Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government


David Davenport


David Davenport

Counselor to the Executive Director & Visiting Fellow

David Davenport is a Visiting Fellow at the Ashbrook Center. Davenport is also a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, specializing in international law and treaties, constitutional federalism, and American politics and law.

Davenport is the former president of Pepperdine University (1985–2000). Under his leadership, the university experienced significant growth in quality and reputation. Davenport served as a Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Law at Pepperdine University from 2003 to 2008.

Davenport cofounded Common Sense California and the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership. He also served on the board of California Forward, a major bipartisan reform group, and was a member of Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Performance Review Commission. Davenport has served on several corporate and nonprofit boards as well.

A strong voice in contemporary politics and policy, Davenport is a columnist for and delivers regular radio commentaries on the Salem Radio Network and (where he is a contributing editor).

He recently coauthored the book Rugged Individualism:  Dead or Alive?, which explores the origin and centrality of American rugged individualism, how it has fallen under attack, and whether it might be revived.  Earlier he coauthored The New Deal and Modern American Conservatism, which explains how the New Deal of the 1930s established the framework for today’s US domestic policy and the ongoing debate between progressives and conservatives.

Davenport has also contributed chapters to Hoover books on values in a free society and legal threats to American values and has authored articles in Policy Review on “The New Diplomacy” and “The Politics of Literacy.” Davenport is a popular public speaker, having served for several years as a world affairs lecturer for Crystal Cruises.

Davenport earned a BA with distinction in international relations from Stanford University and a JD from the University of Kansas School of Law, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and earned national and international awards in moot court competitions.

Recent media by David Davenport:

Manhattan Institute: Rugged Individualism: Dead or Alive? Donald Trump’s Budget Raises a Question of the Ages: What Should Government Do (and Not Do)? 
Conservative Book Club: Is Rugged Individualism Still Alive In America? (Interview: David Davenport)
George Washington University: Donald Trump Rediscovers Franklin Roosevelt’s Forgotten Man–Or Is It Someone Else? with Gordon Lloyd Reform: The System Actually Worked 
Library of Law and Liberty: Herbert Hoover: Resourceful on Policy, Removed on Politics