The Future of American Political Economy Conference

July 23-24, 2021
Hilton Alexandria Old Town, Alexandria, VA

What should a conservative approach to the economy look like today?

Jeff Sessions, Marco Rubio, Amity Shlaes, J.D. Vance

Conservatives understand the dangers of socialism and the importance of free markets.

But they also hear the rising chorus calling for alternative approaches to political economy . . .

. . . especially to address challenges like a rising China, Big Tech, woke capital, and a dwindling middle class.

This conference will help you make sense of those crucial debates.

You’ll hear from an all-star roster of leaders and thinkers from across the right: Hillbilly Elegy author and U.S. Senate candidate J. D. VanceSenator Marco Rubio, bestselling author Amity Shlaes, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and nearly 20 others.

Featured Speakers


  • J. D. Vance, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Hillbilly Elegy, U.S. Senate candidate 
  • Senator Marco Rubio
  • Amity Shlaes, bestselling author of The Forgotten ManCoolidge, and Great Society 
  • Jeff Sessions, former U.S. Attorney General 


  • 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, Cohost, Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar
  • Judge Glock, Senior Policy Adviser, Cicero Institute
  • Zach Graves, Head of Public Policy, Lincoln Network
  • Samuel Gregg, Research Director, Acton Institute
  • Josh Hammer, Opinion Editor, Newsweek
  • Samuel Hammond, Director of Poverty and Welfare Policy, Niskanen Center
  • Jennifer Huddleston, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum
  • Julius Krein, Editor, American Affairs
  • Karin Lips, President, Network of Enlightened Women
  • Daniel McCarthy, Editor, Modern Age
  • Julia R. Norgaard, Assistant Professor of Economics, Pepperdine University
  • Ramesh Ponnuru, Editor, National Review
  • Richard M. Reinsch II, Editor, Law & Liberty
  • Jay W. Richards, Research Assistant Professor, Catholic University of America
  • Brigadier General Robert Spalding, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
  • Alan Tonelson, Founder, RealityChek blog

Schedule of Events

Friday, July 23


2 p.m.: Registration Opens


3 p.m.: Opening Remarks

John A. Burtka IV
President, ISI


3:15 p.m.: Which Way, American Political Economy?

The American System of Alexander Hamilton
Oren Cass

Political Economy from Adam Smith to Thomas Sowell
Jay W. Richards

Joint Q&A with Oren Cass and Jay W. Richards


4:35 p.m.: Break


4:45 p.m.: Cronyism and the Administrative State

Panel featuring Donald J. Devine, Josh Hammer, Julius Krein, Julia R. Norgaard, and Richard M. Reinsch II (moderator)


5:45 p.m.: Break


7 p.m.: Dinner with Keynote Address by J. D. Vance

Dinner sponsored by Bright News and Revolver News



Saturday, July 24


8:30 a.m.: Welcome

John A. Burtka IV
President, ISI


8:40 a.m.: China, Geonomics, and Great Power Competition

Panel featuring Doug Bandow, Samuel Gregg, Robert Spalding, Alan Tonelson, and Daniel McCarthy (moderator)


9:40 a.m.: Break


10 a.m.: Senator Marco Rubio

Interviewed by John A. Burtka IV


10:30 a.m.: Break


11 a.m.: Big Tech Censorship and Monopoly Power

Panel featuring Rachel Bovard, Judge Glock, Zach Graves, Jennifer Huddleston, and Saagar Enjeti (moderator)

Panel sponsored by the Conservative Partnership Institute


Noon: Lunch


2:25 p.m.: Thriving Families and Middle-Class Prosperity

Panel featuring Chris Buskirk, Samuel Hammond, Karin Lips, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Helen Andrews (moderator)

Panel sponsored by American Greatness


3:30 p.m.: Break


4 p.m.: The Honorable Jeff Sessions

Interviewed by Rachel Bovard


4:45 p.m.: Break


7 p.m.: Dinner with Keynote Address by Amity Shlaes

Dinner sponsored by the Honorable C. Boyden Gray