September 1st, 2017

Honored to Join the Wilson Center as Chairman

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The Wilson Center prides itself for being a “living memorial” for our nation’s 28th President, and I am grateful to continue that legacy with my appointment to serve as its Chairman.

I am honored to join my dear friend Jane Harman at the Center, and I look forward to partnering with her to continue providing thought leadership and scholarship to the policy communities in the U.S. and abroad.

I have worked closely with the Wilson Center for decades and know firsthand the fantastic work it does informing the nation’s public policy debates by bringing together preeminent scholars and experts to tackle the biggest global issues.  The Wilson Center is a trusted voice for our leaders across government, business and academia, giving the public the tools and opportunities to join the conversation.

Outgoing Chairman Tom Nides has done a fantastic job, and has left some big shoes to fill.  I am honored by the President for his confidence in me to get this job done, and truly thrilled to be given the opportunity to work alongside all of these fantastic people as we continue the Wilson Center’s mission.

Press Release

Fred Malek Appointed Wilson Center Board Chairman

WASHINGTON— The Wilson Center welcomes the White House announcement Wednesday of the appointment of businessman and philanthropist Fred Malek to chair the Board. Malek takes the helm of the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum from Tom Nides, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley and former United States Deputy Secretary of State.

“I am lucky to have a third extremely capable Chair appointed by the White House, during my tenure at the Center,” said Director, President and CEO Jane Harman. “Fred has long supported the Center in many capacities and earned the Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship in 2004. Beyond that, Fred and his wife Marlene are dear personal friends.”

“Fred has been my wingman as we built an effective Global Advisory Council at the Center,” said Nides. “His West Point training has served him and us well, and he brings enormous skills to this new role.”

The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is ranked one of the top ten think tanks in the world by the University of Pennsylvania. It is dedicated to tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue.

Ambassador Joe Gildenhorn, head of the Wilson Cabinet and Chair from 2002-2012 added,  “Alma and I are delighted that Fred will assume the role of Chairmanship of the Wilson Center. We look forward to working with him and support his efforts to enhance the mission of the Center.”

June 15th, 2017

Show the Country we will not Be deterred By Senseless Acts

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One of the longest standing institutions in the United States Congress came under attack this week.  It didn’t happen in the Capitol or on a cable news show but on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, in preparation for a bipartisan tradition – The Annual Congressional Baseball Game, an event that’s been on the Congressional calendar since 1909.

In a world where social media and the internet have become an increasingly toxic place for public discourse, I pray that the shocking events we all woke up to yesterday are met with a measured response.  While it is easy to get distracted from what we disagree on or what makes us different we cannot lose sight of the things that bond us, and we must move forward together to solve the problems that impact us all.

As details continue to emerge for reasons why a deranged gunman would take fire at a group of people practicing a game, a game that is one of America’s greatest pastimes, we should all take a moment to remember the men and women that represent us in Congress are only people with families and friends, all of whom care deeply about this country.

Some would say that partisanship has reached a high point in our nation’s capital, and few would disagree.  But this violent attack happened during what was certainly a moment of levity for a group of people who are confronted daily with serious issues, caught up in endless meetings about real problems for our country.

I hope that we all will keep our thoughts and prayers with Congressman Scalise, the Capitol Police, and everyone affected by this horrifying and violent attack. This is also a moment to reflect on our shared history, American ideals and the common goals we have to make the country a better place.

And we certainly shouldn’t let a deranged gunman stop us from celebrating a time honored tradition today when the Republicans and Democrats square off at Nationals Park.  I say “play ball”, and show the country that we will not be deterred by senseless acts.  And once the score is settled we must all get back to working together to solve our problems, both Republicans and Democrats.

April 12th, 2017

Putting the ‘M’ Back in OMB

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While the differences between running a private company and the United States Government government are vast, private sector management practices can be used to increase efficiency in the federal bureaucracy.  The Office of Management and Budget was created to introduce business-oriented market-driven approaches to the government.

President Trump ran on his business and management accomplishments, and it should be no surprise that he is instructing his budget director to put the ‘M’ back into the OMB.  This is welcome news after eight years of poorly managed and expanding bureaucracy under the former administration.

Mick Mulvaney, the former South Carolina Congressman turned OMB Chief has the unique opportunity to turn the President’s promises of a more streamlined government into tangible results.  This is not an easy task and the challenges of managing the federal government are not new.  We faced similar challenges when the Office was created under President Richard Nixon and while I was serving as only the second Deputy Director of newly created agency.  Along with the pioneers of the agency including Director George Shultz, we set out to accomplish big things.

Under the leadership of President Trump and Director Mulvaney this Administration can accomplish big things as well.  There are many important legislative fights to come that address the country’s long-term fiscal health, including comprehensive tax reform.

President Trump’s commitment to reducing government interference in the economy, controlling spending, and implementing comprehensive tax reform is resonating with business leaders across the country.  Donald Trump the businessman has gotten results before.  American voters are counting on President Trump to do the same in Washington. By combining the principals of the OBM with the leadership of the Oval Office, big things will be accomplished.

March 14th, 2017

The President Should Hold Republicans Accountable on Health Care

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President Donald Trump pledged to bring much needed change to Washington and that he would deliver it by making better deals for the American people. He has already started on health care reform and is taking bold and decisive action to break the cycle of gridlock in Congress.

Health care reform is the first step towards spurring job growth and bolstering the economic recovery the President assured voters when he vowed to Make America Great Again.  Republicans should consider the consequences of derailing the broader conservative agenda if they fail to reach a deal on health care.  And the President will surely hold them accountable throughout the process.

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), assembled by House Leadership and the White House, may be the best and only hope for Republicans to prevent the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from collapsing under its own weight.  It also represents the first concrete legislative solution that takes into account political and legislative realties, chief among them the reconciliation process the bill must be considered under.  It’s not perfect, but it’s a starting point, and its author’s have indicated they are willing to negotiate on the bill.

Controlling both Houses of Congress and the White House comes with the responsibility of putting together a conservative governing agenda.  Governing requires comprise, and President Trump should demand that Republicans, Democrats, supporters, and critics alike strike a deal that can pass through the House and the Senate.  It will be the President’s job to explain to the American people that it is better than the status quo.  If members of his own party are unwilling to give the proposal a fair shot, then he should rally his supporters to their attention.  The President is our most active salesman and has shown this in the past with his detractors.

Taking a hard line and demanding that Congress, including members of his own party, get to work represents a strong and bold move by the President, and reinforces to the American people that he is fighting to get them a better deal.

As the American Action Forum’s Doug Holtz-Eakin and Patrick Hefflinger note, the AHCA will begin the process of replacing the one-size fits all, top down ACA model.  It also provides more market based incentives in place of mandates, and repeals arduous taxes on medical devices, health insurers, tanning salons, investors and many others.  It also aims to save $1 billion over the next 10 years.

Aside from the underlying problems Obamacare has created for Americans’ health care choices and the U.S. economy, a political defeat this large and early on in the Administration could spell doom for other Republican priorities, including tax reform, entitlement reform, and infrastructure spending.

The AHCA’s most strident critics should also consider what voters meant when they asked for change in Washington.  The status quo has been represented by politicians who made excuses for not getting results during the past eight years.  They punished Democrats dearly during that time, and there’s no reason why Republicans won’t face the same consequences if they return home with nothing to show.  Voters want change, not more of the same excuses from elected officials in Washington.

Members of Congress calling the bill D.O.A. should consider the consequences of inaction.  It’s Congress’ job to legislate.  President Trump should continue to use the Bully Pulpit to rally his supporters and move Congress to act.  And those who are unwilling to work towards a deal should have to answer for their obstruction.

October 14th, 2016

A Fresh Look at Richard Nixon’s Legacy

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Advancements in technology and information access have allowed us to dig even deeper into our past and broaden our perspectives like never before. That’s the idea behind the New Richard Nixon Presidential Library, which is holding its grand opening in Yorba Linda today, an event that I was pleased to take part in as the chairman of the Nixon Centennial Legacy Campaign.

Our presidents tend to be painted in broad strokes, and are generally “known” for a handful of accomplishments or associated with major events in our country’s history.  Certainly, most people think of Watergate when they think of Nixon, given its significant impact on American culture.  Scratching the surface, however, reveals a man that ascended from modest means to Congress, the Vice Presidency, and ultimately to become our 37th President.

This is an opportunity to take a fresh and new look at Richard Nixon.  Many young people today remember Watergate and China, but they don’t know much else about his presidency.

18 year olds, for example, can thank Nixon for their right to vote and the elimination of the military draft.  Mothers and fathers can also be proud to know that because of Title IX, signed by Nixon in 1972, their daughters receive an equal opportunity to play collegiate sports.

People of all political stripes might be shocked to know that it was under a Republican administration that the Environmental Protection Agency was formed, proposed by Nixon through executive order.

By today’s standards, Nixon would likely fall onto the moderate spectrum on domestic policy and on the realist side in terms of foreign policy, perhaps putting him somewhere in the middle of the current GOP.

Above all else, however, Nixon was a man of ideas, and the New Nixon Presidential Library will allow Americans to explore those ideas, assess his legacy, and perhaps walk away with a new and broader perspective of the man and his accomplishments.

The Fred and Marlene Malek Theatre will be one of the first stops for guests visiting the new museum.  Some of the other exciting features are 70 new major exhibits, including an exact replica of President Nixon’s Oval Office and an extensive exhibit on Nixon’s historic trip to China.

It will also feature 30 unique multi-media experiences, 11 original films, 12 custom digital interactives, 10 curated archival film sequences, more than 600 photographs, 8,000 square feet of wall murals and more than 300 artifacts.

I’m looking forward to catching up with some old friends this weekend at the opening, but I’m mostly looking forward to seeing the many more people that will pass through to learn more about President Richard Nixon and his legacy.

Visit here to see more about the New Richard Nixon Library and Museum.

September 9th, 2016

Groundbreaking at the New Malek West Point Visitors Center

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As I’ve said before, it’s always an honor and a privilege to give back to West Point, the place that has given me so much more than I could ever even begin to fully repay.  For me, it’s a way to say thank you to the world’s greatest greatest institution, that has turned so many young men and women into the greatest leaders in the world.  And that’s why I am filled with so much pride to have had the opportunity to lead the largest ever capital campaign at West Point, the new Malek West Point Visitor Center.

I would like to extend my deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone who invested their time and resources to make all of this happen, including the class of 1974, Margaret A. Zipp, the Class of 1972, the Class of 1973, the Class of 1978, the Class of 1984, The Boeing Company, the Class of 1990, the Class of 2004, and the Class of 1988.

The United States Military Academy at West Point attracts more than 1 million people each year from all over the world, including prospective cadets, friends, relatives, and the general public. During their visit they will learn about the significant contributions this institution has made to our great nation.  It certainly had an impact on my life, and that’s why I was honored to take part in reaffirming the value of this institution by celebrating the ground breaking of the new West Point Visitors Center.

It is important that we tell the West Point story and inspire new generations to serve our Army and our nation.  The 15,000 square foot exhibit space, housed inside the new state-of-the-art visitor’s center, will do just that by honoring the many remarkable leaders that have formed the Long Gray Line.

The visitors center will also highlight West Point’s thriving and historic athletic program by including a new Army West Point Athletics gift shop.  The center’s back drop of the scenic Hudson River allows for the possibility of a future expansion that would connect the visitors center to the adjacent West Point Museum.

I’m hopeful that everyone who passes through the Malek West Point Visitors Center will leave with a profound sense of pride in the United States Military Academy and a clear understanding of why West Point is a national treasure.  And for every cadet, I hope it will be a gateway to excellence in their future endeavors.

See more about this exciting new addition to West Point here.

July 16th, 2016

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is Excellent Choice for VP

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Choosing a running mate is an important decision for a White House contender.  It’s an opportunity for the candidate to look presidential before assuming office and a window for voters into how he or she will govern.

Adding Indiana Governor Mike Pence to the ticket is a good move for Donald Trump, probably the best one he’s made for his campaign.  Pence is a seasoned politician with close ties to Members of Congress and party leaders, many of whom are pleased to see one of their own in the VP slot.  Knowing Mike Pence well from my role as Finance Chair for the RGA, I have the most utmost confidence in him as well as the utmost respect.  He’s also well respected nationally among conservatives and by Washington insiders who know him as a skilled and tactical pro.

The two will share the stage next week at the Republican National Convention and make their case to the American people by telling them why they should be America’s next President and Vice President.  For four days next week in Cleveland the campaign will have the opportunity to really set the tone for the general election.  This will be important, because the momentum gained and maintained immediately before and after the convention could very well determine the outcome of the election.

Every convention is an historic and electrifying spectacle, and I wouldn’t expect this one to be any different.


June 14th, 2016

Giving Back At West Point: A Calling and an Honor

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Giving back to West Point has never felt like a duty or an obligation.  For the institution that gave me so much and shaped my character, way of thinking, and ultimately my entire life, it’s been a calling.  It’s a feeling that many of my other classmates share, that only those who went through what we did can fully comprehend.

Yesterday we broke ground on a project that West Point has long needed. Soccer is a big league sport now, and we need a big stadium for more fans to come out and watch with a press box for the media.

Yesterday’s groundbreaking on the beautifully planned new soccer stadium was a wonderful event, and I would like to thank all of those involved, including: The West Point Association of Graduates; COL (R) Robert McClure ’76, WPAOG’s President and CEO Army West Point Athletics USMA Superintendent LTG Robert L. Caslen, Jr. ’75; Boo Corrigan, Director of Athletics at Army West Point; Head women’s soccer coach Marcia McDermott and assistant men’s coach Rich Costanzo; and everyone else who has helped this project to move forward.

As a former soccer player and student athlete during my years at West Point, I’m thrilled to ensure that the facilities our cadets practice and compete in are on par with the world class education and instruction West Point provides. West Point gave me the tools to go forward and compete successfully, and I am confident that this project will help the current and future cadets to do the same. It’s important for me and other alumni to come back and ensure that cadets continue to enjoy the opportunities we had, and hopefully more all the time. These young men and women deserve the best facilities and training available.

This facility will give cadets the opportunity to play at the highest level for fans and spectators both in the stadium and following from afar. With special areas for camera and radio broadcasters to cover games, fans and alumni can keep up with the current cadet teams even if they can’t travel to support in person. The upgraded press box will allow for increased and improved media coverage during games so that fans can keep up with every play.

For fans who can come to support the cadets in person, the aesthetic and functional elements of the stadium will be much improved. More comfortable seats will be available to fans so that they can stay and enjoy the experience, and the stadium’s architecture and overall design will be enhanced to reflect the excellence of the student athletes and West Point as a whole.

I continue to be a proud supporter of West Point, and I look forward to supporting the student athletes in their new facility once the project is complete.

To see for yourself what happened at Monday’s groundbreaking and learn more about the work we’re doing, see the video all about it:

January 29th, 2016

5 Takeaways From Last Night’s Debate

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Trump’s absence led to a more substantive debate

It was abundantly clear that throughout last night’s debate that the “elephant not in the room,” as Megan Kelly put it, allowed the candidates to have a much more substantive debate.  The conversation was more focused, nuanced, and lacked the kind of ad hominem attacks that have dominated previous debates.  We’ll have to wait and see whether Trump’s snub of the last debate before Iowans go to caucus on Monday will have any affect, but my intuition tells me it could hurt him.

Jeb had another strong debate

Governor Bush had another impressive debate, coming across strong and confident during an exchange with his in state rival, Senator Marco Rubio.  Rubio, in his own right, had a good debate, but Bush appeared to get the best of him during an exchange between the two over immigration policy.  Governor Bush is playing for the long haul, and more debates like this one can reassure voters and core supporters that he’s here to stay, and that he’s in this race to win.

The Governors once again showed the importance of executive leadership

Governors Christie and Kaisich both demonstrated to voters the importance of executive leadership.  Christie showed his uncanny ability to deliver a one liner and highlighted his leadership style after an exchange between Senators Rubio and Cruz, saying that as governor you “can’t hide behind parliamentary tricks.”  Kaisich did a good job laying out his resume and experience, and when pressed, was able to defend his decision to expand Medicaid during his time as governor.

Hillary Clinton remains focus for GOP

Democrat Bernie Sanders may be the current front runner in the Hawkeye State, but that didn’t stop nearly all of the candidates from calling out Hillary Clinton and making the case for why they are best suited to beat her in the general election.  Rubio did an exceptionally good job of contrasting himself to the former Secretary of State by hinting at what many observers see as his biggest upside: his electability in a general election.

The moderators had a great night

All of last night’s moderators did a fantastic job, especially Megan Kelly who continued to ask serious and substantive questions to all of the candidates, despite criticism from the front runner who held his own event just five miles down the road.  The video montage played back to Senators Rubio and Cruz regarding their past statements on immigration policy clearly had an effect on them, and played a fantastic visual for voters curious about where the candidates stand on the issues.  Another well played debate by Fox News gave voters what they deserved: a serious conversation about the issues.

January 9th, 2016

Kemp Forum 2016

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Jack Kemp’s message of hope and compassion mixed with fiscal conservatism, lower taxes, less government, and individual empowerment guided me throughout my years in business and politics.  His lasting impact on the Republican Party and conservatism will also be honored today as seven Republican White House hopefuls take the stage at an event in South Carolina that bears his name.

It’s fitting that the Jack Kemp Foundation would host an event on “Expanding Opportunity.”   After all, when others spoke of malaise and an America in decline in the 1970’s, Jack spoke of an “American Renaissance.”  This forward looking optimism is what defined Jack’s personality and brand of conservatism, and in many ways a broader idea of the American dream.

It is also fitting that House Speaker Paul Ryan – whom I met for the first time as he was working for Jack at Empower America – will moderate the event along with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

The candidates in the race for the White House could certainly use a dose of optimism, as Gerry Seib for the Wall Street Journal put it.  Perhaps tomorrow will serve as a jumping off point, as the forum honors the vision and legacy of Jack Kemp.  For a race that has been filled with the kind of bombastic rhetoric and negativity that my great friend would loath, we certainly could use it.