WHO ARE The project's leaders?

Learn more about the individuals the Project has identified as rising stars within the conservative movement. These leaders demonstrate that conservative ideals work for every person and every community.

Leader Spotlight

The American idea is not new. Throughout history, diverse leaders have championed it in elected positions.


Born into slavery, Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and preside over the House. With his tenure stretching from 1870 to 1879, he was the longest serving African-American during the turbulent Reconstruction period and advocated for civil rights.


As a U.S. Senator from Mississippi, Hiram Rhoades Revels was the first African-American to serve in Congress. His also commanded a regiment of the U.S. Army and served as a Presbyterian minister. Born free, Revels led with oratorical skills honed from preaching and moderate political leanings.


Robert Brown Elliott helped to organize the Republican parties in rural areas of South Carolina during the Reconstruction. Elliott was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives, then the U.S. House. He returned to South Carolina to fight corruption as state House Speaker from 1874 to 1876.