Salvatori Center Associated Faculty

Mark Blitz
Dr. Mark Blitz

Director, Fletcher Jones Professor of Political Philosophy

Mark Blitz (A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University) is Fletcher Jones Professor of Political Philosophy, Director of the Henry Salvatori Center, and Chairman of the Department of Government at Claremont McKenna College. He served during the Reagan Administration as Associate Director of the United States Information Agency, where he was the United States Government's senior official responsible for educational and cultural exchange, and as Senior Professional Staff Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He has been Vice President and Director of Political and Social Studies at the Hudson Institute, and has taught political theory at Harvard University and at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the co-editor (with William Kristol) of Educating the Prince, and the author of Plato's Political Philosophy, of Duty Bound: Responsibility and American Public Life, of Heidegger's "Being and Time" and the Possibility of Political Philosophy, and of many articles on political philosophy, public policy, and foreign affairs.

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Joseph Bessette
Dr. Joseph M. Bessette

Alice Tweed Tuohy Professor of Government and Ethics


Joseph M. Bessette has been at CMC since 1990. He teaches courses in American government, ethics, and crime and public policy. From 1985 to 1990 he served first as Deputy Director for Data Analysis and then as Acting Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the U.S. Department of Justice. Before that he served for three and a half years in the Cook County, Illinois, State's Attorney's Office, where he was Director of Planning, Training, and Management. In 1983 he was issues coordinator for the Chicago mayoral campaign of Richard M. Daley. From 1990 to 1993 he served on Mayor Richard Daley's Blue Ribbon Panel of Police Hiring and Promotion, which dealt with issues of affirmative action in the hiring and promotion of Chicago police officers.

In addition to other published writings on American government and politics, he is author of The Mild Voice of Reason: Deliberative Democracy and American National Government, co-editor and contributor to The Presidency in the Constitutional Order, and co-author of American Government: Origins, Institutions, and Public Policy. He is currently working on a major study of the murders committed by those on death row throughout the United States, to be titled Murder Most Foul: A Portrait of Death Row in the United States.

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Andrew Busch
Dr. Andrew E. Busch

Professor of Government

Charles Kesler
Charles R. Kesler

Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government


Charles R. Kesler is Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, Editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and a Senior Fellow at The Claremont Institute. He received his A.B. in Social Studies (1978) as well as his A.M. and Ph.D. in Government (1985) from Harvard University.

From 1989 to 2008, Dr. Kesler was Director of CMC's Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World. From September 2000 to March 2001, he served as Vice Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Congress's James Madison Commemoration Commission. He was selected in June of 2000 as a member of The Scholars Commission on the Jefferson-Hemings Issue sponsored by The Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society.

Dr. Kesler is editor of Saving the Revolution: The Federalist Papers and the American Founding (Free Press, 1987), and co-editor, with William F. Buckley, Jr., of Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought (HarperCollins, 1988). He has written extensively on American constitutionalism and political thought, and his edition of The Federalist Papers (Signet Classics, 2003) is the best-selling edition in the country.

Dr. Kesler contributes regularly to the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. His articles on contemporary politics have also appeared in The Washington Times, Policy Review, National Review, and The Weekly Standard, among other journals.

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Christopher Nadon
Dr. Christopher Nadon

Associate Professor of Government


Christopher Nadon was educated at the University of Chicago (B.A. 1985, M.A. 1989, Ph. D. 1993) and previous to coming to Claremont McKenna College taught at the University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy and Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He is author of Xenophon's Prince: Republic and Empire in the Cyropaedia and is interested in the relations between religion and politics.

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James Nichols
Dr. James H. Nichols, Jr.

Dr. Jules L. Whitehill Professor of Humanism and Ethics


James H. Nichols, Jr., is Professor of Government and Dr. Jules L. Whitehill Professor of Humanism and Ethics at Claremont McKenna College and Avery Fellow at Claremont Graduate University. Educated at Yale and Cornell, he has also taught at McMaster University, the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, and Yale University, and spent a year working at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, as Associate Director of the Division of General Programs. He teaches chiefly courses in political philosophy and also the Freshman Humanities Seminar. His publications include Epicurean Political Philosophy: The De rerum natura of Lucretius; translations with introduction, notes, and interpretative essays of Plato’s Gorgias and Phaedrus; and articles on pragmatism, human rights, Plato’s view of philosophic education, liberalism, and political economy. His most recent book is Alexandre Kojève: Wisdom at the End of History, and his current research focuses on the Roman imperial historian Tacitus.

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Ralph Rossum
Dr. Ralph A. Rossum

Salvatori Professor of Political Philosophy and American Constitutionalism

Ralph A. Rossum is the Director of the Rose Institute of State and Local Government and the Henry Salvatori Professor of American Constitutionalism at Claremont McKenna College; he is also a member of the faculty of Claremont Graduate University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is the author or co-author of nine books (including American Constitutional Law, a two-volume work now in the seventh edition and, most recently, Antonin Scalia's Jurisprudence: "Text and Tradition") and over 65 book chapters or articles in law reviews and professional journals.

Listed in Who's Who in America, Mr. Rossum has served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Loyola University of Chicago, as Vice President and Dean of the Faculty at Claremont McKenna College, as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Episcopal Theological Seminary of Claremont, and as President of Hampden-Sydney College. He is currently chairman of the Council of Scholars and a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Liberal Education.

Mr. Rossum has an extensive record of public service. He was a member of the Police Reserve in Memphis, Tennessee. He served as Deputy Director for Data Analysis of the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the U.S. Department of Justice. He has also served as a member of the Advisory Board of the National Institute of Corrections in the U.S. Department of Justice and as a member of the National Board of the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) in the U.S. Department of Education.

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George Thomas
Dr. George Thomas

Burnet C. Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions