LI Grad of the Week: Senator Jim DeMint’s Senior Communications Advisor & Speechwriter Amanda Carpenter

July 18, 2011, Arlington, VA--Amanda Carpenter, in her mid-twenties, has accomplished more professionally than many do in a lifetime. Now, as the senior communications advisor & speechwriter to Senator Jim DeMint, she continues to write regularly as she prepares the senator’s speeches.

“Without the Leadership Institute, I may have never gotten involved in the conservative movement,” Amanda says.

“I came to a workshop on a whim, hoping to meet some people who were as interested in reading and writing about politics like I was.”

The first Leadership Institute (LI) training Amanda attended was a Student Publications Workshop in July of 2004. Since then, she has attended 10 trainings at LI.

“I was told I should start a website and start pushing my ideas out to my college campus! I met all kinds of other students who were running their own media publications on campus. They made it look easy. So, I went for it.

“One thing led to another. The news stories I was writing about on wasteful spending at my college caught the eye of professors and local media. I got the bug and then desperately wanted to come to Washington to write about wasteful spending in the government.  

“The Leadership Institute gave me an internship that allowed me to make the move and generate some writing samples that helped me get in the door to my very first job as a Capitol Hill reporter for the leading conservative weekly magazine Human Events.”

Amanda then on to work for Townhall and the Washington Times.

“I’ve had dream jobs—blogging, reporting, and discussing my pieces on radio and TV. Now, I’m a speechwriter and communications advisor for Senator Jim DeMint. And, all the credit goes to the Leadership Institute. I can’t thank Morton Blackwell enough.”

Amanda has made a difference on her college campus for the conservative cause and now is making a splash on Capitol Hill in the Senate.  We welcome Amanda as LI’s Grad of the Week!

Amanda will be one of several notable faculty at LI’s Written Communications Workshop tomorrow and Wednesday evening. Act today! Register for your spot now. 
To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know for Graduate of the Week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at