April 30, 2024

A Seat at the Table

2022 Conference

View The 2022 Conference Gallery

Matt Schlapp
Chairman, ACU

Matt Schlapp is the Chairman of the American Conservative Union, the nation’s original grassroots conservative organization. During his 7-year tenure as chairman, CPAC has expanded its reach exponentially and launched critical initiatives in criminal justice reform, secure elections, and state legislative ratings for all 8,000 elected legislators in America. Schlapp and his wife Mercedes appear regularly on major news outlets as veterans of national politics with leadership roles in the Bush and Trump presidencies.

Mercedes Schlapp
Senior Fellow, ACU

Mercedes Viana Schlapp is a prominent Latina national leader and a political media commentator. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the American Conservative Union Foundation and regularly hosts the online show America UnCanceled on CPAC NOW. She worked in The White House for two different presidential administrations in senior level positions. In 2017, Mercedes was Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications where she advised on messaging and served as one of the top communicators.

Sebastian Gorka
Nationally Syndicated
Radio Host

Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D., is the nationally syndicated radio host of "America First with Sebastian Gorka. He's also a bestselling author and one of America’s most trusted authorities on national security, strategy, and counterterrorism. A former Deputy Assistant to President Trump for strategy, he has lectured for US Special Operations Command, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, and the Green Berets, and he has briefed the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Intelligence Council. His books are Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies—With No Apologies, and The War For The American Soul.

Katie Gorka
Heritage Foundation

Katie Gorka serves as Director of the Feulner Institute’s Center for Civil Society and the American Dialogue for the Heritage Foundation. In 2016, Katie joined the Trump Transition Team and then served as a senior advisor in the Office of Policy at the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019. From June to August 2019, she served as the press secretary for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Katie was President of the Threat Knowledge Group from 2014 to 2017, providing expertise and training on irregular warfare and terrorism to the FBI, US Army Special Forces, Marine Corps, and law enforcement.

Bill Spadea
Founder, Common Sense Club

Bill has been a business executive, entrepreneur, political strategist, analyst, candidate for office, and the host of the long-running “Chasing News with Bill Spadea” which aired in New York on Fox Television for seven years. In addition to his current radio show on NJ 101.5 he is also the CEO of Exit 19 Productions which just had their latest movie debut on Lifetime TV. Before getting into media, he served as an executive in the real estate industry for 18 years. Bill is also a former United States Marine honorably discharged from the reserves in 1999.

George Khalaf
Managing Partner,
The Resolute Group

George serves as President of Data Orbital and Managing Partner of The Resolute Group. For the last decade he has leveraged his political instincts, data expertise and strategic relationships to advance conservative clients and causes throughout Arizona and a growing number of states. He believes conservative policies create thriving communities and wants to arm conservative candidates and organizations with the best data, messaging, and strategy.

Pastor Rafael Cruz
Ordained Minister,
Political Activist

Pastor Rafael Cruz is a powerful example of the American Dream. Born in Cuba, Rafael lived and suffered under a cruel, oppressive dictator. Rafael arrived in Texas in 1957. He got a job as a dishwasher and worked his way through the University of Texas, while learning English. Rafael Cruz became active in conservative politics as a grassroots activist during the 1980 Reagan campaign. He is an ordained minister and the president of Kingdom Translation Services. His son, Ted Cruz, is a U.S. Senator from Texas.

Dr. Chuck Harding
Founder, Mission to America

Dr. Chuck Harding is a missionary evangelist and the founder of Mission to America. For more than fifteen years he has conducted Christian Heritage conferences, God and Country Revivals, and Constitutional Awareness conferences throughout the United States. He helps Pastors and God’s people become more educated concerning our Christian Heritage, engaged in our biblical role in government, and encourages others to entreat God's mercy for our embattled nation. Dr. Harding leads pastors to partner in prayer with our elected officials and Members of Congress.

Gordon Chang
China Expert,
Author, Speaker

Gordon G. Chang is a leading expert on China and American-Chinese relations; author of The Great U.S.-China Tech War and Losing South Korea, Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World and The Coming Collapse of China. Chang lived and worked in China and Hong Kong for almost two decades. His writings can be found in major newspapers and he is often a guest on cable news channels. Chang has given briefings before the NIC, the CIA, the State Department, and the Pentagon.

Jenny Clark
Founder and Director,

A mother of five, Jenny Clark knows full well the unique variations in how children learn. Jenny grew up in Arizona, attended her local district school from K-12, and then continued on to receive a BSBA in Business Economics. Today, she utilizes a variety of schooling options for her own family, and loves sharing with other families about their options and helping them find the right fit for their kids through her non-profit, loveyourschool.org. Jenny is a nationally-recognized advocate for school choice.

Hannah Cox
Writer, Commentator, Activist

Hannah Cox is a libertarian-conservative writer, commentator, and activist. Her primary role is as the Content Manager and Brand Ambassador for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the nation’s oldest libertarian think tank. She is also the Co-Founder and Host of BASED Politics, and a media consultant for Americans for Prosperity and Netchoice. Her work has led to numerous public policy reforms including the overthrow of the death penalty in three states, Direct Primary Care protections, repeal of Certificate of Need laws, tax repeals, and school choice.

Josh Aikens
Chairman of Arise NJ

Josh Aikens is Chairman of Arise NJ, a non-political organization focused on school board elections. Their main purpose to help candidates who put the education of children at the forefront of their platform. Arise leverages decades of BOE experience to guide candidates & board members through the experience of serving their local communities. Josh is also the President of the Board of Education in Lafayette, NJ.

Paul Teller
Executive Director,
Advancing American Freedom

Paul is the Executive Director of Advancing American Freedom, former Vice President Mike Pence’s political advocacy group. He served in the Trump White House as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and then Director of Strategic Affairs for Vice President Pence. Teller was also the former Chief of Staff for Senator Ted Cruz and former Executive Director of the United States House of Representatives Republican Study Committee. He was described in a Washington Post profile as "one of the most influential conservative aides in Congress.”

State Senator Ed Durr
New Jersey

Edward Durr Jr is a State Senator and truck driver who represents the 3rd Legislative district in the New Jersey Senate, since taking office on January 11, 2022. He ran against and beat long-serving State President Steve Sweeney who spent around $305,000 on the race, while Durr spent roughly $2,300. Senator Durr is active in advocating for Constitutional freedoms and parental rights.

Mason Morgan
Executive Director,
Run GenZ

Mason Morgan was born and raised in Dallas, Texas where he gained an interest in politics and public service in High School. This led Mason to Iowa to attend Drake University with the goal of working on a presidential campaign ahead of the Iowa Caucuses. After graduation, Mason returned to Texas where he worked as a Senior Constituent Services Liaison for Senator John Cornyn, and later on his campaign for the 2020 cycle. Since 2020, Mason has worked diligently to grow and ensure the success of Run GenZ in his role as Executive Director.

Dr. Liam Schubel
Doctor of Chiropractic Natural Health Advocate

Dr. Liam Schübel is one of the most well-known Doctors of Chiropractic in the world. He has presented at chiropractic and health events around the globe. Known for his humor and common-sense speaking style, Dr. Schübel enjoys entertaining and informing audiences, inspiring them to become a better version of themselves. He has served as Vice Chairman on the Sherman College of Chiropractic Board and President of the International Federation of Chiropractors and Organizations, both of which experienced record growth under his leadership. He currently owns 21 chiropractic clinics in two different countries. He is an ardent enthusiast of personal liberties and natural health.

Chad Connelly
Founder and President,
Faith Wins

Founder Chad Connelly was the Republican National Committee’s first-ever National Director of Faith Engagement, a key position that influenced the elections of 2016. Having been elected to two terms as the Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, Chad set new fundraising records for the party, hosted two nationally televised debates that brought over $50 million in revenue and advertising exposure to the state, and held the largest Presidential Preference Primary at that time in South Carolina's history. Since 2013, he’s traveled to 43 states and spoke to more than 82,000 pastors and faith leaders about the importance of pastoral leadership in the public arena.

James Carter
Director, Center for
American Prosperity

Jim Carter serves as Director of the Center for American Prosperity at America First Policy Institute. Previously, Jim was Vice President of Government Affairs at Emerson, a diversified global manufacturing and technology company. Mr. Carter also served in the Bush Administration, as a senior staff member on the Senate Budget Committee, and as an advisor to several U.S. senators. Jim has served in senior roles at the Department of Labor, Department of Treasury, and National Economic Council at the White House. Fun fact: he appeared in season three of House of Cards, playing a U.S. Senator.

Jonathan Gilliam
Speaker, Author
Career Public Servant

Jonathan T. Gilliam is a career public servant with over twenty years of service as a Navy SEAL, FBI Special Agent, Federal Air Marshal, private security contractor, police officer, public speaker, radio host, expert media commentator, and author. Gilliam has extensive experience in crisis management, threat analysis and mitigation, small unit leadership, on-scene command, and special events/crisis management. Gilliam’s first book, Sheep No More; The Art Of Awareness And Attack Survival debuted at the top of Amazon’s Best Seller List where it has remained since its release on December 12, 2017.

Jim Ellis
Political Analyst

Jim Ellis is the creator of the Ellis Insight publication and Senior Political Analyst for the Business-Industry Political Action Committee. Jim’s positions as executive director for two national political action committees built well-recognized skills in advising, strategizing for, and evaluating campaigns. His close-up role as a leading political consultant to the Republican majority leadership of the House of Representatives resulted in a strong reputation for calling races correctly. Over the years, Ellis has been a consultant to the three national Republican Party organizations in DC, the National Federation of Independent Business, and various national conservative groups.

Tiffany Justice
Moms for Liberty

Tiffany is a wife and mom of four school-aged children. In 2016 she stepped up to serve for 4 years on the School District of Indian River County, FL School Board. She believes that kids in public school deserve innovation and parents have the right to know the union interference and government bureaucracy that is keeping that innovation from happening in their children's district. As a co-founder of Mom’s For Liberty, Tiffany and Tina Descovich are using their first-hand knowledge and experience to unite parents who are ready to fight those that stand in the way of liberty.

Donna Molloy
Turning Point USA-Faith

Donna Molloy is the Atlantic Faith Representative for the newest department in Turning Point USA. TPUSA-Faith is building a coalition of liberty within the faith community, by standing up for biblical truth. Through her work Donna has engaged young Christian conservatives across the tri-state area and educated them to establish civic ministries in their communities. She provides resources to Pastors & Churches who are looking to engage in the culture with biblical truth and freedom while planning rally’s events and courses on biblical citizenship.

Dr. Amerling
An America’s Frontline Doctor

Dr. Amerling is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine for Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He is Past-President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. He is on the editorial board of Blood Purification. Dr. Amerling is an invited presenter at numerous medical conferences. In October 2016, Dr. Amerling accepted a position as Professor at St. George’s University School of Medicine. From April-August 2020, he volunteered as a nephrologist at NYU/. In July 2021, Dr. Amerling was placed on administrative leave by SGU for non-compliance with their vaccine mandate, and ultimately terminated in January 2022.

Matt Braynard
Executive Director,
Look Ahead America

Matt Braynard is the former Director of Data and Strategy for the Trump campaign. He drafted and executed the strategy of targeting low-propensity voters who had a high affinity for President Trump. He is the president of Braynard Group, a political and digital strategy firm. He has worked for over one hundred federal, state and municipal candidates, and many national advocacy organizations and non-profits. He previously worked on messaging and survey research for Frank Luntz, was a senior redistricting and election administration analyst at Election Data Services, and served for three election cycles in the Republican National Committee’s Political Analysis department. After the 2020 General Election, Matt founded and led the Voter Integrity Project to discover illegal ballots and other election anomalies.

Robert Cahaly
Founder, Trafalgar Group

Robert Cahaly is the founder and senior strategist of the Trafalgar Group. He came to national prominence in 2016 because his firm correctly predicted that Donald Trump would win the election in Michigan and Pennsylvania and the Electoral College vote. Cahaly uses a methodology in his polling to try to take account of what is known as "social desirability bias". This term refers to situations where individuals who are being polled may believe that it is socially undesirable to provide certain responses to the polling company and who might therefore answer the questions inaccurately, without stating their actual preferences. In addition to his work as a pollster, Cahaly is a lecturer and public speaker.

Steven Reed
aka "the Republican Goodfella"

Steven was born and raised in NJ and now living in NC. Steve is representing ACT for America Serving as chapter president of one of the largest chapters in the country. “ACT Right of NC”. He has also served as secretary and precinct chair of local GOP as well as county volunteer coordinator for the Trump Victory Campaign. Steven is an expert in grassroots activism and was one of NC state’s #1 door knockers with 18,000 doors and over 35,000 contacts made. Currently he also serves as a Freedom Works Ambassador, and consultant on many political campaigns.

John Amanchukwu
Author, Speaker, Pastor

John Amanchukwu Sr. is a dynamic speaker with a passion for exposing the racist ideology of the abortion industry, and how modern movements such as Critical Race Theory suppress the black community. In his book ERACED, he dispels the myths surrounding abortion and CRT, and uncovers the Left’s sinister plot to destroy the African-American community and divide the church. John received a master’s degree from Liberty University in Christian Ministry. Among other accomplishments, on the local and national level, he has served as the leader of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and has been a youth pastor for fifteen years. John is a true Southern Preacher calling the next generation to repentance and action.