Who We Are
Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a non-profit organization that drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation and respectful dialogue. With projects in multiple issue areas, BPC combines politically balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach.
As the only Washington, DC-based think tank that actively promotes bipartisanship, BPC works to address the key challenges facing the nation. Our policy solutions are the product of informed deliberations by former elected and appointed officials, business and labor leaders, and academics and advocates who represent both ends of the political spectrum. We are currently focused on health, energy, national and homeland security, the economy, housing, immigration, infrastructure, and governance.
BPC is committed to seeing our policy solutions enacted by lawmakers. Through the Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network (BPCAN), our (c)(4) affiliate, we engage in advocacy and strategic outreach and education to bolster the legislative center and support efforts that bring Republicans and Democrats together on the difficult issues facing the country.
While a healthy, civil debate among those with differing viewpoints is an essential component of our democracy, the current partisan tone in government is impeding progress. Through the Democracy Project and events like political summits and timely policy discussions, BPC is fostering an ongoing conversation about how to overcome political divides and help make our government work better.
The BPC Approach to Policy Development
Reconciling Competing Interests
BPC works to reconcile the competing aims of highly interested advocates, corporations, and policy experts and design politically viable consensus solutions.
Engaged Balance, Not Objective Disinterest
BPC seeks out individuals and organizations that are deeply vested in the outcome of its policy projects. We ask that our project participants check absolutely nothing at the door and bring all their passion, political perspectives and interests to the table. BPC believes that the fundamental strength of American Democracy is unity forged amid diversity, and we endeavor to represent this pluralism in all of our policy negotiations.
BPC funding reflects the character and diversity of the organization. The majority of BPC funding comes from charitable philanthropies. The remainder of BPC’s support comes from individual donors and corporate donors (a list of BPC donors can be found in our latest annual report). BPC believes that all of its donors as well as its project members have interests. A strength of BPC’s consensus-based negotiation process is that no single interest can unduly influence consensus outcomes.
In today’s polarized environment, some on the right will inevitably take issue with BPC’s philanthropic funders while some on the left will question BPC’s corporate support. We welcome substantive questions and critique of BPC analysis and proposals and encourage all reviewers to assess the diversity, expertise and character of our project participants.
Howard H. Baker, Jr. served three terms as U.S. senator from Tennessee (1967-1985). He concluded his Senate career in 1985 after two terms as Majority Leader (1981 to 1985) and two terms as Minority Leader (1977 to 1981).
Tom Daschle was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986 and was chosen as Senate Democratic leader in 1994. Senator Daschle is one of the longest serving Senate Democratic leaders in history and the only one to serve twice as both Majority and Minority Leader.
A renowned statesman, Senator Dole was elected to Congress from his home state of Kansas in 1960 and to the U.S. Senate in 1968. Elected Senate Majority Leader in 1984, Senator Dole set a record as the nation’s longest serving Republican leader.
George J. Mitchell was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1980, was elected to a full term in 1982 and went on to an illustrious career in the Senate spanning 15 years. He left the Senate in 1995 as the Senate Majority Leader, a position he had held since January 1989.