Founder & President

Better Angels


David Blankenhorn is the founder and president of Better Angels, a nonpartisan network of scholars and leaders whose vision is to reunite America. David has spent a lifetime working across the political divides:

  • A 2007 profile in the liberal-leaning USA Today describes him as making “a career of thinking about big issues” and as “a catalyst for analysis and debate among those with differing views.”
  • A 2012 profile in the conservative-leaning* Deseret News* says that Blankenhorn has “carved out a unique career cutting across ideological lines.”
  • A 2017 article about him in the liberal-leaning Washington Post says: “David Blankenhorn knows a thing or two about how exposure to opposing viewpoints can alter one’s own beliefs. Blankenhorn, an advocate for the institution of marriage, testified in 2010 against legalizing same-sex marriage … But later, an unlikely friendship with the writer Jonathan Rauch …changed his mind. He is now the founder of an organization called Better Angels committed to engaging people from all sides in an effort to encourage this kind of open-minded dialogue.”
  • A 2017 article in the conservative-leaning The Federalist calls Better Angels “Blankenhorn’s second act” and says: “We should all hope he experiences a great deal of success.”

Before founding Better Angels, David was the president of the Institute for American Values, a think focusing on civil society that he founded in 1988. Prior to that time, he worked as a community organizer in Massachusetts and Virginia, which included two years as a VISTA Volunteer.

David writes regularly for The American Interest and is the author of Fatherless America (1995), The Future of Marriage (2007), Thrift: A Cyclopedia (2008), and New York’s Promise (2013). He is also the co-editor of nine books.

He was born in 1955; grew up in Jackson, Mississippi; graduated from Harvard College in 1977; received an M.A. in comparative social history from the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, in 1979; and lives today in New York City.

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