For Charlie Black, serving on the Board of Trustees at The Fund for American Studies is just one of the many ways that he has worked to advance America’s founding ideas throughout his life. As one of the most respected figures in politics and public affairs, TFAS has been fortunate to have Black on its Board of Trustees since 1974.
As a student at the University of Florida, Black says he was always aware of TFAS and knew people who attended the first institutes. Black was recruited to join the board by his mentor David Jones, one of TFAS’ founders. Black has remained on the Board of Trustees ever since.
Black became involved in the Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA) at that program’s inception in 1990. As he built a successful career in lobbying and public affairs, he remained active in the institute. In addition to being heavily involved with IBGA, Black has also passionately supported the TFAS Institute on Political Journalism. He believes that having ethical and balanced news media is the single most important thing in assuring that we have an informed citizenry that supports a free society.
As a dedicated supporter, Black has a deep appreciation for the principles of honest and ethical leadership that TFAS works to instill in students. He also recognizes the failure of colleges to teach students about free market principles. He values the important role TFAS plays in spreading these ideals.
As TFAS programs continue to grow, Black expresses ambitious hopes for the future. Though he wishes for more institutes around the world, he would like to see the number of students able to participate in domestic programs increase. He says “we reach a lot of people, but we need to reach more.”
At the TFAS 40th anniversary dinner in 2007, Black was presented the organizations highest honor, the David Jones Lifetime Service Award. In presenting the Award, Fund President Roger Ream observed, “Charlie is a man of bedrock principles, sound judgment, and sterling character, all of which he brings to his role as a trustee of TFAS. If ever discussions at board meetings reach an impasse, you can rely on Charlie to cut to the quick and offer a solution that is both sound and achieves a consensus. He works quietly, modestly, yet so very decisively to influence, encourage, and support the work of TFAS. Without Charlie’s quiet leadership on our board, we would not be the organization we are today.”
A native of North Carolina, Black received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida and his J.D. from American University. With more than 29 years of experience in politics, government and public affairs, he is considered one of the nation’s most successful public affairs specialists. Black has served as a presidential advisor to both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and successfully managed the elections of countless senators and congressmen. He also acted as a campaign advisor for both George W. Bush and John McCain.
Black currently serves as chairman for his lobbying firm Prime Policy Associates. He and his wife Judy, who is also a devoted supporter of TFAS, have four children and six grandchildren. Black enjoys golfing and volunteers much of his free time to helping conservative candidates win elections.