Founded in 1987, the Congressional Institute is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping Members of Congress better serve their constituents and helping their constituents better understand the operations of the national legislature. The Institute sponsors major conferences for the benefit of Members of the U.S. Congress as well as a number of smaller gatherings, all devoted to an examination of important policy issues and strategic planning. The Institute also conducts important research projects consistent with its mission, develops resources such as a House Floor Procedures Manual and sponsors Oxford-style bipartisan Congressional debates.
Board of directors
Barbara A. Morris-Lent
Mary C. Sophos
Mark N. Strand
- Brenda Becker
- David A. Bockorny
- Frank Cantrel
- Marcel Dubois
- Bruce A. Gates
- Ralph Hellmann
- Michael S. Johnson
- Brett Loper
- Billy Pitts
The Congressional Institute was established in 1987 for the intellectual and social benefit of Members of Congress and to provide educational information about Congress to the general public.
The Institute sponsors major conferences for the benefit of Members of the US Congress and their staffs. Since 1987, the Congressional Institute has held an annual “Congress of Tomorrow” for U.S. House and/or Senate Members. Past annual issue conferences have included: Federal Hall at New York, NY, “Congress of Tomorrow” at Houston, three “Congresses of Tomorrow” at Princeton, NJ, and “Congresses of Tomorrow” at Salisbury, MD, Leesburg, VA, Williamsburg, VA, White Sulphur Springs, WV, Philadelphia, PA, and Cambridge, MD. A “Women of the 21st Century” conference at St. Louis discussed issues which concern women beyond the traditional “women’s issues”. The Institute was also involved with the planning and execution of the first Bipartisan Congressional Retreat, and has conducted conferences for Congressional chiefs of staff. Other, smaller conferences have dealt with fundamental values in policy development with specific emphasis on health care, tax reform, the environment, congressional structure and process reform, campaign reform and congressional family issues. The Institute also conducts research on a variety of important issues and publishes a House Floor Procedures Manual at the beginning of each Congress.
The Congressional Institute, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation duly organized and in good standing. It is a corporation that is exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as an organization described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Code.
The Congressional Institute is empowered to exercise all rights and powers conferred by the laws of the District of Columbia upon not-for-profit corporations, including, but without limitation thereon, the rights and powers to receive gifts, devices, bequests and contributions in any form, and to use, apply, invest and reinvest the principle or income therefrom or to distribute the same for the above purpose.
A volunteer Board of Directors has general charge of the affairs, property and assets of the Institute. It is the duty of the Directors to carry out the aims and purposes of the Institute, and, to this end, to oversee and control all of its property and assets. The members of the Board of Directors are private sector community leaders.
Mark Strand, President
Mark Strand became President of the Congressional Institute in 2007. Founded in 1987, the Congressional Institute is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping Members of Congress better serve their constituents and helping their constituents better understand the operations of the national legislature.
Strand is also an adjunct professor of legislative affairs at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and the coauthor of the book Surviving Inside Congress. He also writes a blog, The Sausage Factory, that provides an inside look at legislative strategies and procedures (http://conginst.org/news-feed/).
Strand spent nearly 24 years on Capitol Hill in both the House and the Senate, most recently serving as Chief of Staff to James Talent (R-MO). He served as the Staff Director of the House Committee on Small Business when Talent was Chairman. He was also chief of staff for Reps. Bill Lowery (R-CA) and Stan Parris (R-VA). He has also served as a Legislative Director and a Press Secretary.
During a brief interlude from the Hill from 2001-2002, Strand was Vice-President of Government Affairs for the American Water Works Company – the largest publicly held water utility in the United States.
Strand obtained a master’s in Legislative Affairs from GWU’s Graduate School of Political Management, an M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Phoenix, and was an undergraduate double major in Political Science and History at Excelsior College of the University of New York.
Strand regularly speaks to organizations about how Congress works (or doesn’t). Besides speaking and lecturing on legislative politics, Strand teaches courses on “Surviving Inside Congress” to new Hill staff, government affairs employees and Washington-based diplomats. In addition, he regularly works with Congressional offices on management issues.
Amy Hinderliter, Director of Programs
Jennifer Dill, Executive Assistant
Timothy Lang, Research Director
Anca Butcaru, Special Advisor to the President