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Ronald Reagan Foundation and Institute Announces New Center on Public Civility Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. will Serve as Director

 Nonpartisan Center on Public Civility will work with individuals and organizations to promote civility in politics and society

SIMI VALLEY, CA – The Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute (RRPFI) announced today the formation of the new nonpartisan Center on Public Civility to be led by media executive and Reagan Foundation Board Chairman Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. The Center will promote constructive solutions to address the deep divisions and discord in America.

The decline of civility and respect is posing a significant threat to the foundation of our democracy. Divisiveness and lack of trust are damaging our political process and causing Americans to lose faith in its institutions and their leaders. This toxic environment in politics, social media, and increasingly across our society, is making it more difficult for us to find common ground and act for the greater good of our nation.

Americans overwhelmingly agree that we must return to an era of civility and mutual respect. The Center on Public Civility will be a catalyst in this critical effort and invites individuals and institutions from across the country to become part of this initiative.

“It is a tremendous honor to be asked to lead this new Center on Public Civility,” said Fred Ryan. “Americans of all political persuasions are calling for return to a culture of civility and respect in our political processes, social media platforms, schools and communities. During my service in the Reagan White House, I saw how successful leaders could be when they reach across the aisle in a respectful way to advance America’s interests. I look forward to working with the Reagan Foundation and Institute in collaboration with other individuals and organizations to help restore civility to our politics and society.”

The Center on Public Civility will advance the principles of collaboration and respectful dialogue in pursuit of effective governance and a thriving and connected society through several avenues.  We anticipate that the Center’s work will include the following bipartisan objectives:

  • Delivering an enduring and ongoing spotlight on simultaneously principled and effective leadership across political, policy, and national civic spheres.
  • Bridging divides by identifying fault lines and bringing together stakeholders from across differences to find constructive solutions to our challenges.
  • Strengthening public trust by fostering transparent, ethical, and accountable behavior across public service and in the media.
  • Instilling and incentivizing the values of civility and respect in the leaders of today and tomorrow.
  • Bringing elected officials and leaders from both political parties to engage in thoughtful, civil discourse focused on modeling bipartisan action and results.
  • Publications and research that foster solution-oriented norms and behaviors. 
  • Civility training and simulations for students.
  • Partnerships with organizations, including institutions of higher learning, to advance the cause of impact through civil discourse.

“With his decades of experience as a media leader, and his years of first-hand experience with President Reagan working civilly with those of different political views to advance major policy successes, Fred Ryan is the ideal person to direct this new Center,” said David Trulio, President and Chief Executive Officer of RRPFI.

About Fred Ryan:
Fred Ryan has held multiple leadership positions in global media companies, including Publisher and CEO of The Washington Post and Co-Founder and CEO of POLITICO. Both organizations won Pulitzer Prizes and were named “World’s Most Innovative Media Company” by Fast Company under his leadership.

Ryan’s service to President Reagan began on the 1980 Presidential campaign and continued on to his White House Staff where he was appointed Assistant to the President.

Ryan became Chief of Staff to former President Reagan and was instrumental in the design, fundraising and construction of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. He now serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Institute.

Ryan was the editor of “Ronald Reagan: The Wisdom and Humor of the Great Communicator” published by HarperCollins and executive producer of the highly acclaimed video of the Reagan presidency, titled “The Reagan Years.” More recently, he was the author of “Wine in the White House” published by the White House Historical Association.

About the Reagan Foundation and Institute:

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is the sole nonprofit organization created by President Reagan charged with continuing his legacy and sharing his principles – individual liberty, economic opportunity, global democracy and national pride. The Foundation is a non-partisan organization which sustains the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, the Reagan Center for Public Affairs, the Presidential Learning Center, The Air Force One Pavilion, the award-winning Discovery Center and the Reagan Institute, which carries out the Foundation’s mission in Washington, D.C. 

“The people are watching and waiting. They don't demand miracles. They do expect us to act. Let us act together.” – Ronald Reagan



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