Dr. Paul G. Kengor
Executive Director, The Center for Vision & Values
Paul Kengor, Ph.D., is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of the college’s Center for Vision & Values. A New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books, Kengor is also a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Kengor is an internationally recognized authority on several subjects, particularly Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, communism, conservatism, and progressivism. He is often quoted in major publications, from USA Today to the Los Angeles Times to the Chronicle of Higher Education to the Washington Post to the Associated Press, as well as foreign publications ranging from the Irish Times to Pravda. His articles have appeared in numerous publications from across the ideological spectrum: the New York Times, New York Post, CNN.com, FoxNews.com, National Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Washington Times, USA Today, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Roll Call, Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Philadelphia Inquirer, Christianity Today, World magazine, National Catholic Reporter, National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, Jewish Press, Jewish World Review, International Herald Tribune, and many others. He has published major articles in top refereed, scholarly/academic journals, such as Political Science Quarterly and Presidential Studies Quarterly.
Dr. Kengor released two books in 2015. The first is a co-edited volume (with Jeffrey Chidester, University of Virginia), titled Reagan’s Legacy in a World Transformed. Published by Harvard University Press, it is a seminal scholarly work on President Ronald Reagan. He also published Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage, a shocking chronology of how the far left has sought to take down natural-traditional-biblical marriage and family, culminating in its embrace of same-sex marriage as the long-sought vehicle—one that has mainstream public support—to finally succeed in redefining marriage and family, as well as attacking religion. These books follow his 2014 work, 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative, one of his many books on President Ronald Reagan.
Kengor has authored several bestsellers. More recently, his 2012 profile of Frank Marshall Davis, mentor to Barack Obama, titled, The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, the Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor (Simon & Schuster, Threshold/Mercury Ink), debuted at #9 on the New York Times bestseller list and hit #1 in non-fiction at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com. Based on declassified FBI files and Soviet and Communist Party USA archives, the book garnered a significant amount of public attention.
In 2010, Kengor published Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century (ISI Books). Based on extensive Soviet archival research, particularly the Soviet Comintern Archives on Communist Party USA, the book examines the exploitation of American liberals by communists beginning in the early 20th century.
Prior to Dupes, Dr. Kengor published another major Cold War work, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan & the Fall of Communism. The Crusader includes never-before-published documents from KGB archives, Soviet media archives, and once-secret but now declassified NSC, White House, and Reagan administration documents. Originally released in hardcover in October 2006 (HarperCollins), the paperback rights were purchased by HarperPerennial for release in September 2007. The book was translated for release in Poland in October 2007. The book was also translated into Estonian and Korean, and is being considered for Albanian.
Also in 2007, Kengor released God and Hillary Clinton (HarperCollins), the first and only examination of the faith and spiritual life of the former first lady. In November 2007, he published (with co-author Patricia Clark Doerner) The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand (Ignatius Press), a long-awaited biography of Ronald Reagan’s close friend and most influential foreign-policy adviser. The Judge is the only book to be endorsed by two living ex-presidents from differing political parties: President Jimmy Carter and President George H. W. Bush.
Kengor’s best-known work is God and Ronald Reagan (HarperCollins, 2004), which made bestseller lists for The New York Times (extended list), Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Christian Retailing, among others; the book reached #2 on Amazon’s non-fiction list. He is author of God and George W. Bush (HarperCollins, 2004), which reached #5 on Amazon’s non-fiction list and made The New York Times’ extended bestseller list. He is co-editor with Peter Schweizer of Assessing the Reagan Presidency (Rowman-Littlefield, 2005). He has also written chapters or essays in books published by Oxford University Press, Columbia University Press, Palgrave-Macmillan, Lexington, and many others.
The film rights for Kengor’s two books on Ronald Reagan, The Crusader and God and Ronald Reagan, were purchased by MJM Group. The books are the basis for a major Hollywood “bio-pic” on the life and presidency of Ronald Reagan, titled, Reagan: The Movie. The film, budgeted at $30 million, will be co-produced by Mark Joseph and Ralph Winter, with script by Howard Klausner. Filming is planned for late 2015.
Kengor has been a frequent contributor to MSNBC, C-SPAN, NPR, the BBC, PCN-TV, EWTN, and FoxNewsChannel, and is a regular columnist for Townhall and the American Spectator. He has appeared on many TV shows, including “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” the “World Over,” the “700 Club,” Lou Dobbs, and (from the past) “Hannity & Colmes,” “Tony Snow Live,” and “Scarborough Country.” He has done hundreds of radio-talk shows, including the shows of Sean Hannity, Bill Bennett, Mark Levin, Diane Rehm (NPR), Michael Reagan, Warren Olney (NPR), Glenn Beck, Janet Parshall, Truths that Transform with D. James Kennedy, Dennis Praeger, Michael Medved, G. Gordon Liddy, Linda Chavez, Kresta in the Afternoon, Jim Quinn, Stand to Reason with Greg Koukl, and Laura Ingraham. Hosts like Rush Limbaugh have discussed his work on air on a number of occasions. He does a regular commentary for three nationally syndicated radio programs: American Radio Journal, Moody Broadcasting, and Ave Maria Radio Network/EWTN Radio.
Kengor is a frequent public speaker. His past venues include the Reagan Library, the Reagan Ranch Center, the National Press Club, the U.S. Capitol Building, the National Presbyterian Church, the Commonwealth (Pennsylvania) Prayer Breakfast, the Heritage Foundation, the Gerald R. Ford Library, the Witherspoon Fellowship Program, American Enterprise Institute, among many others. He has also spoken at many colleges, including the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, the College of William & Mary, Eureka College, the Ave Maria College School of Law (Ann Arbor, MI), Calvin College, Franciscan University, Regent University, Claremont McKenna College, Saint Vincent College, Patrick Henry College, the University of Pittsburgh, Drexel University, DePaul University, Wabash College, Washington & Jefferson College, and more.
Kengor has done work for many think tanks, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Heritage Foundation, and the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, and has served on the editorial board of Presidential Studies Quarterly, the flagship academic publication on the presidency. He is nationally known for his work on the American presidency. In 2009, he was one of a select group of presidential scholars to participate in C-SPAN’s prestigious, highly regarded ranking of American presidents, a follow up to C-SPAN’s popular 2000 survey. The four-person advisory team to the survey was comprised of Douglas Brinkley, Richard Norton Smith, Edna Medford, and Harvey Mansfield.
Kengor received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and his master’s degree from American University’s School of International Service. He holds an honorary doctorate from Franciscan University (Steubenville, Ohio), where he was the commencement speaker in May 2009. Kengor, a native of Western Pennsylvania, lives with his wife Susan in Grove City, Pa., along with their eight children.
Lee S. Wishing, III
Administrative Director, The Center for Vision & Values
Married with four children, Lee S. Wishing, III, is the administrative director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.
Wishing grew up in the Snow Belt area of western New York State and went on to college at Grove City College, where he graduated in 1983 with a degree in business administration. He also holds a Master’s degree in organizational leadership from Geneva College.
Following graduation from Grove City College, Wishing joined his father’s property casualty insurance business as a life insurance and financial services broker. He joined Merrill Lynch in Pittsburgh in 1985 and married his college sweetheart in 1987. Wishing left Merrill Lynch in 1987 to found a small leveraged buyout organization called Butler Investment group.
After selling his business holdings in 1994, he experienced a crisis of belief — go his own way buying businesses or answer a call to work at Grove City College. Experiencing God’s clear leading, he chose to work at Grove City College directing the external relations office.
In 2004, he helped to lay the foundation for Grove City College’s think tank, The Center for Vision & Values, and became the Center’s administrative director in 2005. The Center’s tag line is “Advancing Freedom with Christian Scholarship.” The Center oversees nine research working groups comprised of faculty and kindred scholars. The working groups conduct research seeking to discover truths from the perspective of Christian scholarship to address today’s leading religious, political, economic and social issues. The Center also popularizes this research as opinion editorials, media interviews and conferences. In 2004 the Center experienced more than 800 media placements for its research with an earned media value – the equivalent value of purchased advertising – of more than $4,000,000. The Center began formal operations in 2005 with a conference titled “The Road From Poverty to Freedom: A Look Backward and Forward at the War on Poverty.”
Wishing has also been active in civic and political organizations. He has been president of two chambers of commerce, a tourist promotion agency and is currently the president of the Christian school Grove City Christian Academy. He also serves on the boards of the Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission ($21 million budget) and The Shenango Valley Urban League. Wishing ran for Mercer County (PA) commissioner in 1999 and lost in the primary by .9% to the incumbent Republican commissioner and the Mercer County Republican Party chairman. He served on the executive committee of Crawford County (PA) Republican Party and was Crawford County coordinator for U.S. Congressman Phil English’s first primary campaign in 1994. He also served as Mercer County’s co-social conservative outreach director for Bush-Cheney 2004, and he is a precinct committeeman for the Mercer County Republican Party.
A member of the Grove City College varsity soccer team during his college days, Wishing has coached numerous youth soccer teams. He and his wife, Dede, are members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Grove City. They have four children—Lee, Sarah, Mary and John.
Brenda L. Vinton
Communications & Events Coordinator
Brenda L. Vinton is the communications and events coordinator for The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. Prior to joining the Center’s staff in 2007, she was the meeting coordinator for the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS®. Brenda and her husband Geoffrey (’83) have two sons.
Robert A. Rider
Media Relations and Technology Solutions Manager
Robert A. Rider is the media relations and technology solutions manager for The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. Prior to joining the Center in 2013, he worked for a non-profit corporation near Pittsburgh, Pa.
Rider grew up in Western Pennsylvania and went on to college at Slippery Rock University, where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in professional writing. He also holds a Master’s degree in journalism and communications from Point Park University. Robert and his wife Sarah have four children and live in Grove City.