Adam Kissel

Senior Fellow

Adam is excited to be part of the Cardinal Institute’s team advancing liberty and opportunity across the state as a senior fellow.

Adam has supported higher education through teaching, writing, research, philanthropy, government service, and the defense of academic freedom and individual rights for professors and students. He supported civic literacy with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, fundamental rights at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and philanthropy at the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) and The Philanthropy Roundtable (TPR).

Adam also is Chairman of the West Virginia Professional Charter School Board, a board member of The Philadelphia Society and Love Your School, and a Visiting Fellow for Higher Education Reform at The Heritage Foundation.
In 2022, West Virginia University announced the $40 million Kendrick Center for an Ethical Economy, which Adam facilitated for Ken and Randy Kendrick. Projects funded via CKF included $30 million in naming grants for George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School and roughly $50 million in grants to The Catholic University of America to name the Busch School of Business and related efforts. Projects funded via TPR, where he most recently was director of civic and higher education programs, included nearly $45 million for civic education at the University of Virginia thanks to the Nau Foundation.

As deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, Adam was responsible for more than $2 billion in annual spending and a roughly $2 billion loan portfolio. He also has taught undergraduate courses at The University of Chicago.
He has authored Free Speech at West Virginia Colleges and Universities: Peril and Promise, Ranked Choice Voting: A Conservative Approach, and Bad Returns: Student Debt Compared to Earnings.


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