Project Solarium 2018

When Dwight D. Eisenhower ascended to the presidency, the former Supreme Allied Commander lamented the lack of historical case studies to prepare him for civilian political leadership. As a military leader, he could pour over numerous analyses of previous battles, deployments, and deliberations, yet no similar repository of institutional memory existed for the equally complex arts of governing and legislating. The Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress (CSPC) grew out of that need for an institution dedicated to capturing the historical lessons of governance, and applying them creatively to the challenges confronted by the modern presidency and Congress.

By examining the lessons drawn from the successes and failures of our national leaders, and by relating those lessons to current challenges facing the country, we provide historical context to the complex art of governance, and propose real, positive solutions to the current challenges confronting our democracy. That mission includes promoting enlightened and bipartisan leadership in the presidency and Congress, maintaining a robust space for a civil national dialogue, and proposing innovative solutions to current national challenges. CSPC also works to prepare and inspire future generations to actively participate as citizen leaders, and to incorporate civility, inclusiveness, and character into their lives and public discourse.

The Center actively promulgates lessons learned from national leadership challenges through a range of publications. CSPC publishes the premier academic journal on the Presidency, “Presidential Studies Quarterly,” as well as a series of books of case studies: Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency and Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Congress, providing historical examples of transformational leadership. The Center also publishes timely op-eds and blog posts relevant to current national challenges, referencing important historical lessons. In order to promote better policy, CSPC works to bridge gaps between policymakers and leaders in the private sector and academia by convening stakeholders and influential thought leaders, and engaging them in respectful dialogue that seeks solutions to complex challenges. Our signature approach is to organize small, off-the-record roundtables where participants have a frank and open exchange of ideas leading to better connections between elected leaders and those they represent, and more informed policy outcomes. Our focus often includes areas where emerging technologies, threats, or opportunities require novel approaches, and where a coordinated effort will yield the best outcome.

As a non-partisan, non-profit institution, the Center promotes bipartisan cooperation among the branches of government and within Congress. We encourage civil debate and compromise, and seek to create incentives to bring stakeholders to the common ground necessary for the effective functioning of our federal government. The Center also acts to encourage public service and foster leadership among future leaders through our Presidential Fellows program. In addition, CSPC recognizes and awards current leaders who exhibit inspirational leadership and bipartisan comity, and whose careers have left a major imprint on the areas of good governance, national security or economics. Thank you for your interest in the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress. We look forward to working with you as we pursue these important aims.

Glenn C. Nye III, President and CEO

Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress