About The National Center

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.

In 1982, we started The National Center to provide the conservative movement with a versatile and energetic organization capable of responding quickly and decisively to fast-breaking issues. Today, we continue to fill this critical niche through a top-flight research and communications operation driven by results and the bottom line.

In the 1980s, The National Center helped change public opinion through vocal national campaigns aimed at supporting Reagan administration initiatives concerning the USSR, arms control, Central America and human rights. With the Cold War won, The National Center now trains its sights on other issues, including:

Environmental Policy

Firm in the belief that private owners are the best stewards of the environment, The National Center’s Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs advocates private, free market solutions to today’s environmental challenges. The Task Force highlights the perverse nature of many government-first environmental policies through the collection and promotion of regulatory horror stories, which attach human faces to very real problems caused by regulation.

In 2005, for example, The National Center was one of the few groups addressing the loss of property rights stemming from the application of the 1973 Endangered Species Act and perverse incentives within the original ESA that harm the species the ESA is supposed to protect.  But when the U.S. House of Representatives began to overhaul the ESA in 2005, the proposed new ESA would have lacked sufficient property rights protections and would, through new “invasive species” regulations, have massively expanded the power of the government to regulate private land use and human activity.

Incredibly, the proposed legislation would have permitted the federal government to take up to 49.9% of a person’s property in the name of wildlife protection without paying anything for it.  In response, The National Center:

  • Developed and led a grassroots coalition of dozens of groups to educate the public and Members of Congress on these issues;
  • Wrote two coalition letters, the first signed by seventy policy organizations and the second by ninety (including the American Conservative Union, the National Taxpayers Union, Eagle Forum and other well-known conservative groups), to House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo expressing these concerns, and publicizing these letters to the grassroots, to other Members of Congress and to the news media;
  • Published a detailed, 3,500-word analysis of the bill, which identified seven specific problems with it;
  • Personally briefed House Resources Committee staff, Members of Congress, the House Majority Whip (twice), environmental staff for the then-House Majority Leader and the Chairman of the corresponding Senate committee on the problem areas; and
  • Participated in scores of news media interviews about the issues involved.

Result: when the reform bill was finally introduced it was a very different proposal.  Five of the seven specific problems we had identified – the five most significant – were addressed. Other dangerous new regulations simply vanished from the bill. The provision to compensate landowners was altered in favor of full compensation. The revised measure was approved by the full House of Representatives.

Regulatory Policy

The National Center promotes regulatory reform. We educate Americans about sound science, Congress’s constitutional authority to legislate, and in the importance of considering the financial impact on families, individuals and disadvantaged Americans when drafting regulations.  In 2007, the National Center published the fourth edition of our book, Shattered Dreams: 100 Stories of Government Abuse, available here.

Fiscal Policy, Health Care & Retirement Security

Exposing the truth in federal tax policy, highlighting conservative proposals for tax and entitlement reform and educating the public and media on the importance of restoring fiscal integrity to the federal government are top priorities. Of particular interest is developing public, media and policymaker support for reforms that will make possible the long-term health of Social Security and Medicare, projects we conduct through policy papers, columns, press releases, petition drives, strategy meetings with allied organizations, meetings with policymakers, talk radio and other media interviews through our National Retirement Security and Health Care Reform Task Forces.

Ongoing projects in the arena have been magnified with the appointment of Deroy Murdock, a Scripps Howard syndicated columnist, as a National Center Distinguished Fellow.  Since his appointment, Mr. Murdock, a recognized expert in entitlement reform policies, has written over a dozen new editions of The National Center’s “Talking Points on Social Security” publication, which is distributed by mail to several thousand journalists and talk show hosts and to Members of Congress and other policymakers, and also is available in electronic format.

In 2006 and 2007, these programs continued their expansion with a commitment to a through examination of the true record of patient service in nations with government-run health care systems.  The National Center also is scrutinizing, with a critical eye, various plans for expanding the public role in health care delivery here in the United States.

Government Accountability & Legal Reform

Through the activities of its American Criminal Justice Center, which include publications, press releases, media interviews, radio and television commercials, petition drives and more, The National Center exposes examples of wrongdoing and misguided activities by government agencies and officials.   It also works against injustices, inequalities and other failings within the legal system, such as “legislation through litigation,” in which unelected individuals undemocratically attempt to set public policies outside of the legislative process, sometimes enriching themselves handsomely in the process.  It works to explain issues surrounding judicial confirmation debates to the public, and addresses such topics as campaign reform, judicial activism, affirmative action, frivolous lawsuits, the social costs of unchecked asbestos litigation, and other topics.  In 2005 alone, National Center staff and Project 21 members were interviewed or cited by the media over 700 times on judicial and legal issues.

National Defense

Believing that peace is best achieved when democratic nations are well-defended, the National Center supports a strong U.S. military and policies that support U.S. service personnel. We also advocate foreign and defense policies that serve America’s national interests. One example of such work includes three critical analyses of the proposed Law of the Sea Treaty, one each by then-Vice President David Ridenour, Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen and Policy Analyst Ryan Balis.

National Sovereignty

Believing that Americans should be governed by Americans, not by persons overseas, The National Center opposes policies that expand the authority of the United Nations at the expense of the U.S. Congress and executive branch.  In 2005, the National Center initiated a series of research reports under the direction of policy analyst Ryan Balis, a graduate of the London School of Economics, to examine recent U.N. scandals, the funding structure of the U.N. and institutional obstacles to U.N. reform.

New Leadership for Black America

Elevating the profiles of conservative and moderate voices in the African-American community through an aggressive earned media campaign is the task of The National Center’s Project 21. Participants are regularly featured in national and regional media, advancing the causes of economic and social conservatism while supporting new leaders within the black community.

In 2007, Project 21 members were interviewed, cited or published by the news media over 1,227 times.

Emerging Issues

Responding quickly to issues that suddenly appear on the policy stage is a hallmark of our work.


Deroy Murdock


Bradley Krieger


Joe Roche


Julianna Ustica


Nickie Kelley


Jennifer Lee


Board of Directors

Horace Cooper

Former Assistant Law Professor, George Mason University
Attorney, Legal Commentator
General Counsel, Office of the U.S. House Majority Leader, 1995-2002
Elected October 19, 2010

Edmund F. Haislmaier

Senior Research Fellow, Health Policy Studies
The Heritage Foundation
Washington, D.C.
Elected October 27, 1997

David Ridenour

President, The National Center for Public Policy Research
Washington, D.C.
Elected president October 18, 2011; to the board October 27, 1997

Peter Schweizer

President, Government Accountability Institute
New York Times Best-Selling Author
Elected June 27, 2006

Dennis Hollingsworth

Former California State Senate Minority Leader
Elected May 7, 2019

Lisa B. Nelson

Chief Executive Officer,
American Legislative Exchange Council
Arlington, VA
Elected May 7, 2019

Craig Rucker

Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow
Elected May 9, 2023

What Conservatives Say About the National Center

I applaud the NCPPR staff and supporters for your commitment to educating Americans on… issues that are essential to our Nation’s prosperity and security.  For 20 years, you have remained steadfast in your efforts to advance the cause of individual freedom in the United States.

-President George W. Bush in 2002

The National Center for Public Policy Research provides a unique and valuable service to the American people and to our nation’s leaders…  Particularly valuable are the studies that have proven the adverse impact of burdensome regulations and disproportionately high taxes on enterprises and individuals, especially on minorities and start-up businesses.

-Senator George Allen

I think those guys are brave and courageous… They’ve got guts.

-Rush Limbaugh, referring to Project 21

The National Center for Public Policy Research has been one of the most effective organizations in the conservative movement.  For 20 years this organization has been willing to take on the environmentalist extremists with intellectual honesty and courage unmatched in our movement.

-the late Paul M. Weyrich, then-President, Free Congress Foundation

The National Center for Public Policy Research is an invaluable ally in the battle for limited government and a strong national defense.

-Dr. Edwin Feulner, then-President, The Heritage Foundation

I frequently tell my students, ‘don’t fully trust anyone until he has stuck with a good cause which he saw was losing.’  I fully trust my friends at The National Center.  Over the past 20 years, The National Center has fought and stuck with a good many battles that seemed hopeless, and often prevailed.  Twenty years ago, I helped The National Center for Public Policy Research get started.  I’m glad I did.

-Morton C. Blackwell, President, The Leadership Institute

Competent self-governance requires an educated citizenry.  By providing tens of millions of Americans with facts about breaking issues and supplying a policy perspective rooted in the views of our Founders, The National Center for Public Policy Research helps make our democracy work.

-Ambassador Alan Keyes

The National Center is an invaluable resource for insightful analysis and a roundup of what key people are saying about a wide range of important issues.  A crucial source of ammunition in the battle of ideas.

-Ward Connerly

The National Center for Public Policy Research has emerged as one of the leading voices for limited government and individual freedom in the U.S. It produces more positive press attention for our ideas, dollar for dollar, than any other Washington-based think tank, and its Project 21 is probably the country’s most successful effort to organize conservative African Americans.

-Joseph Bast, President, The Heartland Institute

The National Center is changing public opinion — providing Americans with a conservative response to the latest news and policy issues.

-Colonel Oliver North

A good run, a cup of coffee, and the NCPPR… that’s how I start my day.

-Michael Reagan

Some come to Washington to drain the swamps but soon find themselves happily soaking away in the political hot tub.  Not the National Center for Public Policy Research!  NCPPR is one of the fiercest fighters for economic liberty in areas ranging from environmental policy to economic deregulation.

-Fred L. Smith, then-President, Competitive Enterprise Institute

What Liberals Say About the National Center

“Project 21 remains a crucial gear in the right’s propaganda factory…. Without [Project 21], Project 21’s cadres would probably be at home screaming at the TV.  But instead, they’re on TV.”

-The Nation

“…The National Center for Public Policy Research… makes the Cato Institute look like a hotbed of raving Trotskyist revolutionaries.”


Proven Success

The National Center is a proven success in today’s competitive media environment, earning over 4,373 media interviews, citations  and published op-eds in 2007, 5,328 in 2006, 8,046 in 2005, 3,408 in 2004, 3,230 in 2003, 2,796 in 2002, 2,462 in 2001, 1,898 in 2000, 2,135 in 1999 and 1,968 in 1998.

Among those covering The National Center are the AP, UPI and Reuters, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report, ABC’s World News Tonight, NBC News, CBS News, ABC Radio News, Good Morning America, 20/20, C-Span, PBS, NPR, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and others. Talk radio coverage has been particularly newsworthy, with coverage by industry leaders Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Roger Hedgecock, Glenn Beck and many others.

The National Center is also outstanding in its ability to connect people with policymakers, gathering and delivering an average of 47,000 petitions per month from grassroots America to policymakers on issues of public concern.

For news on the National Center’s most current work download the latest newsletter.

The American people make The National Center for Public Policy Research’s work possible through their generous gifts and support. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors.

The National Center is audited every year by an independent firm of certified public accountants. The National Center has never requested nor received funding from the federal government nor any state nor foreign government.

A link to a pdf copy of The National Center for Public Policy Research’s most recent Form 990 tax return is available to download and our most recent independent audit is also available.

The National Center for Public Policy Research was incorporated in Delaware in 1981 and opened its doors on February 2, 1982.  It is a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code.  Its tax ID number is 52-1226614. Donations to The National Center and its projects are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

Please consider joining the over 100,000 Americans who have recently made contributions to the National Center’s important work. Make a donation today