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Donald Devine

TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar


Dr. Donald Devine is the Grewcock Senior Scholar at 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 traditionalismHe is also a regular columnist for Newsmax Insiders, The American Spectator and the Library for Law & Liberty.

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.

To learn more about Devine’s lectures and seminars, please visit the links below:

Op-Eds by Dr. Donald Devine



Congress Must Charge Stonewalling DOJ, FBI With Contempt

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes denounced the Justice Department and FBI for “stonewalling” his investigation into election abuses, demanding they meet his requests for evidence by close of business Monday; and if denied he will submit a Contempt of Congress resolution against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Abigail’s 16-Year Senate Victory Over FDA Bureaucrats

How many thousands died because the Food and Drug Administration refused to provide access to drugs that might have saved their lives?

Manafort Indictment Late, Political Blackmail, Morally Wrong

It was before dawn when 12 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents used a "no knock" order to force the door, guns drawn, to invade the quiet home in Alexandria Virginia, patting down the target’s wife for a weapon before she was allowed to leave her bed.

Trump Breaks Bureaucracy Dogma

A curious situation — he’s named fewer political appointees than expected yet still has unabashedly moved to deregulate government.

High Court Would Be Wise to Decline Gerrymandering Cases

The partisan left is in a dither: unless the Supreme Court Whitford v. Gill case requires "equal" legislative lines, the country will cease to be democratic — or was that Democratic?

Is Trump Really Moving Left?

Or is he simply being himself? So President Donald Trump has kissed and made up with Democratic Senate Leader Charles Schumer and House chief Nancy Pelosi. “Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen, and so do I,” he said, agreeing to a debt increase and continued spending for two months only, when Republican leaders desperately wanted these delayed until after the critical 2018 election.

Building Emergency Missile Defense Best Option on North Korea

By exploding a super-grade thermonuclear bomb with the means to deliver it, destitute North Korea has forced the powerful United States to a historic nuclear decision.

Conservative Godfathers: Reflections from Don Devine, Part II

Don Devine is one of only a handful of people in Washington who truly understands The Swamp – what makes it tick, how it operates, and how best to move it in the direction set by the people in the preceding election. Devine was so effective as the head of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for President Reagan that the Washington Post called him Reagan’s “terrible, swift sword of civil service.”

Conservative Godfathers: Reflections from Don Devine, Part 1

In a city where institutional experience is often in short supply, seeking it out can be a valuable exercise. That was my goal when I sat down with Donald Devine – a former aide to President Reagan, prolific author, and intellectual godfather in the conservative movement. Devine cut his teeth in the early, salad days of conservatism – a peer of Bill Buckley and Frank Meyer, the founders of National Review, and an acolyte of the conservative “fusionism” espoused by Meyer.

The Unbridled Faith

With an estimated 40,000 Protestant denominations worldwide, how is it possible to compress such a subject in a single book, even in 500 pages on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation? Alec Ryrie offers Protestants: "The Faith that Made the Modern World," whose title itself suggests the difficulty. It is a history of Protestantism but he insists it is merely about Protestants because he would otherwise be overpromising a definitive history.