Gary L. Gregg, PhD

McConnell Center Director

About

Gary L. Gregg, PhD, directs the McConnell Center, a nonpartisan program at the University of Louisville that attracts the best and brightest students from around Kentucky and grooms them for careers in effective leadership. Since 2000, he has also held the Mitch McConnell Chair in Leadership at the University of Louisville.

An award-winning political science teacher and expert on the US presidency, Gregg has written or edited several books, including Securing Democracy: Why We Have an Electoral College. That book was reviewed in such publications as the National Journal and Washington Post and has led to Gregg being identified as one of the nation’s top experts on the Electoral College. Discussing that topic, he has appeared on dozens of national and international television and radio programs and has been quoted in publications across the world including The New York Times. He has also written or edited a dozen books on the American Founding, George Washington and US politics. He has also published a series of young adult fantasy novels under the series title The Remnant Chronicles.

As director of the McConnell Center, Gregg has organized hundreds of educational events on campus for students and the community. He has hosted such dignitaries as US Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton, CIA Directors Gina Haspel and David Petraeus, Vice President Joe Biden, Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas and more than 50 other top national leaders. He has organized conferences, published academic books and studies and has been a guest speaker on dozens of other campuses including West Point, Princeton University and the US Naval Academy.

Under his leadership, the McConnell Center has grown from a small local scholarship program into a nationally recognized “oasis of excellence in higher education.” The Center now hosts programs for undergraduate McConnell Scholars, high school student leaders, US history and civics teachers, the general public and the US Army. In 2014 he pioneered a new type of “broadening” education for the US military, and the Center now hosts an annual 30-day “Strategic Broadening Seminar” for promising young Army leaders. He has also built partnerships with West Point, the Naval Academy, the US Army War College and Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

A Pennsylvania native, Gregg earned his bachelor's degree from Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia and received his master's and doctoral degrees in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Before joining U of L, Gregg was national director of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to convey to college youth a better understanding of values and institutions that sustain a free society. He was assistant professor of political science at Clarion University in Pennsylvania from 1994-96 and a teaching fellow at Miami University from 1992-94.

Select Honors and Awards

  • Richard and Helen DeVos Freedom Center Leadership Award, awarded by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Hotel DuPont, Wilmington, Delaware, May 1, 2008.
  • Honorary Life-Time Member, Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), awarded spring 2006 at "Chinese in the 21st Century" conference, Louisville, KY.
  • Graduate Alumni Lecture Series Award, Graduate School of Miami University, Fall 2003.
  • Commissioned a Kentucky Colonel, April 2001 by Governor Paul Patton.
  • Listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers, beginning with 1996 and continuing.
  • Davis & Elkins College Outstanding Young Alumnus for 1994.
  • Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching Award, 1993-1994 (College of Arts and Sciences, Miami University). Named one of two most outstanding graduate student teachers for this award which included a financial grant.
  • James H. Swanton Prize in History, 1990 (Davis and Elkins College). Named most outstanding history student by the Davis and Elkins College history faculty.
  • Judith A. Herndon Fellow, 1989 (West Virginia State Legislature). One of only ten undergraduates chosen by a committee of state legislators and academics to participate in a semester-long internship in the legislative and executive branches of state government.
  • Dorothy F. Roberts Political Science Academic Achievement Award, 1988 (Davis and Elkins College).  Named most outstanding political science student by the Davis and Elkins College political science faculty.
  • Frasure-Singleton Intern, 1988 (West Virginia State Legislature). One of 50 students chosen for a week-long program of practical experience and seminars in the state legislature.

Research Interests

  • The political thought of C.S. Lewis
  • George Washington and the formation of his character
  • The presidency and public politics
  • Representation and American political institutions
  • Political and constitutional thought at the American founding