Marion Smith, President and CEO of Common Sense Society.

Marion Smith Appointed President and CEO of Common Sense Society

July 12, 2021

International network enters new phase of public engagement; seeks to build a future with “less ideology and more thoughtful, free exchange of ideas.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.Common Sense Society (CSS) today announced the appointment of Marion Smith as its President and CEO. CSS began as a debating forum established by American and European students in 2009 with Smith as Founding President and now hosts educational initiatives throughout North America and Europe.

“I am pleased that CSS will be led by Marion Smith as full-time CEO. He has a proven track record of international non-profit leadership and is committed to both ideas and action,” said CSS Council of Trustees Chairman Thomas Peterffy. “Smith is uniquely equipped to build on the past success of CSS and take the organization into its next phase of public engagement, developing curricular resources for classrooms, offering fellowships and educational opportunities for young professionals and scholars, shaping public discourse through digital media initiatives, and informing policy to advance the timeless and proven principles of individual liberty and voluntary exchange that are indispensable to human flourishing and happiness.”

The CSS Council of Trustees also includes Professor Niall Ferguson, Alexandre Pesey of France, and Lady Scruton of England. The late Sir Roger Scruton was the Founding Advisor of CSS and frequently spoke at public and private seminars and fellowships hosted by CSS since 2009.

“It is a great honor to return to Common Sense Society in a full-time capacity, and I’m confident that our positive message promoting individual liberty, voluntary exchange, free enterprise, creative innovation, enduring art, and conservation of the natural world will help defeat the collectivist ideas that seem to be surging in our time,” said Smith. “We face a great challenge. A growing percentage of Millennials and Gen Z generations are falling for socialist ideas or becoming apathetic about politics and civic life. We must learn from the tragedies of the 20th century—that ideologically charged violence and totalitarian censorship lead to the collapse of nations, markets, families, and individual lives. We must avoid the road to serfdom and authoritarianism. There is no other option. Today, we need less ideology and more thoughtful, free exchange of ideas. CSS will be a forum for ideas and will also work to encourage and equip the young scholars, professionals, and parents who will defend our civilization, one home and one local community at a time.”

Smith has been published broadly, including in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, USA Today, The Hill, and National Review, and is a regular guest analyst on major network and cable television news channels including ABC, NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. His bipartisan career experience includes the conflict-resolution NGO International Crisis Group in New York City, as well as the Heritage Foundation, the National Civic Art Society, and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, DC.

Common Sense Society (CSS) is a non-profit foundation that promotes liberty, prosperity, and beauty through education and public discourse. The fellowships, curriculum resources, publications, cultural programs, and national campaigns of CSS illuminate the enduring ideas that have transformed the course of human history for the better. CSS does not receive funding from governments or political parties.


For more information or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, please contact Emily Soper at

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