Leadership Institute

1101 North Highland Street
Arlington, VA 22201

President: Morton C. Blackwell
Established: In 1979 by Morton C. Blackwell
Finances: $8,230,655 budget (2000)

Employees: 54
Graduates of LI programs: Over 30,000 people (according to LI)

Leadership Institute's Principal Issues and Activities:

  • The Institute's mission is "to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative public policy leaders. We not only want to identify, recruit and place conservatives, but we want to properly equip our future leaders as well."
  • The Institute recruits, trains and finds jobs for right-wing activists in the public policy field.
  • In 22 years, the Institute has trained over 30,000 activists.
  • The Institute's F.M. Kirby National Training Center has 18 educational programs: Campaign Leadership, Candidate Development, Capitol Hill staff, Capitol Hill writing, Grassroots organizing, Internet leadership, Public Relations, Public Speaking, Student Publications, Youth Leadership, and Broadcast Journalism. LI has space to hold trainings to accommodate nearly 500 people at a time and free dormitory space is available.
  • LI has an intern program, an Employment Placement Service and a Broadcast Journalism Placement Service. LI has placed program graduates in positions at: National Rifle Association, Christian Coalition, American Conservative Union, and working for Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
  • LI alumni include: Ralph Reed, Former Executive Director of the Christian Coalition, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, Congressman David McIntosh (R-Indiana), Congressman Mark Souder (R-Indiana).
  • The Institute also has a "Bi-Partisan Congressional Advisory Board" of 117 members, 4 are Democrats and the rest are Republicans.
  • LI has organized over 200 conservative student groups on college campuses nationwide. LI specializes in countering "political correctness" on college campuses.
  • LI receives funding from many large conservative foundations such as the F.M. Kirby Foundation and the DeVos Foundation.
  • President Ronald Reagan said that the Leadership Institute is "paving the way for a new generation of conservative leadership."


Morton Blackwell's Background:

  • Since 1991, Blackwell has served as Executive Director of the secretive Council for National Policy, a foundation composed of leaders of right wing public policy organizations, major donors and other noted conservative leaders.
  • From 1981-1984, Morton worked as the Special Assistant to President Reagan. Blackwell was a liaison to conservative groups, veteran's groups, most religious organizations, and civic and fraternal groups.
  • Blackwell co-authored President Reagan's Voluntary Prayer Amendment.

[Updated September 2002]

Filed Under


Leadership Institute