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Daniel McCarthy Named Director of Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program


The Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program is pleased to welcome its new program director, Daniel McCarthy, who joins the program via The American Conservative, where he was the magazine’s editor from 2010–2016.

A native of Missouri, Daniel graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor of Arts in classics. During college, he became involved in journalism and founded a conservative student publication, the Washington Witness. He answered the call of D.C. after receiving a job offer at The American Conservative, which he joined as a reporter in 2003.

Rising from reporter, Daniel served a two-year stint as The American Conservative’s literary editor. He then turned his talents to the other side of publishing as a senior editor at ISI Books. There he worked on titles such as “Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement” by Justin Raimondo, “Family and Civilization” by Carle C. Zimmerman and “Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher” from Peter J. Stanlis.

The Ron Paul presidential campaign of 2008 drew Daniel back to D.C. to serve as the campaign’s official blogger. As the campaign wound down, he returned to journalism and to The American Conservative as a senior editor. Two years later, he rose to the top of the masthead as the magazine’s overall editor.

A fine writer, a tireless talent scout, an exacting editor – he’s just what we need as the Fellowship Program continues to expand its reach and influence. We expect Dan to help the Fellowship Program realize its potential as the most competitive and prestigious fellowship for young journalists.”

– Neal B. Freeman, Chairman of the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program

Daniel’s freelance writing has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Spectator, Reason, Modern Age, The National Interest and elsewhere. In broadcast journalism, he has appeared on NPR, BBC and Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) programming, as well as on Fox Business Channel’s “Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano.”

Daniel came to appreciate the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program while editing and publishing the work of many Novak Fellows during his time as editor of The American Conservative, and witnessing the program’s tremendous impact on the career development of colleagues such as Michael Brendan Dougherty, Lewis McCrary, Robert VerBruggen and Gracy Olmstead. As a young reporter himself in the early 2000s, Daniel looked up to Robert Novak and was impressed by the spirit of independent journalism that Novak conveyed to those who worked for him, including Tim Carney, a future Novak Fellow.

Daniel looks forward to continuing the groundbreaking journalistic legacy of Robert Novak through the Novak Journalism Fellowship Program. He is excited to draw from his experience in both journalism and book publishing to help the Novak Fellows develop their projects in ways that reach wider audiences and shape the national debate. Most of all, he aims to ensure the program not only helps young journalists during their fellowship year but acts as a catalyst for their talents, putting them on a path to even greater success.

In his free time, Daniel takes full advantage of the cultural amenities of Washington: He is a season-ticket-holding supporter of the National Symphony Orchestra and catches as many performances as he can at the Folger Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre Company. He is one of the founding members of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters, a conservative scholarly organization, and has served on its board.


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