Francis P. Cannon – President
Francis Cannon is the President of American Principles Project and co-author of the report “Building a Winning GOP Coalition: The Lessons of 2012″.
For over 30 years, Francis Cannon has worked in the public policy arena. Past and current clients include the trafficking office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (for which his firm was awarded the Silver Anvil by the Public Relations Society of America and the Silver SABRE by PRWeek), the Knights of Columbus, American Principles Project, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Susan B. Anthony List, as well as several national campaigns, members of Congress, major grassroots organizations, and non-profit organizations. Mr. Cannon is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Terry Schilling – Executive Director
Terry Schilling is the Executive Director of American Principles Project. Terry is a native of Geneseo, Illinois and a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he studied political science. Terry is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s political strategy at both the state and federal level.
In the past, Terry has worked in communications, development, grassroots, and management positions with Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Sen. Sam Brownback, various state and local candidates. Before joining the team at APP, Terry managed his father’s race for Congress in Illinois. Running against a 30-year entrenched incumbent on a shoe-string budget in 2010, Terry led the Bobby Schilling for Congress campaign to a 10 point victory. During college, Terry served as vice president of his student government association and as the director of grassroots operations for the College Republicans.
Alfonso Aguilar – Director, Latino Partnership
Alfonso Aguilar is the Executive Director of APP’s Latino Partnership. He is the former Chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship under President George W. Bush. Before joining the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003, he served in numerous high-level government positions in the Bush Administration and the government of Puerto Rico.
Aguilar has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico. He often appears as a guest policy analyst on many radio and TV shows across the country. He is frequently quoted in highly respected publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and Politico, as well as others.
Emmett McGroarty – Director, APP Education
Emmett McGroarty is the education director at American Principles Project. Emmett leads APP’s initiative to defend parental rights and to fight attempts to exclude parents from having a say in what their children learn and who teaches it to them. Emmett and his colleague, Jane Robbins, authored Controlling Education from the Top: Why Common Core Is Bad for America, which was co-published by American Principles Project, Pioneer Institute, Pacific Research Institute, and Washington Policy Center. He is a co-founder of truthinamericaneducation.com, a nationwide network of individuals and organizations that sheds light on the Common Core system.
His written works have been published in, among others, Breitbart, Catholic Vote, Crisis Magazine, New York Post, Public Discourse, The Examiner, and USA Today. Emmett has testified before several state legislatures and has been a guest on shows such as Breitbart News Sunday with Steve Bannon, The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, Fox News, The Glenn Beck Show, Laura Ingraham, Lars Larson, The Hugh Hewitt Show, and The Steve Deace Show. Emmett is a graduate of Fordham School of Law and Georgetown University.
Kate Bryan – Director of Communications
Kate Bryan is the Director of Communications for American Principles Project. Kate holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts/Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs and Political Communication from the Dublin Institute of Technology in Dublin, Ireland. Kate previously worked for Senator Ronan Mullen in Seanad Eireann in Ireland, and served as the Research Director of the Life Institute in Dublin. Prior to APP, Kate was the Director of Communications and Programs at Live Action in Washington, D.C. Kate has engaged in political activism throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States. She writes for numerous publications covering politics and culture— including Acculturated, Breitbart, Catholic News Agency, and Catholic Vote.
Jon Schweppe – Deputy Director of Communications
Jon Schweppe is the Deputy Director of Communications for American Principles Project. Jon graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where he studied Economics and Business. Prior to joining American Principles Project, Jon worked on three political campaigns for Rep. Bobby Schilling as his communications director and deputy campaign manager. Jon also co-founded the Young Republicans of Rock Island County, a youth-oriented grassroots organization that works tirelessly to elect conservative candidates in western Illinois.
Shane Vander Hart – Online Communications Manager
Shane Vander Hart serves as the Online Communications Director of APP Education. He is also a frequent contributor for TruthInAmericanEducation.com.
Shane is also the Editor-in-Chief for CaffeinatedThoughts.com, a popular Christian conservative blog. He has been involved in youth ministry since 1992 in church, para-church, and Christian school settings, and currently works with juvenile offenders in the Des Moines, Iowa Metro area. He has also been an interim pastor for a local Evangelical Free Church and provides pulpit supply for area churches. Mr. Vander Hart has been a member of the Polk County Republican Central Committee since 2006 and has served on their publicity and communication team. He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa.
Paul Dupont – Legislative Assistant
Paul Dupont has been a part of the APP team since the spring of 2013, first as an intern and then joining the organization full-time, as a Legislative Assistant. Prior to APP, Dupont was a fellow at the John Jay Institute, and an intern at The Heritage Foundation. He also interned at Senator Pat Toomey’s Philadelphia regional office. Paul coordinates the intern program for APP, and provides operational and research support. Paul is a graduate of Villanova University, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Humanities.
Nick Arnold – Senior Researcher
Nick Arnold is the Senior Researcher at APP. Nick manages website content for APP, and also performs legislative research and outreach for APP’s Education, Economics, and Latino Partnership projects. Prior to working at APP, he interned with Transecur Inc. as a regional analyst. Nick holds a Bachelors degree from Old Dominion in Political Science, and a Masters degree in Political Management at George Washington University.
Joshua Pinho – Digital Communications Associate
Joshua Pinho is a digital communications associate for American Principles Project. Josh joined APP as an intern in February of 2015 and now works full-time. Prior to APP, Josh has interned in the Office of Congressman Runyan, the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, as well as for Steve Lonegan during his 2014 run for Congress in New Jersey’s 3rd district.
Jeff Bell – Policy Director
Jeff Bell is policy director of the American Principles Project. In 1978 and 2014, Bell was the Republican nominee for the U. S. Senate in New Jersey. His distinguished career in public policy has spanned several decades, during which time he has served as president of Lehrman Bell Mueller Cannon and as a principal of Capital City Partners, assisting clients advocating the Bush tax cuts of 2001-2003, the President’s faith-based initiative, and immigration reform. Bell has also served on national campaigns for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Jack Kemp, and was responsible for developing former Governor Reagan’s first proposals for Federal tax and budget reduction in 1975.
A graduate of Columbia and a veteran of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, Bell has served as a fellow of the Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard, visiting professor at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers, DeWitt Wallace Fellow in Communications at the American Enterprise Institute, and visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He has written articles for many publications, most recently The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, and National Review. He is author of Populism and Elitism: Politics in the Age of Equality and The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism.
Maggie Gallagher – Senior Fellow
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles Project Foundation, and an author of the latest APPF report, “Building a Winning GOP Coalition: The Lessons of 2012”. She has been a thought leader on life, religious liberty, and especially marriage, for over 25 years.
Maggie is the author of four books on marriage, including “The Case for Marriage” with University of Chicago Prof. Linda J. Waite; and her latest book “Debating Same-sex Marriage” (co-authored with Prof. John Corvino). After founding and running a think-tank on marriage (the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy), Maggie went on to co-found the National Organization for Marriage in 2007, which the Washington Post called the “pre-eminent organization” fighting the imposition of same-sex marriage. Her Weekly Standard piece “Banned in Boston” launched a national debate over the religious liberty consequences of same-sex marriage.
Jane Robbins – Senior Fellow
Jane Robbins is an attorney and a senior fellow with the American Principles Project in Washington, DC. In that position she has crafted federal and state legislation designed to restore the constitutional autonomy of states and parents in education policy, and to protect the rights of religious freedom and conscience. Her essays on these topics have been published in various print and online media. With Emmett McGroarty she co-authored the APP/Pioneer Institute report, Controlling Education From the Top: Why Common Core Is Bad for America. She has published numerous articles about the problems with Common Core, including those of intrusive data-collection and threats to student privacy, and has testified about these issues before the legislatures of nine states. She is a graduate of Clemson University and the Harvard Law School.
Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg – Senior Fellow
Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg teaches philosophy and theology at Holy Spirit Prep High School in Atlanta. After graduating with a degree in history from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1990, he worked as a public elementary school teacher in California for 23 years. As an employee of the public school system, he has had extensive training on the methods of the Common Core, which he believes to be the next prolific step in the downward spiraling of American schools. After converting to Catholicism in 2008, he became a contributor to Crisis Magazine, The Imaginative Conservative, The Integrated Catholic Life, The Civilized Reader, The Standard Bearers, and Catholic Exchange writing on the Catholic faith and education.
Ze’ev Wurman – Senior Fellow
Ze’ev Wurman is a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution. Between 2007 and 2009, he served as a senior policy adviser with the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education. Wurman served as a commissioner on the California Academic Content Standards Commission that in 2010 evaluated the Common Core’s suitability for California adoption. In October 2014, Wurman and American Principles Project published Why Students Need Strong Standards [And Not Common Core], a white paper demonstrating significant weaknesses in the Common Core’s math standards.
Ralph Benko – Senior Economic Advisor
Ralph Benko serves as the senior advisor in economic policy at APP. Under the George W. Bush presidential administration, Ralph worked closely with the White House Office for Faith-based and Community Initiatives, in support of leading White House domestic policy. He went on to work under the auspices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Operation Rescue and Restore, as a principal community organizer in seven regions, in which he sought to identify and assist in the rescue of human trafficking victims in the U.S. In the early 1980s, Ralph served as Chairman of New York’s 23rd Congressional District Chapter of Citizens for America, under the national chairmanship of Lewis E. Lehrman. Thereafter, he served as an attorney-advisor for the United States Department of Energy for synthetic and renewable energy and served on detail as a deputy general counsel to a White House conference, and a presidential commission, under President Reagan. In 1986, Ralph founded The Prosperity Caucus, a monthly meeting of free market economists and policy makers that continues as a unique and respected informal symposium. He also testified before the United States Gold Commission in 1981 on the constitutional history of American monetary policy. And then went on to publish on that subject, and has remained actively interested in all areas of economic growth policy ever since.
Ralph is a frequent contributor of editorial features to Forbes Opinions, The Washington Examiner, ConservativeHQ, and has been published by Foxnews.com, Townhall, Daily Caller, and the American Thinker.
Michael Henry – Investor Relations Manager
Mike Henry is the Investor Relations Manager for American Principles Project. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where he studied marketing and public relations. Prior to joining APP, Mike was the Northeast Regional Coordinator for Heritage Action, covering Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Maryland. During the 2012 presidential cycle, he ran a local outreach campaign as an intern for American Majority Action in southeastern Pennsylvania. During the campaign, he worked closely with local tea party groups to organize their canvassing efforts. He is a native of Media, Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth Whalen – Grants Officer
Elizabeth Whalen is the American Principles Project Grants Officer. She hails from Hillsdale, MI, and graduated from Hillsdale College in 2015, with a B.A. in English Literature. During her time at school, she worked at the college’s library and coffee shop and volunteered as a sidewalk counselor. Elizabeth has also worked as a private contractor in the past, writing, editing, and testing online courses.
Johannah Rockwell – Executive Assistant/Operations Manager
Johannah Rockwell joined American Principles Project in March 2014 and is the Executive Assistant to the President and Executive Director and the Operations Manager. Prior to working at APP, Johannah supported executives in the healthcare and financial industry. Johannah graduated with a Bachelor’s of Music with a commercial vocal performance concentration from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lived for 8 years. Johannah, a Northern Virginia native, is an avid Redskins fan and is a member of the Vestry and worship team at Christ the Redeemer Church in Fairfax, Virginia.
Kevin Dawson – Deputy Operations Manager
Kevin Dawson is the Deputy Operations Manager of the American Principles Project. He is a graduate of the Catholic University of America, where he obtained a Bachelor’s in Politics in 2013. Prior to APP, Kevin created and managed the technical customer service call center at the American Petroleum Institute, was an intern for the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and an intern in the Parliament in Ireland.