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The Institute was founded in 1979 by conservative activist Morton C. Blackwell. Its mission is to "increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists" and to "identify, train, recruit and place conservatives in politics, government, and media."
The Leadership Institute offers 40 types of training seminars at its Arlington headquarters, around the United States, and occasionally in foreign countries. In 2009, the Institute trained more than 9,500 students. Since its 1979 founding, the Leadership Institute has trained more than 91,475 students. Notable alumni include Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, Jeff Gannon, Senator Mitch McConnell, Congressman Mike Pence, James O'Keefe, and seven new members of the 112th Congress.
Philosophy and curriculum
While the Institute does not provide instruction in philosophical conservatism, it does encourage its graduates to read classic conservative authors like Edmund Burke and "classical liberal" authors like Frederic Bastiat, as well as more modern conservative thinkers including William F. Buckley Jr., Russell Kirk, Barry Goldwater, and libertarian thinkers such as economists Milton Friedman and F. A. Hayek.
The Leadership Institute teaches 41 different types of classes and seminars using its own curriculum. Class content varies from teaching how to create a campus newsletter to political activism (i.e. grassroots activism) to professional training and development (i.e. broadcast journalism). The Institute's website lists its schools and other services.
LI Studios is a new, full service studio located at the Leadership Institute headquarters building in Arlington, VA. They offer a range of services from in-studio recording to on-camera training to production of documentaries and covering events. The studio at Leadership Institute headquarters is available for rental as well.
- Blaine Harden (2001-06-11). "In Virginia, Young Conservatives Learn How to Develop and Use Their Political Voices". Arlington;: NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2010-10-07.[dead link]
- In 2010, LI trained 9,500 students and seven new members of the 112th Congress, Arlington;: Leadership Institute, 2010-01-13, retrieved 2011-02-01
- Jeff Horwitz (May 25, 2005). "My right-wing degree". Slate. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
- F. A. Hayek. "Why I Am Not a Conservative". Fahayek.org. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
- Leadership Institute website: http://www.leadershipinstitute.org