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American Purpose is a magazine, media project, and intellectual community. In the writing we publish, the podcasts we produce, and the conversations we host, we have three broad goals:

First, we aim to defend and promote liberal democracy in the United States. We use “liberal” not in the modern American political sense, but in the classical sense. Liberal values—including equal protection under the rule of law, basic civil liberties, and respect for the rights of the individual and for the autonomy of institutions of civil society—once enjoyed nearly universal consent but have recently come under attack on both the left and the right. We also intend to examine the tensions within liberal democracy that leave it vulnerable to these attacks. We are proponents of reform and revitalization.

Second, we seek to better understand and address the challenges to liberal democracy abroad. As the United States has stepped back from its longstanding role as leader of the world’s liberal democracies, we have seen liberal democracy threatened by both authoritarian regimes and populist governments. We believe such developments present a grave danger to American security and prosperity.

Finally, because we believe that the political and cultural issues of the moment cannot be separated from questions of enduring importance—about the ends and purposes of life, about how to live well and wisely together, about beauty and consolation—we intend to offer criticism and commentary on history and biography, high art and pop culture, science and technology.

Editorial Board

Francis Fukuyama, chair
Hiro Aida
Robert Asahina
Patrick Chamorel
Daniel Chirot
Eliot Cohen
Tyler Cowen
Larry Diamond
Eric S. Edelman
Richard Thompson Ford
William A. Galston
Adam Garfinkle
Zena Hitz
G. John Ikenberry
Josef Joffe
Craig Kennedy
Michael Mandelbaum
Michael McFaul
Azar Nafisi
Ana Palacio
Nicole Penn
Carla Anne Robbins
Lilia Shevtsova


Jeffrey Gedmin, CEO and editor-in-chief
Suzanne Garment, senior editor
Michelle High, managing editor
Robert Bork III, assistant editor
Richard Aldous, host of ‘Bookstack’ podcast
Michael Kennedy, web developer
Emma Cordover, administrative and research assistant
Sophia Vahanvaty, administrative and research assistant

Circle of Friends

Sydnee Lipset, co-chair
Mike Fox, co-chair

Contributing Editors

James Barnett
Martha Bayles
David Blankenhorn
Ellen Bork
Hal Brands
Tara Isabella Burton
Ian Marcus Corbin
Giselle Donnelly
Charles Dunst
Jamie M. Fly
Nils Gilman
Devorah Goldman
Zach Graves
Anna Grzymala-Busse
Shadi Hamid
Ryan Patrick Hanley
Matt Hanson
Alexandra Hudson
Morten Høi Jensen
Adrian Karatnycky
Sean Keeley
Adam Keiper
Daniel Kennelly
James Kirchick
David J. Kramer
Didi Kuo
Yuval Levin
Tod Lindberg
R. Jay Magill, Jr.
Laure Mandeville
Damir Marusic
Thomas O. Melia
Joshua Muravchik
Minxin Pei
Marc F. Plattner
Peter Pomerantsev
Dalibor Roháč
Gary J. Schmitt
Gabriel Schoenfeld
Aaron Sibarium
Peter Skerry
Henry Sokolski
Carolyn Stewart
Ben Trachtenberg
Algis Valiunas

Honor Roll of Financial Contributors

$100,000 – $500,000

  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

$25,000 – $99,999

  • The Achelis & Bodman Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Paul and Elizabeth DeRosa

$5,000 – $24,999

  • Martha Bayles and Peter Skerry
  • Daniel Chirot
  • Karen Guberman and Craig Kennedy
  • Marc Leland

$1,000 – $4,999

  • Barbara Barrett
  • Jacqueline de Chollet
  • Diane Edelman
  • Francis Fukuyama
  • Sydnee Lipset
  • Wolfgang Pordzik

Up to $999

  • Michael Aikey
  • Michael Allen
  • Anonymous
  • Howard Axner
  • Jeffrey Bergman
  • Joel Birkeland
  • Ladan Boroumand
  • Mark Brown
  • Jack Buckley
  • Mark Cancelliere
  • Wayne Cao
  • Eric Chenoweth
  • Christie Chumley
  • Matt Damer
  • Stuart Denenberg
  • Thomas Deveikis
  • Sandra Dewitz
  • Derek Drizin
  • David Duggan
  • Wesley Duncan
  • David Doehlert
  • Michael Dresdale
  • Keith Edwards
  • Anonymous
  • Jonathan Engel
  • Fred Epstein
  • Alexander Fader
  • Mathilde Fasting
  • Scott Flanegin
  • Gordon Fowler
  • Sebastian Franck
  • Nicholas Freres
  • Lawrence Fuell
  • Martin H. Gallas
  • Laurie Gershman
  • Jess Goode
  • Sandy Grant
  • Douglas Gray
  • John Grove
  • John Hale
  • James Hankins
  • Shirley Martey Hargis
  • Carolyn Haynes
  • Fritz Heinzen
  • William Hollander
  • Mark Hoose
  • Thomas Hott
  • Philip Howard
  • Jon Hughes
  • Kenneth Hultman
  • William G. Hurst
  • Jackson Janes
  • Kenneth  Jones
  • Marion Julien
  • Keith Katahara
  • Nick Kaufman
  • Sherman Katz
  • Jeffrey Klose
  • Charles Knight
  • Tom Koenig
  • Thomas Koontz
  • Richard Kraemer
  • Paul Kroeger
  • Steven Lavine
  • Michael D. Levin
  • Stephen Levin
  • Henry Levine
  • Robert Lieber
  • Alan Louie
  • James MacGregor
  • Kathryn MacKay
  • Camille Masse
  • James Mathis
  • Noah McBurnett
  • Jeffrey McCasland
  • John Melson
  • Victor Milenski
  • Bruce Miller
  • Cheryl Miller
  • Casey Moon
  • Ryan Morgan
  • David Morrison
  • James Mountjoy
  • Joel Mumford
  • Gayl Ness
  • David Newcomer
  • Hugh Osborn
  • Marc Plattner
  • Michael Purzycki
  • Amelie Ratliff
  • Richard Raycraft
  • Heidi Recor
  • Sandra Reiber
  • Brandon Riley
  • Graeme Roberts
  • Mark Robinson
  • Patrick Rooney
  • Elizabeth Saghi
  • Katsiya Saidmuratov
  • Charles Saunders
  • Martin Seligman
  • Deborah H Shimko
  • Valerian Sikhuashvili
  • Philip Smith
  • Karen Snyder
  • John Swinton
  • Jay Tolson
  • Steve Trachtenberg
  • Natalie Turner
  • Dennis Wagner
  • Michael Walker
  • Rick Weber
  • Xin Wei
  • Cheryl Yip