Ten years ago several friends and I sat at a restaurant in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, thinking seriously about what we wanted to do with our lives in order to make the world around us a better place.
Though we had conviction about our ideas, we weren’t really sure how to get there. The one thing we knew was that a community of peers that would challenge us, equip us, and support us through living a life of purpose was essential. It was that spirit that gave birth to Teneo.
We chose its name—Teneo—from its Latin origin which translates as “to grasp” or “to endure.” After all, that is what we aimed for: to grasp a set of ideas and then to endure in their defense over our lifetime.
Nearly a decade into this adventure, we have learned so much, we have been served so well, and we know it is only the beginning.
We began with a set of ideological principles that reflect our best understanding of the ways we can organize how we live and how we govern to best promote human flourishing. What we learned along the way was much more about the how—that is to say, the methods and approaches we use to be an intentional community.
Allow me to highlight three values that have emerged as cornerstones of our community:
- Curiosity: though we share some fundamental beliefs, we have lots of healthy disagreement on a wide range of topics. The key to building a healthy pluralist community is curiosity: that amidst disagreement our posture is one of inquiry and interest, not one of attack.
- Gratitude: though we lament a wide range of the policies and outcomes we see around us, we continue to find things on a daily basis for which we are grateful.
- Hospitality: our community has not been built through giant conferences and hotel ballrooms. Rather, it is built in living rooms, kitchens, and back porches. The spirit of hospitality pervades the community to create an openness to each other and generosity to newcomers.
The community has flourished only because of our 100+ volunteers who have served in regional or national leadership positions over this time. We have functioned mostly like a medium-sized organization largely through the work of men and women who make sacrifices for something they believe is bigger than themselves. For them I am eternally grateful.
We have been surprised and encouraged by the fruit produced through Teneo in its first decade. Bill Gates’ old adage has rung true: “You always overestimate what you can get done in a year and underestimate what you can get done in ten years.”
As I think ahead to our next decade, I’m excited for this community and the impact it can have on this country and world in which we are so fortunate to live.
Our Leadership: The Board
Director of Politics, Brigade
Jessica is the Director of Politics at Brigade, a startup that seeks to leverage technology to tackl…
Catherine Bellah Keller
Deputy General Counsel—Strategic Initiatives, US Department of Commerce
Catherine serves as the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at the US Department of Com…
Silicon Valley Investor and Founder
A technology investor and founder in Menlo Park, Joe has invested in some of Silicon Valley's most n…
Senior Associate, Weil, Gotshal
Originally from Nebraska, Peter is a corporate attorney in the New York office of Weil, Gotshal &…
Co-Founder, Fortress Energy
Jordan Strebeck is a proud West Texan, Red Raider, father, husband, and Believer. He is the co-found…
Founder, Chairman, CEO, Teneo
Evan is the Executive Chairman of Teneo, where he passionately works to advance the ideas of modern …
What They Are Saying
Teneo: The Basics
Teneo is a 501(c)3 non-profit, nonpartisan organization of leaders from around the country. It takes no positions on legislation or candidates, does not support candidates, and does not lobby. Teneo provides its members with opportunities through events and retreats to learn about and discuss both key issues of the day and its five main ideas: (1) limited, constitutional government; (2) individual liberty and free enterprise; (3) robust civic society; (4) a strong national defense; and (5) belief in a transcendent order, whether founded in tradition, philosophy, or theology. By building relationships and hosting events with business leaders and policy experts, Teneo hopes to equip and inspire its members to engage key ideas facing our country and the world.
Jessica is the Director of Politics at Brigade, a startup that seeks to leverage technology to tackle the problem of declining citizen power and engagement in democracy. She oversees partnerships with high-profile advocacy and political organizations to run successful campaigns on the platform. Jessica was formerly the Director of Campaigns at Causes.com, the world’s largest online campaigning site, prior to its acquisition by Brigade. Before joining Causes, Jessica was Campaigns Director at the Ad Council where she led multiple public service advertising campaigns. Jessica also serves on the advisory board for Lincoln Labs, a community of like-minded technologists who build and create technology to advance the cause of liberty. Finally, Jessica is on the Board of Directors for Teneo, an organization of exceptional young professionals committed to advancing conservative and libertarian values. Jessica resides in the Washington DC metro area with her husband Brock and their two children.
Catherine Bellah Keller
Catherine serves as the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at the US Department of Commerce. Prior to joining the US Department of Commerce, Catherine was an attorney with Latham & Watkins LLP, with a focus on capital markets and SEC regulatory matters, international securities matters, and global company representation. Previously, she was Counsel at Dimensional Fund Advisors, a global asset management firm headquartered in Austin, Texas. Prior to joining Dimensional, she was an attorney at global law firms, including Baker Botts and Latham & Watkins. After law school, she clerked for the Hon. William Garwood of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Catherine holds a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, where she graduated with highest honors as Vice Chancellor (second in her class) and served as Research Editor on the board of the Texas Law Review. She also holds a B.A. from the University of Richmond. She holds a level 1 sommelier designation from the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) certification from the Society of Wine Educators. Catherine is a native Texan.
A technology investor and founder in Menlo Park, Joe has invested in some of Silicon Valley's most notable software, data, and artificial intelligence companies. He is the cofounder of Publir, which is America's largest political adtech company, reaching tens of millions of people monthly. He holds a J.D. from Stanford University and an A.B. from Dartmouth College. In 2012, Forbes named Malchow to its 30 Under 30 list. In his spare time, he publishes the widely read Power Line blog. He sits on the board of the National Civic Art Society in Washington, D.C., the Lincoln Network in Silicon Valley, and of the International Affairs Network at the Freeman-Spogli Institute at Stanford. Earlier in this career, he was the founder of JetWare, which crafted the world's first mobile applications for students and teachers. He lives in Menlo Park, Calif.
Originally from Nebraska, Peter is a corporate attorney in the New York office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Peter’s experience in government policy making and legislative affairs began in the United Kingdom House of Commons, where he served as Senior Researcher to Dr. Murrison, MP and member of the Conservative Party. Peter has worked for the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York; Ropes & Gray LLP; the Hon. Laurie Smith Camp in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska; and the Gallup Organization. Peter received a J.D. from Cornell n 2009, an M.B.A. from the Johnson Graduate School of Management in 2009, a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in History from the University of Virginia in 2005, and was a Hansard Scholar at LSE in 2003. Peter and his wife, Lauren, live in New York City.
Jordan Strebeck is a proud West Texan, Red Raider, father, husband, and Believer. He is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Fortress Energy, an independent oil & gas company headquartered in Midland, TX. Jordan was previously the Vice President of Finance & Business Development for Piedra Resources. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, where he was elected co-President of the HBS Student Association as well as President of his Section. He attended HBS on a First Fellowship and graduated with Second Year Honors. He previously served as Special Assistant to the Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. He earned his undergraduate degree in Agricultural & Applied Economics with a minor in Personal Financial Planning. He has been happily married to his best friend, Brittany, also a graduate of Texas Tech, since 2007. They are the proud parents of two boys and one girl.
Evan is the Executive Chairman of Teneo, where he passionately works to advance the ideas of modern conservatism. Previously he cofounded Able, an online lending company serving the Fortune 5 Million—the 5.8 million small businesses representing the backbone of the American economy. His previous startup was Outbox, a consumer internet company aiming to take over the US Postal Service and backed by venture capitalists Peter Thiel and Mike Maples, and featured on Fox News, CNN, TechCrunch, FastCompany, Wall Street Journal, Jay Leno, INC, and the NYT. He is coauthor of Get Backed: Craft Your Story, Build the Perfect Pitch Deck, and Launch the Venture of Your Dreams from Harvard Business Press (2015), which has hit #1 in Amazon’s business new releases. An honors graduate of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard Business School, he lives in Austin, TX, with his wife, Kristina Scurry Baehr, a litigator, and children Cooper and Madeleine.