Reflections Project

To establish a public record of the first-person accounts, opinions, anecdotes, and reflections of Members who retire from office, The Brademas Center has established The Reflections Project: Congress in America. Beginning the summer of 2006, the Center has interviewed departing and newly retired Members to look back on their careers, some spanning up to 30 years, and to explore what they have learned about the country and the institution. This material aims to help scholars track the evolving nature and decision-making capacity of Congress, and contains observations that could lead to other research projects at the Center and at other institutions across the nation.

The Brademas Center has conducted several interviews, led by Linda Douglass, former Senior Fellow of the Center and former chief Capitol Hill correspondent for ABC News. Tim Naftali, former Director of the Nixon Library, and Head of the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, has resumed the project.

Tim Naftali

Dr. Timothy Naftali, Ph. D.

With a joint appointment in History and at Wagner, Timothy Naftali is a Clinical Associate Professor of History and Public Service and co-director of NYU’s Center for the United States and the Cold War. A native of Montreal and a graduate of Yale with a doctorate in history from Harvard, Naftali writes on national security and intelligence policy, international history and presidential history. Using Soviet-era documents, he and Russian academic Aleksandr Fursenko wrote the prize-winning One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-1964 and Khrushchev’s Cold War, the latter winning the Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature in 2007 and inclusion on Foreign Affairs’ 2014 list of the ten best books on the Cold War. As a consultant to the 9/11 Commission, Naftali wrote a history of US counterterrorism policy, published as Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism. 

Linda Douglass

Linda Douglass

Following a long and distinguished career as journalist with ABC News and CBS News, Linda Douglass joined NYU Wagner as a fellow at the Brademas Center. While at the Center, she instituted the Reflections Project. Following her time at NYU, Linda became director of communications for the White House Office of Health Reform in the Obama Administration (May 2009 – April 2010). In June 2010, she was named Vice President, Head of Corporate and Strategic communications at Atlantic Media. She was later named Senior Vice President of Global Communications. She left that position in June, 2013 to do independent consulting, and later that year, she moved to Italy when her husband, John Phillips, was named ambassador to Italy. Douglass was first associated with Barack Obama as a senior strategist and spokeswoman of his presidential campaign. She joined his campaign on May 21, 2008. Following Obama's victory in the November 2008 presidential elections, Douglass was appointed spokeswoman of the presidential inauguration committee.