By Issue

CSPC works on a variety of pressing national issues.

Religion and the American Experience

Religion plays a major role in American public life.  From the relationship between Church and State to the principles of religious freedom and tolerance, questions about religion have greatly influenced U.S. public policy and the evolution of the broader society. 

To further understanding of the historical and contemporary role of religion in the American public arena, CSPC launched its initiative “Religion and the American Experience” in 2012.  This initiative is focused on four broad themes: Religion and Civil Society, Religion and Public Policy, Religion and Foreign Affairs, and Religious Extremism and Violence in America.

Civility and the American Experience

This initiative grew out of the Center’s commitment to a renewal in character-based leadership in government.  In an attempt to address the breadth of current national and domestic challenges facing the United States, the Center has formed the bipartisan National Committee to Unite a Divided America. This group, comprised of 200 prominent Americans, is working closely with Members of Congress to move beyond partisan debate and toward a civil and inclusive environment on Capitol Hill.

Congressional Relations

The Center works closely with Members of Congress and their staffs on initiatives that would benefit from Congressional attention. The Center is currently engaging Members of Congress on its Strengthening America’s Future Initiative (SAFI), Civility and Inclusive Leadership Initiative, and Congressionally-mandated Foundation for International Understanding, as well as monitoring current legislative and political activity.

Energy and the Environment

While there is no perfect remedy for improving energy supplies, CSPC believes that working together with Congress, industry, research organizations, environmental groups and capital markets can lead to improved energy production and economic growth. Under the leadership of co-chairs David G. Victor, Director of Stanford University’s Program on Energy and Sustainability, and Jonathan Lash, President of the World Resources Institute, the Center aims to create policy recommendations that support cooperatives, produce economic returns, and foster environmental stewardship.

Future Leaders

For nearly forty years, the Center has sponsored a unique non-resident program that offers up to 85 select undergraduate and graduate students from leading colleges and universities a year-long opportunity to study the U.S. Presidency, the public policymaking process, and our Chief Executive’s relations with Congress, allies, the media and the American public. This, the Presidential Fellows Program, along with the Center’s National Consortium for Character-Based Leadership, a group of more than 40 schools, colleges, and service academics, aims to develop a new generation of national leaders committed to public service.

Homeland Security

Since 1999, the Center has worked with the Executive Branch, private sector, and think tank community on homeland security issues ranging from nuclear defense to the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Canada. From 2006 to 2008, the Center hosted the Project on National Security Reform with a $2.4 million appropriation supported by Congress.

Lessons of History

For nearly a decade, the Center has stood as one of the only institutions offering in-depth case-studies of the modern Presidency. Beginning with the publication of Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency: Seventy-Six Case Studies in Presidential Leadership, the Center has worked with leading Presidential historians and journalists to document past Presidential successes and failures and present these findings to the current Administration.

Presidential Transitions

In addition to the Center’s ongoing scholarly examination of past Presidential transitions, it has been working closely with the current Administration on its Strengthening America’s Future Initiative (SAFI). The first SAFI report (released on Capitol Hill in March 2009), combined with the Center’s close work with members of European governments and policy communities, assisted the President’s approach to critical issues facing the country.

Science and Technology

The Center works jointly with distinguished technology experts on confronting the post-Cold War environment. CSPC is currently partnering with the National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Science Foundation, and Defense Science Board to address the development of alternate energy sources, delivery of affordable health care, and security of an array of economic benefits through each endeavor.

U.S. Foreign Policy and Economics

In 2005, at the behest of Congressman Frank Wolf, CSPC played a critical role in developing the Iraq Study Group, a commission whose findings were presented to both Congress and the White House in 2006. Since then, the Center has launched the Afghanistan Study Group, a health and developmental initiative between Israel and the Palestinian territories, and a 2009 dialogue between the U.S. and Syria. Currently, the Center is working with European leaders to enhance NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan and plans to meet with European officials in early 2010.