Mark Schmitt

Director, Political Reform Program

Mark Schmitt is the director of the Political Reform program at New America. Launched in 2014, this initiative seeks to develop new approaches to understanding and reforming the market for political power and the crisis of democratic governance. A prominent writer on politics and public policy with experience in government, philanthropy and journalism, Schmitt is an expert on political reform, budget and tax policy, and US social policy.

From 2008 to 2011, Schmitt was the executive editor of The American Prospect, where he was 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. In a previous stint at New America, from 2005 to 2008, he also helped launch a major initiative on the next social contract and an innovative approach to campaign reform.   

From 1997 until 2005, Schmitt was the 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. In the 1990s, 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 appeared frequently in The New York Times in 2016 and 2017, and he has written for Time, The Washington Monthly, The Financial Times, The New York Times Book Review and other print and web publications, including the Political Reform program’s blog on Vox.com, Polyarchy. 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

POLITICAL REFORM
Imagining President Trump

What kind of president would Donald Trump be? And what are the implications of his nomination for the future of policy?


POLITICAL REFORM
American Maelstrom

Join New America for a conversation about the origin of the new language and stereotypes that dominate today’s political dialogue.


POLITICAL REFORM
Why a Predictable Clinton Victory Might be the GOP's Best Hope

Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox about Donald Trump clinching the number of delegates needed for the Republican nomination.


POLITICAL REFORM and NEW AMERICA
The Dangerous Politics of Hard Promises

Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox about the current Republican presidential candidates talking points.


NEXT SOCIAL CONTRACT
Protecting Workers in a Patchwork Economy

Work, once a matter of years of commitment to a single trade, career track, or employer, has undergone a radical transformation.


POLITICAL REFORM and NEW AMERICA
Will a Liberal Supreme Court Limit Money in Politics?

Mark Schmitt wrote for the New York Times about the possibility of a liberal Supreme Court reversing Citizen United.


POLITICAL REFORM and NEW AMERICA
Is the Era of Big-Program Liberalism Over?

Mark Schmitt wrote for the New York Times about the policies Bernie Sanders is advocating for in New Hampshire.


POLITICAL REFORM and NEW AMERICA
Donald Trump is Not an Ideologue — He's a (Bad) Technocrat

Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox about Donald Trumps own ideological brand.


POLITICAL REFORM and NEW AMERICA
Tax the (upper) middle class, please

Mark Schmitt explained how taxes aren't a punishment. They're part of our shared obligation. Politicians, starting with Bernie Sanders and H


POLITICAL REFORM and NEW AMERICA
Seattle's new political vouchers are an experiment. How will we know if they're working?

Giving everyone $100 for political contributions is brilliant — if people use the money.


POLITICAL REFORM and NEW AMERICA
A Lost Generation of Democrats

As Republicans never tire of pointing out, the Democratic candidates for president are old. The average age of the leaders, Hillary Rodham C


POLITICAL REFORM and NEW AMERICA
Paul Ryan's block grant scheme is doomed — for one simple reason

Mark Schmitt on how governors don't really want flexibility — they have plenty — and how Ryan's scheme is another gimmick.