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David A. Keene

David A. Keene is Editor-at-Large and former Opinion Editor at The Washington Times, the nation’s largest conservative newspaper, and his articles can be found at https://www.washingtontimes.com/staff/david-keene/. He is writing an anecdote book on the modern conservative movement in America and published Shall Not Be Infringed: The New Assaults on Your Second Amendment in 2016.

As President of the National Rifle Association (NRA) for the two traditional one-year terms, Keene led the “All-In” Campaign to elect Second Amendment supporters to federal and state office in 2012 and worked tirelessly to keep the U.S. from adopting Obama gun control legislation in 2013. NRA membership grew from four to five plus million members. He remains on the NRA board, the executive committee, and chairs the Publications Policy Committee. He was a Special Arms Representative to the United Nations in the President George W. Bush Administration.

From 1982 to 2011, Keene served as the elected Chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative advocacy group. ACU organizes the annual Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC, which Keene grew from 200 to 11,000 conservative activists in his volunteer capacity. CPAC meets in Washington, DC, each winter to hear and to network with conservative leaders from around the country and the world. 

Keene serves on the boards of The Center for the National Interest, The Montana Policy Institute, Republic Books and The Washington Policy Institute. He has served as delegate to Norway for the American Council of Young Political Leaders, on the board of The Constitution Project, the Board of Visitors at Duke University’s Public Policy School, the Eisenhower Memorial Committee, a John F. Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Policy, a First Amendment Fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Freedom Forum, and others. He has lobbied at the state, federal and international levels, including for Algeria and Western Sahara, Hyundai, and major hospital and transportation centers.

He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin while serving as National Chairman of Young Americans for Freedom. In Washington, DC, he became a Special Assistant to Vice President Spiro Agnew during the Nixon Administration, then Executive Assistant to New York Senator Jim Buckley. He advised presidential campaigns including George H.W. Bush (as National Political Director), Bob Dole, Ronald Reagan (Regional Political Director), Mitt Romney and dozens of state and local campaigns. 

For 14 years, Keene wrote a regular column for The Hill, which focused on Capitol Hill. He has written extensively on civil liberties, criminal justice and politics for the American Spectator, Boston Globe, Human Events, National Review, and others including to numerous books and hundreds of radio and television programs, for example as election consultant to CBS News. His Lifetime Achievement Awards include the CPAC, Council of Racial Equality, Second Amendment Foundation, and the Young America’s Foundation.

Keene is married to Donna Wiesner Keene, and they enjoy the company of five children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. They work in Washington, DC, and protect their sanity by fishing, hunting and enjoying the outdoors, most frequently in Montana.

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