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David A. Keene

David A. Keene is Editor-at-Large at The Washington Times, the nation’s largest conservative newspaper, a lobbyist and conservative activist whose  articles can be found at His first book, Shall Not Be Infringed: The New Assaults on Your Second Amendment was published in 2016 and he is writing a second on his experiences at the center of the modern conservative movement.

While serving as President of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Keene and with NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre 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 during his two traditional one-year terms. Keene remains on the NRA board and chairs the NRA Publications Policy Committee. He is on the Board of the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund.​


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

Keene has lobbied on a variety of issues at the state, federal and international levels, He is or has been on the boards of The Center for the National Interest, The Constitution Project, The Montana Policy Institute, and has served as National Chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, among others. He was a John F. Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Policy, a First Amendment Fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Freedom Forum, and a member of the Board of Visitors at Duke University’s Public Policy School.

After earning his law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1970, Keene served as a Special Assistant to Vice President Spiro Agnew during the Nixon Administration, Executive Assistant to New York Senator Jim Buckley, and as an advisor to the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole and Mitt Romney and consultant to dozens of state and local campaigns. 

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

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 fishing, hunting and enjoying the outdoors in Montana and West Virginia.

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