speakers


  • J. D. Vance, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Hillbilly Elegy 
  • Senator Marco Rubio
  • Amity Shlaes, bestselling author of The Forgotten ManCoolidge, and Great Society 
  • Jeff Sessions, former U.S. Attorney General 
  • Judge Neomi Rao, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit


  • Helen Andrews, Senior Editor, The American Conservative
  • Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
  • Rachel Bovard, Senior Director of Policy, Conservative Partnership Institute
  • Chris Buskirk, Editor and Publisher, American Greatness
  • Oren Cass, Executive Director, American Compass
  • Donald J. Devine, Senior Scholar, The Fund for American Studies
  • Saagar Enjeti, Washington Correspondent and Host, The Hill
  • Judge Glock, Senior Policy Adviser, Cicero Institute
  • Zach Graves, Head of Public Policy, Lincoln Network
  • Samuel Gregg, Research Director, Acton Institute
  • Samuel Hammond, Director of Poverty and Welfare Policy, Niskanen Center
  • Jennifer Huddleston, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum
  • Michael Lind, Cofounder, New America
  • Karin Lips, President, Network of Enlightened Women
  • Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor at Large, National Review
  • Daniel McCarthy, Editor, Modern Age
  • Julia R. Norgaard, Assistant Professor of Economics, Pepperdine University
  • Jay W. Richards, Research Assistant Professor, Catholic University of America
  • Brigadier General Robert Spalding, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

Schedule of Events

Friday, July 23


Which Way, American Political Economy?

  • Oren Cass (American Compass): The American System of Alexander Hamilton
  • Jay Richards (Catholic University of America): Political Economy from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman

Cronyism and the Administrative State

  • Josh Hammer (Newsweek and Edmund Burke Foundation)
  • Julius Krein (American Affairs)
  • Donald Devine (The Fund for American Studies)
  • Julia Norgaard (Pepperdine University)
  • Moderator: Richard Reinsch (Liberty Fund)


Dinner Keynote on the Political Economy of Calvin Coolidge and Its Relevance for Today

  • Amity Shlaes (Coolidge Foundation, author of Coolidge)
  • Introduction by Alex Chafuen (Acton Institute) 


Saturday, July 24


Daytime Keynote Interviews

  • Senator Marco Rubio interview by John Burtka
  • Senator Jeff Sessions interviewed by Rachel Bovard (Conservative Partnership Institute)
  • Judge Neomi Rao interviewed by Elliot Gaiser (Boyden Gray & Associates)


China, Geonomics, and Great Power Competition

  • General Robert Spalding (Hudson Institute)
  • Michael Lind (University of Texas)
  • Samuel Gregg (Acton Institute)
  • Doug Bandow (Cato Institute)
  • Moderator: Daniel McCarthy (Modern Age)


Big Tech Censorship and Monopoly Power

  • Judge Glock (Cicero Institute)
  • Rachel Bovard (Conservative Partnership Institute)
  • Jennifer Huddleston (American Action Forum)
  •  Moderator: Saagar Enjeti (Hill TV and the Realignment podcast)  


Thriving Families and Middle-Class Prosperity

  • Kathryn Jean Lopez (National Review)
  • Chris Buskirk (American Greatness)
  • Samuel Hammond (Niskanen Center)
  • Moderator: Helen Andrews (The American Conservative)


Dinner Keynote

  • J. D. Vance (author of Hillbilly Elegy)
  • Introduction by Saurabh Sharma (American Moment)