The Rockford Institute has taken a bold step forward in its mission to defend traditional conservatism by appointing Thomas Piatak as Executive Vice President. A veteran of the Culture Wars and a tireless advocate of restoring American jobs and economic prosperity, Mr. Piatak is perfectly poised to raise the Institute’s profile among current and new donors, and introduce the Institute’s hard-hitting flagship publication, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, to a new generation of readers and writers.
Mr. Piatak has been writing for Chronicles since 2001 and currently serves as a Contributing Editor. He has delivered powerful speeches connecting conservative moral values with sound American jobs and trade policy at numerous meetings of the Institute’s John Randolph Club, and comes to Rockford having established valued friendships with many friends and supporters of the Institute. A longtime friend of Dr. Samuel Francis, Mr. Piatak was privileged to be among a select group asked to speak at the funeral of the former Political Editor for Chronicles.
In the pages of Chronicles, Mr. Piatak fired one of the first shots in what came to be known as the War on Christmas. His seminal December 2001 article (“Happy Holidays? Bah! Humbug!”) was reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Middle American News, and at VDARE.com, and was quoted at length in the syndicated columns of Pat Buchanan and Samuel Francis. Defending Americans’ traditionally diverse and overtly Christian celebrations of Christmas, Mr. Piatak has been interviewed on NPR’s On Point Radio and Wisconsin Public Radio.
Mr. Piatak has served as a Contributing Editor at TakiMag.com and The American Conservative and as the United States editor for Impulz, a review of Catholic culture published in Slovakia. His October 2005 profile of Christopher Hitchens for The American Conservative, “The Purest Neocon,” was featured at Arts & Letters Daily, and Mr. Piatak’s April 2013 article for Crisis Magazine, “A Rival Good to God’s: On Cardinal Kasper’s Divorce Proposal,” was featured as a Catholic must-read at Britain’s Catholic Herald.
Mr. Piatak served as Pat Buchanan’s campaign chairman in Ohio during the 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns and also served as the Executive Director of The American Cause, a non-profit organization chaired by Buchanan. In college, he served as president of the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom and student representative of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and in law school he was active in the Federalist Society and later headed the lawyers’ chapter of the Society in Cleveland.
Mr. Piatak is looking forward to working for the Institute: "Writing for Chronicles and meeting so many people associated with the magazine and the Institute have long been a source of great satisfaction. Everyone familiar with Chronicles and the Institute is well aware of the unique and vital contributions they have made to America. My job is to make this fact known to a broader public.”
Before joining the Institute, Mr. Piatak practiced labor and employment law in Cleveland, where he most recently had an Of Counsel position at Frantz Ward, whose labor and employment practice is ranked in the top tier by Chambers USA. Mr. Piatak has also been a partner at Arter & Hadden and Baker Hostetler.
Mr. Piatak received his bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University, where he graduated summa cum laude with Honors in History. His honors thesis was on American Involvement in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan, where he graduated cum laude. His wife, Valerie, serves as a finance director for a non-profit organization.
About The Rockford Institute: Since 1976, The Rockford Institute has carried out its mission of defending and advancing "the principles of a free society." Founded in the year of the nation's bicentennial celebration, the Institute has worked to preserve the institutions of the Christian West: the family, the Church, and the rule of law; private property, free enterprise, and moral discipline; high standards of learning, art, and literature.