Who We Are
The Bipartisan Policy Center is a non-profit organization that combines the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans. BPC drives principled and politically viable policy solutions through the power of rigorous analysis, painstaking negotiation, and aggressive advocacy.
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.
The late Howard H. Baker, Jr. (1925-2014) was a BPC co-founder. He served as the Senate majority leader from 1981 to 1985. Baker was the U.S. ambassador to Japan through the first term of President George W. Bush.
Tom Daschle, a BPC co-founder, co-chairs its Commission on Political Reform and Health Project. He served as Senate minority leader from 1995 to 2001 and from 2003 to 2005, and as the majority leader from 2001 to 2003.
Bob Dole is a BPC co-founder. He served as the Senate majority leader from 1985 to 1987, and from 1995 to 1996, and set a record as the nation’s longest-serving Republican leader.
George J. Mitchell is a BPC co-founder and co-chair of its Housing Commission. He served as the Senate majority leader from 1989 until 1995. After leaving the Senate, Mitchell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in negotiating a peace agreement in Northern Ireland.