CPF Former Fellow Reince Priebus Headshot Card
Center for the Political Future

Fall 2023 Fellow

Reince currently serves as the President of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, a nationwide law firm with more than 260 attorneys. Prior to joining Michael Best, Reince was named White House Chief of Staff shortly after the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Prior to managing the White House staff, Reince served as the longest-serving chairman of the Republican National Committee in modern history. He oversaw a dramatic turnaround of the RNC, rescuing its finances, repairing its operations, and rebuilding its ground game while raising over one billion dollars. By welcoming new voters and harnessing the power of new technologies, Reince built the infrastructure needed for landslide GOP victories, and he left the RNC as the winningest chairmen of either political party in American history. He was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in both 2016 and 2017.

Before serving as RNC Chairman, Reince was one of the most successful chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin creating the framework for one of the most historic election cycles Wisconsin has ever experienced. During his tenure, the state’s Republicans elected Ron Johnson to the U.S. Senate, elected Scott Walker as Governor, gained two additional U.S. House seats, and took back both the State Assembly and State Senate, while also defeating the democratic leaders of both of those chambers.

Reince previously served as a visiting Fellow at Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. He is currently an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and serves as Chairman of the 2024 Milwaukee Host Committee for the 2024 Republican National Convention. Additionally, he is also an exclusive speaker with the world-wide speaking company, The Washington Speakers Bureau.

Reince received his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law. He practiced as a corporate litigator at Michael Best’s Milwaukee office for many years before moving to the D.C. area. He was raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin and is a die-hard Packers fan.

Reince and his wife, Sally, have two children, Jack and Grace.

Study Group: How Primaries Actually Work

As the 2024 election approaches, all eyes will be on the American presidential race. Since Democrat Joe Biden is unlikely to have a serious challenger in his party, the competitive Republican party primaries will be especially compelling. But how does the primary process actually work? What in the world is a caucus? Who is likely to be the Republican frontrunner? How are delegates earned and how does that process differ from the Democratic party? This study group explored the answers to these questions and many more. It examined the processes, players, and goals of the primaries, and students discussed the building blocks on the road to the White House.


Fall 2023 Semester Recap

Group Photo of CPF Fellow Reince Priebus' Fall 2023 Study Group
Group Photo of CPF Fellow Reince Priebus’ Fall 2023 Study Group

Reince Priebus said this about his experience at USC’s Center for the Political Future: “I truly enjoyed being a Fellow at USC Center for the Political Future. The most important part of this effort is that students get to see Republicans and Democrats have a real debate that is respectful and useful, that also induces conversation and critical thought among the students. One of the useful and unintended consequences of the program is that Fellows get to mentor and help students advance in their career choices and assist them even after the program ends. The mentoring and learning never stops!”


USC students in Reince’s study group shared this about their experience:

“Participating in Reince’s study group was an amazing opportunity! In addition to giving us incredible insight into how a presidential nominee is actually chosen, we got the opportunity to ask him about the challenges and benefits that come with working in such a high level of politics. In fact, my favorite part was hearing about his personal experiences as RNC chair and working for the White House.”

Madelyn Sequeira, International Relations

“Reince Preibus went to great lengths to teach us — everything — about the primary and caucus process, as well as campaign finance. His experience as head of the RNC put him in a unique position to explain politics from the operations side, rather than the policy side. But beyond that, his wisdom as a lifelong political mind was invaluable to learn from. I am grateful he took the time to teach us.”

Will Erens, Political Economy

“I really enjoyed hearing from someone that has such a vast knowledge of work in party politics and presidential politics, having served in the Trump administration. Reince told many interesting stories and gave insights into how party politics functions in relation to campaigns and Super PACs. He has been in many important rooms and his career in politics is fascinating. I’m grateful I had the chance to participate in his study group.”


“I learned so much about the presidential primary process, from the selection of delegates to the battling it out of delegates and how presidential primary campaigns are made and broken. My favorite part was how easy it was to talk to Reince, how knowledgeable he is about the subject, his passion for it, and spreading the education of governance and politics to the youth.”


Reince Priebus shared his thoughts on the importance of politics, his first political experience, his advice for having respectful political discourse, and what he appreciates about CPF in his “Quick Takes: Q&A with CPF Fellow Reince Priebus” video.