Matthew Spalding connects the principles of America’s founding with today’s thorniest issues as Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Spalding, a constitutional scholar and authority on American political thought and religious liberty, also serves as project leader of Heritage’s First Principles initiative. The Center for American Studies sponsors lectures, organizes seminars, crafts publications and supports the work of scholars. Its mission is to teach policymakers and political leaders about the principles of our political tradition and to explain the continued relevance and application of those principles in 21st-century America.
In his latest book, We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future (ISI Books, Nov. 2, 2009), Spalding details America’s core principles, shows how they have come under assault by modern progressive-liberalism and lays out a strategy to recover them.
First Principles, one of 10 transformational initiatives in Heritage’s Leadership for America campaign, seeks to provide a much-needed education for policymakers, the news media and ordinary citizens on the ideas of liberty and constitutional self-government. The overall objective is to reorient the nation’s politics and public policy to the enduring principles of the American founding.
Spalding is executive editor of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, a line-by-line analysis of each clause of the U.S. Constitution. His previous books as author or editor include A Sacred Union of Citizens: Washington’s Farewell Address and the American Character; Patriot Sage: George Washington and the American Political Tradition; and The Founders’ Almanac: A Practical Guide to the Notable Events, Greatest Leaders & Most Eloquent Words of the American Founding.
Before joining Heritage in 1994, Spalding was a senior policy analyst at the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, a think tank in Southern California where he currently is a fellow.
Spalding is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College. He earned a doctorate in government from Claremont Graduate School, concentrating his studies on political philosophy and early American political thought.
He has taught American government at George Mason University, the Catholic University of America and Claremont McKenna College. He is an adjunct fellow of the Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship at Hillsdale College.
Spalding’s work on The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, which brought together the contributions of 109 legal authorities, earned him Heritage’s prestigious W. Glenn and Rita Ricardo Campbell Award in 2006. The award is given to the Heritage employee who makes “an outstanding contribution to the analysis and promotion of a free society.”
Spalding and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children. They live in Arlington, Va.