Mark Schmitt

Director, Political Reform Program

Photo of Mark Schmitt

Mark Schmitt is director of the program on political reform at New America. This initiative was launched in November, 2013, to develop new approaches to understanding and reforming the market for political power. A prominent writer on politics and public policy, with experience in government, philanthropy and journalism, he is also a columnist for The New Republic and a leading voice on political reform, budget and tax policy, and social policy.

From 2008 to 2011, Schmitt was executive editor of The American Prospect, _where he had been 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, Mark was a senior fellow and advisor to the president at the Roosevelt Institute, a New York-based think tank affiliated with the FDR Library. In a previous stint at New America, from 2005 to 2008, he helped launch a major initiative on the next social contract and an innovative approach to campaign reform.   

From 1997 until 2005, Mark was 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. Previously, he was a speechwriter and later policy director to Senator 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.

Mark's political and policy analysis has appeared in The New Republic, Time, The Washington Monthly, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review _and other print and web publications. From 2003 through 2007, he published his own blog, _The Decembrist, _which was named by _Forbes magazine as one of the five best political blogs of its time.

Mark grew up in New Haven, CT, and graduated from Yale University. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Holly Yeager, and their daughter.


  • Political Reform
  • Budget
  • Tax
  • Social Policy

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Mark Schmitt
Director, Political Reform Program

Featured Publications


  • policy paper | February 09, 2015 |

    Political Opportunity

    A New Framework for Democratic Reform

    For 40 years, the logic of preventing corruption — or its more ambiguous cousin, “the appearance of corruption” — has guided laws governing money i...
  • article | November 07, 2014 | Political Reform

    “Dark Money” Didn’t Decide the Election

    But Money Matters More Than Ever

    After Republicans won the most expensive midterm election in history, it was tempting to ascribe the result to money, or more specifically “dark mo...
  • article | October 23, 2014 | Political Reform

    The Money Midterms

    At least since the first “billion-dollar election,” in 1996, money in politics has seemed like one of those perpetual problems that we wring our ha...
  • in the news | September 15, 2014 | Political Reform

    The Overpaid CEO
  • policy paper | December 17, 2009 |

    How Oppressive Can A Nudge Be?

    Alan Wolfe Argues that Behavioral Economics is the Real Threat to Liberalism

    Probably the most distinctive innovation in the Obama Administration's brand of liberalism is its interest in behavioral economics and the power of...