Home » Programs » Seminars and Lectures » Donald Devine Seminars

Donald Devine Seminars


Donald Devine Seminars

Dr. Donald Devine is a columnist, author and the senior scholar for The Fund for American Studies. Devine served as President Ronald Reagan’s civil service director during the president’s first term in office. During that time, The Washington Post labeled him Reagan’s “terrible swift sword of the civil service” for cutting bureaucrats and reducing billions in spending. Today, Devine travels the country teaching Constitutional Leadership Seminars to young people and speaking to groups about reviving the Constitution and saving the marriage between libertarianism and traditionalism.

Devine spells out the solution for the modern GOP – a fusion of the best of conservative ideas with those of the liberty movement, all rooted in the Constitution.

–  Senator Rand Paul

About Dr. Donald Devine

Before and after his government service, Devine was an academic, teaching 14 years as associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland and for a decade as a professor of Western civilization at Bellevue University. He is a columnist and author of eight books, including his most recent “The Enduring Tension: Capitalism and the Moral Order.” Devine served as an advisor to Reagan from 1976 to 1985, to Sen. Bob Dole from 1988–1996 and to Steve Forbes between 1998–2000.

Book Dr. Devine

If you’re interested in scheduling Dr. Donald Devine to speak at your event, please contact Jane Mack at jmack@TFAS.org. For media inquiries, please contact Kristin Underwood at info@TFAS.org or 202.986.0384.


Follow Dr. Donald Devine on Twitter at @DonaldDevinCo1.

Op-Eds by Dr. Donald Devine



Left, Right and Center Agree Big Government Doesn’t Work

Government Executive public administration expert Donald F. Kettl has recently come to the painful conclusion that the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Leadership 2025 proposal on government reform is “a thoughtful but piercing critique of the existing civil service system.”

Ronald Reagan Is Still the Answer to Conservative Disarray

Just about everyone these days believes that the political Right is in disarray. It does not know what it is for or against. It is both rejecting every old principle and clinging to any solution that might give it power — but deep down is certain nothing can be done, all doom and gloom. What conservatism needs is some convincing optimism, one based upon solid experience, philosophical truths, and earned results. Conservatives need a challenge.

Biden Administration Politicizing Civil Service Background Investigations

One would think we could all agree that foreign spies and domestic crooks are not good for government employment and that a universally accepted and fair methodology for keeping them out is essential to good administration. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has just now proposed a major new regulation called “OPM Suitability and Fitness Vetting Proposal,” which could dramatically politicize the whole civil service employment vetting process.

Implementing Ronald Reagan’s Recession Survival Kit

Don’t be confused by the latest numbers. Smart forecasters still predict a deep recession. Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein at First Trust Portfolios have been reliable guides over recent decades. They expressed some hope for a correction over the last two years, but by mid-year they saw a serious recession coming. Not misled by a late government-reported 2.9 percent increase in gross domestic product and more jobs, they explained that about half of the increase in real GDP was due to building inventories, “which isn’t sustainable and is almost certain to slow by late 2023.”

Pope Benedict’s Parting Challenge

With all that has been said about the passing of Pope Benedict XVI, most of it neglects the larger historical context—his prediction of the end of our era and his vision for the one to follow it. One must begin back in the decade following the horrors of World War I in April 1917. By then the Enlightenment Era’s victory for universal peace and prosperity was reckoned so successful as to justify a serious proposal to “outlaw war.” It resulted in a Kellogg-Briand Pact that was signed by all the world powers, including the US and Germany.

The Enormous Influence of the Decidedly Conservative Ohio Tafts

Which is America’s longest-lived influential political dynasty? Author George W. Liebmann says it is the five generations of Taft Ohio Republicans, compared to only “four generations of Adamses, three of Rockefellers and Kennedys, and two each of Oyster Bay and Hyde Park Roosevelts.” Liebmann even contends that the Tafts had an impact on the present shape of American society that “may well be greater than that of any of the other political families” that are better known. The well-researched and captivating details about the several dozen successful family members of both sexes in his new book, The Tafts, proves him correct.

Bureaucratization and Peril Haunt the Modern Presidency

We normally think of bureaucracies as those dull gray buildings in Washington, D.C., full of career civil servants pursuing the interests of their bureaus and looking forward to retirement, certain that they cannot be fired or disciplined beforehand as long as they don’t rock the boat. Unfortunately, bureaucracies exist in the White House too.

Fixing the Market Means Fixing the Fed

To anyone with any knowledge of math and economics, it must be a great mystery how the U.S. national government can keep spending so wildly—now with debt in the multiple trillions. How can this massive debt be kept under any kind of control?

Restoring Faith in America Requires Putting the Founders’ Republicanism First

The top news story in Washington and with big media nationwide is that the multi-billion dollar mis-named Inflation Reduction Act and other policy victories will not only solve inflation but everything from global warming (or is that climate change?) to universal health and free college — resulting in the election of Democrats in November because they prove they get results.

Even the Washington Post Knows the Government Has Messed Up the Economy

Most of my political friends are proud to tell me that they do not read the Washington Post any longer, ever since its final conversion to aggressive woke journalism. This is a shame since conservatives are in effect cutting themselves off from the institution most responsible for setting the political agenda for the nation from its capital. Indeed, it is the bible of Washington, D.C., without which the government cannot be understood.