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.

The Institute sponsors major planning retreats for the benefit of Members of Congress and their staffs. It was involved in the first Bipartisan Congressional Retreat and the Women of the 21st Century conference in St. Louis. The Congressional Institute also sponsors retreats for congressional chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and communications directors. It provides space for Members and staff to discuss legislative priorities and strategies as well as develop professional relationships with each other and experts in their fields.

The Congressional Institute publishes Surviving Inside Congress (now in its 5th edition) for Capitol Hill staffers, people looking to work on Capitol Hill, and the public at large interested in learning more about how Capitol Hill works. The book has been used as a textbook in college and university classes.

The Institute is also deeply involved in congressional reform efforts that seek to make Congress more effective. To that end, the Institute publishes research and papers on numerous policy issues such as restoring earmarks responsibly, strengthening the authorization process, restoring checks and balances, and restoring regular order to the U.S. House of Representatives through an open amendment process. These papers are available for download and may be cited with credit to the Congressional Institute. Additional information and insight on congressional reform can be found on our blog, which also includes opinion pieces published by Institute staff.

The Congressional Institute also sponsors the annual Congressional Art Competition, a celebration of artistic discovery by the nation’s high school students. Each congressional district hosts individual competition with the first-place artwork hanging in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for one year.

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.

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Board of Directors

Brenda Becker


Brett Loper

Vice Chairman

Anne Bradbury


Duane Duncan


Kelle Strickland

President & CEO

Tim Berry

David A. Bockorny

Marcel Dubois

Bruce Gates

Ralph Hellmann

Dan Meyer

Barbara A. Morris-Lent

Parker Poling

Mike Sommers

Jo-Marie St. Martin

Michael S. Johnson

Board Member Emeritus