Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Institute is preparing to fill its Tony Blankley fellowship for the first time this summer.
The Tony Blankley fellowship officially kicked off in August 2012, and the Steamboat Institute has been working from then until now to raise funds and put together a selection committee.
Selection committee members
• U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California
• Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House
• Callista Gingrich, wife of Newt Gingrich and president of Gingrich Productions
• Edwin Meese, former Attorney General
• Ed Gillespie, former counselor to President George W. Bush and former chairman of the Republican National Committee
• Frank Luntz, political strategist
• Amity Shlaes, author and columnist
• Thomas P. McDevitt, chairman of The Washington Times
• John Roberts, author and producer for The McLaughlin Group
• Steven Hofman, former Assistant Secretary of Labor
• Lauren Maddox, principal of the Podesta Group
• John O'Sullivan, former speechwriter for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Applications are available now with a deadline of June 30. The selection committee will make a decision in July, Steamboat Institute Chairwoman Jennifer Schubert-Akin said.
“We’re looking for someone able to continue in same vein that Tony Blankley did,” she said.
Blankley was the press secretary for Newt Gingrich and a political columnist and commentator.
Schubert-Akin said Blankley’s unique way of presenting policy issues and sense of humor allowed to him communicate with a wide range of people.
The fellow should have a compelling communication style, as well, Schubert-Akin said.
Expectations for the fellow include writing policy papers and commentary pieces that are suitable for national publications, she said, in addition to speaking engagements at Steamboat Institute events and possibly others on the organization's behalf.
The fellow would be expected to attend the Steamboat Institute’s sixth annual Freedom Conference in August.
“When we held our first Freedom Conference in 2009, it really helped to put the Steamboat Institute on the map to have Tony Blankley here as our moderator,” Schubert-Akin said.
Blankley’s choice to return for the 2010 and 2011 conferences was indication that he believed in the Steamboat Institute’s mission, she said.
“He understood the importance of getting nationally known speakers to Steamboat,” Schubert-Akin said. “It does mean something to the average citizen when they get to meet” people they see on TV or read in syndicated columns.
“That inspires people,” she said. “Tony got that.”
After Blankley died from cancer in 2012, it was important for the Steamboat Institute to honor his memory and legacy, Schubert-Akin said.
“The fact that we have the people we have on the selection committee is a testimony to Tony, as well,” she said. “All these people that thought highly of Tony said ‘Yes.’”
Those interested in applying or nominating someone for the fellowship should visit www.steamboatinstitute.org/tony-blankley-chair for the application and more information.
To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz