In the fall issue of Philanthropy, I have an article on groups that are modeling themselves on the Federalist Society in the areas of medicine, business, and national security. Here are the first three grafs:
Three years ago, a group of center-right academics and policy leaders gathered at Princeton University to discuss defense policy and foreign affairs. One presidential administration was coming to an end, and a new one, with different beliefs and commitments, was preparing to take power. Toward the end of their long day, after weighty panels on war and commerce, the participants turned to that familiar final-session topic: Where do we go from here?
“A bunch of the professors were saying that even though their faculties were dominated by liberals, the students were much more balanced in their views and many of them were open to conservative ideas,” says Gary Schmitt of the American Enterprise Institute. “It dawned on me that law school students faced a similar situation 30 years ago—and that a few of them did something about it.”
Schmitt made a suggestion. What about starting a brand-new organization, modeled on the law school approach, but devoted to international relations? “I just put the idea on the table and proposed that it was worth thinking about,” says Schmitt. “It’s one of the most successful organizations of its type.” He pauses. “You know,” he continues, “the Federalist Society.”