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Home » Programs » Seminars and Lectures » Donald Devine Seminars

Donald Devine Seminars


Donald Devine Seminars

Dr. Donald Devine is a columnist, author and the Grewcock 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 “America’s Way Back: Reclaiming Freedom, Tradition and Constitution.” 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 For media inquiries, please contact Kerri DiNarda at or 202.986.0384.


Follow Dr. Donald Devine on Twitter at @DonaldDevinCo1.

Op-Eds by Dr. Donald Devine



Big Data and Big Security Problems

The Department of Defense has finally succumbed to modernizing pressure and sent Congress a report announcing it will end its policy of storing data in different DOD agencies and consolidate all its important data on one giant cloud repository. Congress’ concern is the inability of different subdivisions to be managed by or to communicate with and mix agency data. They want fewer entry points for potential security attacks. But the more severe reverse problem is that one external or internal penetration can reveal everything.

Critiquing Robert Kagan’s Enlightenment Liberalism

An essay is meant to be very, very important when it consumes four giant pages in the A section of The Washington Post, the official Bible of the nation’s establishment. Robert Kagan’s “The Strongmen Strike Back” is a defense of Enlightenment liberalism against the threats from modern authoritarian nationalism. The bad guys are: Hungary’s Orban, Poland’s Duda, Russia’s Putin, the Brexiteers, France’s Le Pen, Netherland’s Wilders, Israel’s Hazony, Turkey’s Erdogan and, the “most significant,” U.S. conservatives—headed by Donald Trump. The good guys (didn’t notice any women) seem mainly limited to Abraham Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton. Mr. Kagan’s Enlightenment rises from the darkness of the earlier traditional societies that were dominated “by powerful and pervasive beliefs about the cosmos, about God and gods, about natural hierarchies and divine authorities, about life and afterlife that determined every aspect of people’s existence.”

‘Alienated America’ and Trump’s Community Challenge

Journalist Timothy P. Carney’s perceptive book "Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse" is actually more about places than alienation. He repeats the usual economic reasons for today’s alienation — economic inequality, technological obsolescence, and drug dependency. But Carney’s meticulous poll research and relentless interviewing reveal something most others dismiss. This alienation was not primarily about economics but about a loss of community belonging.

Science Lost in Math

Sabine Hossenfelder’s little book Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray asks the most important questions about scientific knowledge and deserves serious attention from anyone who wants to understand what we know, and what we do not, about science basics. Dr. Hossenfelder is a resident particle physics scholar at Germany’s prestigious Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, and begins her little masterpiece with a basic lesson in physics. Physics is the master science that starts with matter assumed to be composed of fundamental elements—meaning matter that cannot be derived from anything simpler. At the atomic level, particle physicists have advanced a Standard Model comprised of twenty-five sub-atomic particle elements that interact in ways described by mathematical equations from quantum mechanics. In the vast reaches of the cosmos, however, astronomic physicists postulate a Concordance Model where matter interacts according to General Relativity equation basics of space, gravity, and time.

Mitt Romney, Tucker Carlson Challenge the Right

Who could imagine that the dour Bain Capital leverage-buyout king Mitt Romney could inspire a stimulating philosophical debate? The main thrust of his recent column in The Washington Post was to challenge Donald Trump’s character, but as Tucker Carlson correctly responded it was Romney’s character as a moralist with few set positions (remember the model for Obamacare was Romney’s) which perfectly illustrated why the Republican moderate establishment is intellectually bankrupt.

I Ran Personnel Policy Under Reagan. Here Are Some Steps to Reforming Our Bureaucracies.

At the very pinnacle of the modern progressive program to make government competent stands the ideal of a professionalized, career civil service. Since the turn of the 20th century, progressives have sought a system that could effectively select, train, reward, and guard from partisan influence the neutral scientific experts they believe are required to staff the national government and run the administrative state.

Trump, DeVos Revive For Profit Education

If there is one thing Americans agree upon today is that public higher education in the U.S. is a mess. A is the most popular grade today and the C is considered an "endangered species." The good news is that the Trump administration is working to make things better. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been tireless in implementing President Donald Trump’s deregulation agenda by promoting school choice and making fairer federal rules for responses to charges of discrimination and school racial disciplinary procedures.

Understanding Voegelin’s Critique of Locke

No matter how conservative intellectuals try, they just do not seem able to escape John Locke. Jonah Goldberg’s well-received Suicide of the West proudly called America’s Declaration of Independence “echoes of” the great English Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, saying U.S. history was “more Locke than anything Locke imagined.” He inspired “a government but not a state”: a government with power divided internally between national and local governments and further divided in a great market of free associations; a government that even overcame the Iron Law of Oligarchy, and that restrained elite and popular abuses. In short, he inspired the “miracle” that is modern conservatism.

American Political Tribes in the 2018 Election

Everyone knows America is deeply divided, blue and red, for the 2018 election so a new international organization called More in Common has performed a study making it vivid just in time for the midterm election. Merely 53 percent tell More in Common pollsters that they are proud to be Americans. 91 percent of Strong Conservatives do but only 18 percent of Strong Progressives. Pretty much everyone believes in freedom, equality, and free speech but seven in ten say they will only speak freely about race, gender, immigration, and Islam “when I am with people who are like me.”

Book Review: The Virtue of Nationalism

Yoram Hazony’s The Virtue of Nationalism has the great virtue of an easy summary… well, a reasonably easy one. The first sentence presents the author’s thesis that the world is composed of two “antithetical” types of government: universalist empires and free nation-states. There were earlier tribes and some governments that were considered federal, but the former must merge into one or the other category, and federalism must at the end of the day be either overruled by the center or dissolve. Empires “impose a universal political order on mankind.” Nation-states are “bands of brothers” acting as a cooperative “body for the national defense and other large-scale projects.” Otherwise there is anarchy. Empires are bad because they are universal and want everyone to follow their ways. So they use force to control nation-states just desiring to go along in their own good ways.