Mark Schmitt

Director, Political Reform Program

Mark Schmitt is director of the program on political reform at New America. This initiative was launched in November 2013 to develop new approaches to understanding and reforming the market for political power. A prominent writer on politics and public policy, with experience in government, philanthropy and journalism, Schmitt is also a columnist for The New Republic and a leading voice on political reform, budget and tax policy, and social policy.

From 2008 to 2011, Schmitt was executive editor of The American Prospect, where he has been a columnist beginning in 2005. During his tenure, the Prospect won numerous awards, including the Utne Reader award for best political magazine. After leaving the Prospect, Schmitt was a senior fellow and advisor to the president at the Roosevelt Institute, a New York-based think tank affiliated with the FDR Library. In a previous stint at New America, from 2005 to 2008, he helped launch a major initiative on the next social contract and an innovative approach to campaign reform.   

From 1997 until 2005, Schmitt was director of the Governance and Public Policy program at the Open Society Foundations, where he developed grantmaking and research programs on political reform and state-level policy. Previously, he was a speechwriter and later policy director to Sen. Bill Bradley, working on issues including welfare reform, higher education, and urban policy, and he served as a senior advisor on Bradley's 2000 presidential campaign.

Schmitt's political and policy analysis has appeared in The New Republic, Time, The Washington Monthly, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review and other print and web publications. From 2003 through 2007, he published his own blog, The Decembrist, which was named by Forbes as one of the five best political blogs of its time.

Schmitt grew up in New Haven, Conn., and graduated from Yale University. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Holly Yeager, and their daughter.

All Work

50 State Solution

This project is a platform for exploring a wide variety of reforms at the state and local level across the United States.

Will the Trump Backlash Nudge American Politics Back Toward Normalcy?

Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox's Polyarchy about whether anti-Trump backlash will edge politicians back towards standard political practices.

I’m Glad ACA Repeal Failed, but I’m Angry about It Too

Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox's Polyarchy about why Republicans' failure to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is infuriating

Congress Has a Responsibility to Engage with Constituents

Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox's Polyarchy on the dangers of Congress members ignoring their phones.

Trump May Make Bipartisanship Popular Again

Mark Schmitt wrote for the New York Times about how President Trump's time in office may lead to a new centrist political alignment.

Jeff Sessions Didn’t Change Since 1986. Here’s What Did.

Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox about Jeff Sessions, Republicans, and black voters.

The Case for Fighting Trump on Norms

Lee Drutman and Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox about fighting Trump on political norms.

Readying Themselves for the Unexpected Must Be the Democrats’ Priority

Mark Schmitt wrote for the Guardian about how Democrats face a period of total uncertainty.

Trump’s Capitol Hill Problem

Mark Schmitt wrote for the New York Times about President-elect Trump's lack of formal relationships with members of Congress.

What Trump Exposed About the GOP

Mark Schmitt wrote for the New York Times about how the political divide between parties has shifted from ideology to identity.

Inequality And The Crisis of American Democracy

Please join the Political Reform program for a conversation on how we need a more thorough structural approach to economic change.

The Entitlement Myth

Mark Schmitt wrote for the New York Times about the presidential candidates' proposed entitlement reforms.