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
- Arne Christenson
- Marcel Dubois
- Bruce A. Gates
- Ralph Hellmann
- Michael S. Johnson
- 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, succeeding founding President Jerome F. Climer. Besides being a coauthor of Surviving Inside Congress, Strand is also is an adjunct professor of legislative affairs at George Washington University. Strand spent nearly 24 years on Capitol Hill, most recently serving as Jim Talent’s Chief of Staff in both the House and Senate. Strand served as the Staff Director of the House Committee on Small Business when Talent was Chairman. He has also been a Legislative Director and a Press Secretary. Strand obtained a B.S. in political science and history from Excelsior College of the University of New York, an M.B.A. in marketing from the University of Phoenix, and a master’s in legislative affairs from George Washington University. Strand regularly speaks to organizations about how Congress works. He has been a frequent participant in seminars on Congressional ethics as well as strategic planning and Congressional office management.
Amy Hinderliter, Executive assistant
Dan Risko, Staff assistant
Timothy Lang, Staff assistant