The 2023 Summit

Preserving American Institutions

March 3 - 5, 2023
Join us in Washington, D.C. at the Conrad Hotel for a three-day grassroots summit on America's core institutions & the path to a more principled future for our country.


Join us in Washington, DC for a two-day grassroots summit on conservatism's meaning & the path to a more principled future for our country.
Principles First is excited to host a three-day grassroots summit at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, D.C. from Friday, March 3 through Sunday, March 5, 2023 to discuss and advance a more principled politics in the United States. We look forward to convening 2024 presidential hopefuls, current elected officials, conservative, liberal and independent speakers, thought leaders, and grassroots activists from around the country for three days of panels, speeches, networking, and substantive discussion about the meaning of conservatism today, the state of America’s core institutions, and how we can preserve and strengthen them in the years ahead.

The 2023 Summit will build on the success of our 2022 Summit, which convened over 400 principled Americans from 40 states, at the National Press Club. The speakers lined up for this gathering will be some of the leading thinkers in the principled lane and many of our #PrinciplesFirst grassroots activists from around the country are planning to travel in for the event. We have selected a new location and added an extra day to accommodate this year’s expected attendance.

Event Partners

The Summit’s success relies on the support of our partners committed maintaining America's liberal tradition.

The Bulwark is a news network launched in 2018 dedicated to providing political analysis and reporting free from the constraints of partisan loyalties or tribal prejudices.
A home for Americans who put Country before Party and are tired of the poisonous extremism that has overtaken our politics.
A national movement of people who believe in America and in bringing our leaders together to solve our toughest problems.
Republican Accountability Project, formerly Republican Voters Against Trump is a political initiative launched in May 2020 by Defending Democracy Together for the 2020 U.S. presidential election cycle
Rank the Vote is empowering people, state by state, to transform politics through better elections with ranked choice voting (RCV).

Why Attend

Principles First is a grassroots effort to rediscover and champion the classical liberal tradition in the 21st century.




Hear Principled Voices

The strength of our republic depends upon the moral conviction of our elected officials. If we don't pick trustworthy people to lead us, they will bring the character of the country down with them. Unethical and immoral behavior can never become the norm.


Meet Fellow Activists

Principles First is about real-world organizing and action. Many of our grassroots activists, from a network of 10,000 and counting, from around the country are planning to travel in for the event. Not all can make the trip but all feel the same way.


Get Inspired

We can make a difference by standing up for ideas that solve problems and improve lives. We choose action – to lay out our beliefs and engage rather than passively accept the status quo. The Constitution places a duty on all of us in shaping the course of our government.


Reaffirm Our Values

Our principles anchor our politics to core values and ensure that those we elect wield power according to a blueprint larger than themselves. Our principles define who we are, what we believe in, and the type of country we'll become. That's why we choose to put principles before politicians and before party.


Champion American Values

We love America's ideals, traditions, aspirations, complex history and the never-ending pursuit of a more perfect Union. Our patriotism is rooted in appreciation, not for a particular version of American culture or an ancestral lineage, but for our shared commitment to freedom.

2023 Agenda

The 2023 Summit's theme is Preserving American Institutions -- Enduring institutions like the courts, capitalism, our education system, and free and fair elections are under attack from post-liberals. We are here to defend Madison's vision and all of our sessions will be focused on the wisdom of classical liberalism. We are bringing together principled thinkers from the academy, elected members of Congress, and our sharpest thought leaders from across country over three days to discuss these current challenges facing the United States and the conservative movement and to articulate the principles that ought to shape both.

Conservatism vs Crackpots

American Institutions: Why They Matter

Live taping.

American Elections: A Pillar of Democracy

Truth and Order: Keeping the Peace after January 6th

The Right Man

America’s Foreign Policy Institutions & Putin’s War in Ukraine

The Bulwark Next Level Podcast - Hope and Despair But Mostly Despair

Live taping.

The Bulwark Podcast - America’s Role in the World

Live taping.

Advisory Opinions Podcast - Rule of Law: The Constitution and The Courts

Live taping.

Church and State: Finding Faith in America

Congress: The Broken Institution

Media as an Institution: Fox Vs. Facts

The Road Ahead: Georgia as a Model

Political Parties as Institutions: Can the GOP Survive?

Intelligence Agencies: Debunking the “Deep State” Myth

Slava Ukraini

A special ceremony.

Breaking Free: A Conversation

Download Full Schedule

Download PDF of the Agenda


The speakers lined up for this gathering will be some of the leading thinkers in the principled lane. To maintain the theme and integrity of the event, our speakers are appearing with no honorariums or reimbursement.

Retired federal Judge J. Michael Luttig, testifying in front of the Jan. 6 House committee, was questioned Thursday by one of his former law clerks about the role of another in the insurrection.

Hon. J. Michael Luttig

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Wes Moore is the 63rd Governor of the state of Maryland. He is Maryland’s first Black Governor in the state’s 246-year history, and is just the third African American elected Governor in the history of the United States.

Governor Wes Moore

Adam D. Kinzinger is currently serving his sixth term in the United States House of Representatives and proudly represents Illinois' Sixteenth Congressional District, which stretches across 14 counties in Northern Illinois.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger

United States Congress, IL-16
In 2022, Adrian Fontes was elected as Arizona's 21st Secretary of State. Secretary Fontes is a proud Arizona native, an honorable veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and the father of three daughters, who has spent a lifetime fighting for justice and defending our Democracy.

Secretary of State Adrian Fontes

John Bolton is the former National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump. He served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006.

Ambassador John Bolton

The United Nations
Larry Hogan is not a career politician. As a lifelong Marylander and small business owner who was fed up with sky-high taxes, politics as usual, and decades of one-party rule, he started Change Maryland, the largest non-partisan grassroots citizen organization in state history.

Governor Larry Hogan

John Kasich was sworn in as governor of Ohio on January 10, 2011, and was sworn in for his second term on January 12, 2015.

Governor John Kasich

A former professional baseball player and successful entrepreneur, Geoff Duncan was elected Georgia's Lieutenant Governor in November of 2018.

Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan

Lieutenant General Mark Phillip Hertling, USA (born September 29, 1953) completed a 37+ year military career as Commanding General, US Army Europe and Seventh Army, serving in that position from March 25, 2011, until November 4, 2012, and retiring from the Army in December 2012.

Lieutenant General Mark Hertling

U.S. Army retired
Denver Lee Riggleman III is an American businessman and politician from the Commonwealth of Virginia who served as the United States Representative for Virginia's 5th congressional district

Rep. Denver Riggleman

United States Congress, VA-5
Barbara Comstock was elected to Congress in 2014, and served two terms representing Virginia's Tenth Congressional District, making her the first woman elected to that seat. She was named as one of the "Top Ten Most Effective Lawmakers" in the 1110th Congress by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, a joint effort of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University.

Rep. Barbara Comstock

United States Congress - VA-10
Stephen Richer (Republican Party) is the Maricopa County Recorder in Arizona. He assumed office on January 1, 2021. His current term ends on January 1, 2025.

Recorder Stephen Richer

Maricopa County, Arizona
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards was one of two witnesses called to testify June 9 at the first public hearing of the Jan. 6 Committee.

Caroline Edwards

United States Capitol Police
Amanda Carpenter is the author of Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies To Us.

Amanda Carpenter

Sarah Isgur is currently a staff writer at The Dispatch, hosts the legal podcast Advisory Opinions, frequently appears as a legal analyst on cable news

Sarah Isgur

The Dispatch
Michael Fanone served as a Metropolitan Police Department Officer assigned to the First District for twenty years.

Michael Fanone

Metropolitan Police Department
Arthur C. Brooks served as president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) from January 1, 2009, to June 30, 2019. He also held the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Free Enterprise. Today, he serves as William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. He is also a contributing writer at the Atlantic, where he writes the weekly column “How to Build a Life” on the meaning and pursuit of happiness.

Arthur Brooks

Harvard University
Mark Tooley is president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy and editor of IRD’s foreign policy and national security journal, Providence: A Journal of Christianity & American Foreign Policy.

Mark Tooley

The Institute on Religion and Democracy
Tina Barton is a Senior Election Expert with The Elections Group. She joined The Elections Group with over 32 years of government experience, serving at the federal, county, and local levels. The last 17 years of her career have been focused on election administration. She holds a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership and a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Tina Barton

Committee for Safe and Secure Elections
Alyssa Farah Griffin, Political Commentator - CNN

Alyssa Farah Griffin

The View
Jonathan V. Last is editor of The Bulwark.

Jonathan V. Last

The Bulwark
Bill Kristol, Editor-at-Large - The Bulwark

Bill Kristol

The Bulwark
Megan McArdle is a Washington Post columnist and the author of "The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success."

Megan McArdle

The Washington Post
Sarah Longwell is the President and CEO of Longwell Partners, a full-service communications firm in Washington, D.C.

Sarah Longwell

The Bulwark
David Frum is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy (2020). In 2001 and 2002, he was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

David Frum

The Atlantic
The Forward Party is excited to announce the appointment of Lindsey Williams Drath as Chief Executive Officer for the organization. Previously, Williams Drath served as Managing Director of Engagement, overseeing all external communications, events, and development.

Lindsey Williams Drath

Forward Party
Heath Mayo is an Associate in Wachtell Lipton's Corporate Department.

Heath Mayo

Principles First
Amanda Tyler is executive director of BJC (Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty), leading the organization as it upholds the historic Baptist principle of religious liberty: defending the free exercise of religion and protecting against its establishment by government.

Amanda Tyler

Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty
Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist and political analyst living in the Washington, D.C., area.

Mona Charen

The Bulwark
Charlie Sykes is a founder and editor-at-large of The Bulwark, host of The Bulwark Podcast, and an NBC/ MSNBC contributor.

Charlie Sykes

The Bulwark
Olivia Troye is an American national security official who worked on national security and homeland security issues at the National Counterterrorism Center, the United States Department of Energy Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, and the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

Olivia Troye

Tom Nichols is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and the author of its newsletter Peacefield.

Tom Nichols

The Atlantic
Eli Lehrer is the President of the R Street Institute. He co-founded R Street in 2012 and has played a key role in establishing it as an important voice in the Washington, D.C. policy scene.

Eli Lehrer

R Street Institute
Officer Harry Dunn, Police Officer - United States Capitol Police

Officer Harry Dunn

United States Capitol Police
Megan McArdle is a Washington Post columnist and the author of "The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success."

Clint Smith

Media critic with a focus on the ups and downs and downs of the cable-news industry

Erik Wemple

The Washington Post
James Wallner is a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, where he writes about the theory and practice of democratic politics. His research focuses on the separation of powers, Congress, political parties, and the federal policy process. He also serves as a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Clemson University.

James Wallner

R Street Institute
As a scholar, Dr. Miller is a political theorist and political scientist focusing on international affairs, the American experiment, and America's role in the world. He is a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He serves as co-chair of the Global Politics and Security concentration in the MSFS program. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

Paul D. Miller

Georgetown University
Tevi Troy is a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services and a best-selling presidential historian.

Tevi Troy

Bipartisan Policy Center
Klon Kitchen is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a former national security adviser to Sen. Ben Sasse, and a 15-year veteran of the intelligence community.

Klon Kitchen

American Enterprise Institute
Nicholas Grossman is an international relations professor at the University of Illinois, senior editor of Arc Digital, and the author of Drones and Terrorism

Nicholas Grossman

University of Illinois
Holly Page founded The Page Agency in 2008 and offers strategic counsel to NGO’s, political organizations, philanthropists, corporations, and foundations. She guides client impact on a variety of issues including public policy, electoral effectiveness, change oriented philanthropic giving and reputational management.

Holly Page

No Labels
Jonathan Bydlak is director of the Governance Program at the R Street Institute. He also oversees the Fiscal and Budget Policy project and the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group.

Jonathan Bydlak

R Street Institute
Sadaqat Ahmad is the Executive Director of Principles First

Sadaqat Ahmad

Principles First
Audrey is a reporter for The Dispatch covering Congress and campaigns. She was previously a Bartley Fellow at the Wall Street Journal and studied politics at the University of Virginia

Audrey Fahlberg

The Dispatch

Download Full Schedule

Download PDF of the Agenda

Cost To Attend

We are only charging each attendee a small fee to ensure attendance and defray costs of the event.



$ 45.00

For the Entire Conference

  • Access to the full three days of the conference
  • Access to Kick-off Welcome Reception
  • Access to the Speakers
  • Post-Conference Happy Hour Invite and other special events


Other gatherings cost hundreds of dollars to attend and line the pockets of their organizers. The Summit is different.

Venue Location and Hotel Information

The Conrad Washington, D.C. - The Conrad is a new luxury hotel in the heart of downtown D.C, five blocks east of the White House. Principles First moved the Summit location to the Conrad from the National Press Club as we outgrew the space, needing to accommodate an unexpected increase in attendees.


Address - 950 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001


Hotel Logistics

Discounts for Principles First Summit Attendees: Due to unexpected tremendous interest in the 2023 Summit, The Conrad Washington DC is already sold out. To assist the many of you who are coming from outside the Washington, D.C. area, we have pulled together other pre-negotiated hotel discount rates with downtown Washington, D.C. area hotels. This is only for your convenience. There is not a particular need to stay at these specific hotels - as all of official Summit programming will take place at the Conrad Washington DC. We have special rates with The Hamilton, the Embassy Suites Washington DC Convention Center, and the Motto by Hilton. All three hotels are a 4 minute walk from the Conrad Washington DC.


Note: Attendees are responsible for booking their own hotel accommodations, with special room blocks available from March 3-5, 2023.



The Conrad

Conrad Washington DC


Embassy Suites

Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington D.C. - Convention Center


Group Name: PFB

Room Rate: $259/night

Cutoff: February 10, 2023


The Hamilton

Hamilton Hotel Washington, D.C.


Group Name: PRINCIPLE23

Room Rate: $249/night

Cutoff: February 9, 2023






Room Rate: $169/night

Cutoff: February 9, 2023




If you are a member of the media and want to attend this event to cover it, please email [media at principlesfirstsummit dot us] to get in touch with the event organizers.


Interested in sponsoring the 2023 Principles First Summit? Connect with a community of principled individuals and organizations in our dedicated vendor space. Promote your organization among our 700+ attendees from around the country. E-mail [sponsorships at principlesfirstsummit dot us] for the 2023 Sponsorship prospectus.