The Burke-Paine Society is bringing together cross-partisan discussion groups across the nation.

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Revitalize American political culture

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Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine were 18th century leaders. Burke was conservative and Paine was progressive. The vigorous competition between their ideas guided more than 200 years of responsible progress.

While we are inspired by this past, we live for the future. BPS is forging cross-partisan ties and building a new political culture to meet the demands of 21st century life.


Washington, D.C.
Northern Virginia
Richmond, VA
New Milford, CT
Philadelphia, PA
Austin, TX
Ft. Collins and northern Colorado
Los Angeles, CA




The Burke-Paine Society (BPS) is bringing together cross-partisan discussion groups across the nation.



Rebuild cross-partisan trust


Redefine the national identity


Ignite a political renaissance

Civil cross-partisan dialogue and our unique educational resources help you 
rediscover the brilliance of the American political system.


Changing the political culture requires changing the values that guide political discourse. BPS believes that inclusiveness, empathy, intellectual curiosity, and humility enable productive dialogue.


Bring people together


Understand new perspectives

Intellectual Curiosity

Crave new information


Recognize limits


Mark Beall, Founder and President

Mark is a civics entrepreneur and national security professional. He founded the Burke-Paine Society because he believes cross-partisan dialogue will revitalize American political culture. Currently serving as a special advisor in the U.S. Department of Defense, Mark's professional career covers more than ten years working on U.S. policies toward regional conflicts, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction. Mark's areas of expertise include national security and foreign affairs, cross-cultural communication, and operations management. Mark was born in Richmond, Virginia, and lives in Alexandria, VA, with his wife, two sons, and their English Mastiff. 

Anthony Smith, Co-Founder and Vice President

Anthony Smith believes in promoting the principles of civil society and limited government. In his association with the Burke-Paine Society his goal is to build more "little platoons" in our society that will help to restore love, family, charity, and voluntary service among all Americans. Anthony is particularly devoted to enabling children to become good adults. His past and present activities include volunteer service with The Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis International, youth sports, and local citizens commissions. Anthony grew up in Minnesota and currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and two children.

Jon Bateman, Co-Founder and Vice President

Jon is a senior analyst at the Department of Defense, where he studies political systems and decision making. He co-founded the Burke-Paine Society to help restore the mutual understanding, trust, and empathy that makes American democracy possible. Jon’s passion for political discourse began in college, where he was the nation's top-ranked debater. He grew up in Tennessee and South Carolina, and later graduated from Harvard Law School. Jon currently lives in Washington, D.C.