The Steamboat Institute established the Tony Blankley Chair for Public Policy and American Exceptionalism to honor the memory of our dear friend, Tony Blankley, and to build on his legacy. Tony Blankley was a master journalist and communicator and acted as the Moderator for our first three Freedom Conferences (2009, 2010 and 2011). His insights and good humor were indispensable.

Tony and his wife, Lynda Davis, were among the first to recognize the virtue of putting the citizen activists and potential citizen activists, who attend our programs, in direct and personal contact with nationally-recognized leaders in the conservative community. Most importantly, they understood how this is an essential component of the fight for our freedom. Tony and Lynda gave us their unwavering support from the beginning of the Steamboat Institute, and their support gave us the credibility that has been a linchpin of our success.

Accordingly, we seek to honor the memory of our dear friend, Tony Blankley. Tony’s grasp of public policy, the proper role of government, and the concept of American Exceptionalism is beyond dispute. It is our intention to see that his ideals are preserved and expounded through the first-ever academic Chair to foster academic excellence at the Steamboat Institute.

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Steamboat Institute Blankley Fellow: Hadley Heath Manning

hadley2Hadley Heath Manning is a senior policy analyst and director of health policy at the Independent Women’s Forum. She frequently comments on health care, entitlements and economic policy, and manages IWF’s health policy projects and publications. Manning appears frequently in radio and TV outlets across the country, including Fox Business’ Stossel Show and Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto. Her work has been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, POLITICO, Roll Call, Real Clear Policy, National Review Online and Huffington Post. In 2016, Manning was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in Law and Policy. In 2015, the Republican National Committee honored her as a Rising Star, and in 2014, she was named to the Red Alert Politics 30 Under 30 list. She has also completed the National Review Institute’s Washington Fellowship, class of 2012-2013. Manning graduated with distinction from the University of North Carolina in 2010 as a Morehead-Cain Scholar with a double major in economics and journalism.

Follow her on Twitter @HadleyHeath.

Steamboat Institute Blankley Fellow: Jillian Melchior


Jillian Kay Melchior, political editor at Heat Street, is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and Independent Women’s Forum. She does investigative reporting on domestic issues, including government waste, fraud and abuse, energy and environment issues, and organized labor. She has lived in China, reporting on Christianity and persecution, and has also done foreign correspondence in Iraq, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

She has worked as an investigative reporter for National Review and the Franklin Center, an editorial writer for The Daily, an online editor for Commentary, a Robert Novak fellow, and a Bartley Fellow at the Wall Street Journal Asia. Her writings have been published in National Review, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, TechCrunch, The Detroit News and other publications.

She is a graduate of Hillsdale College and a native of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Follow Jillian on Twitter @JillianKayM

Steamboat Institute Blankley Senior Fellow: Tom Rogan

Tom Rogan is an American writer who grew up in London, England but now lives in Washington D.C. He writes for National Review and is a contributor to The McLaughlin Group.

In addition, he’s written for The Weekly Standard, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Spectator, USA Today, The Week, The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, The Commentator, and The Christian Science Monitor. He is a frequent contributor on CNN, Fox News, and Real Time with Bill Maher.

He’s a graduate of King’s College London, The School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and The College of Law, London. Tom is the inaugural Fellow for the “Tony Blankley Chair for Public Policy and American Exceptionalism” awarded annually by the Steamboat Institute.

Follow Tom on Twitter @TomRtweets or visit his website

Photos from the 2015 Washington Reception

Photos from the Steamboat Institute’s Annual Reception & Dinner at The Kirby Center, Hillsdale College, Washington, DC, to honor our Tony Blankley Fellows, Tom Rogan (Senior Fellow) and Jillian Melchior.

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About Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, 1948-2012

The Steamboat Institute had no greater friend than Tony Blankley.

Tony served as our conference moderator for the first three Freedom Conferences and was a constant source of aid and support.  The Steamboat Institute would not be what it is today without Tony Blankley.

Support This Program

The Steamboat Institute is building an endowment to secure the future of the fellowship program. Please make your tax-deductible contribution here.

Please give generously


We are extremely grateful for the individuals and organizations who support the Tony Blankley Chair, including:

Michael Barone
Thomas W. Birmingham
Lynda C. Davis, Ph.D.
Hillsdale College
Felicia & Jeff Horton
Jean Pierre Sagouspe