Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
630-008 basics - C.P.M. Module 4: Management Updated: 2023
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Exam Code: 630-008 C.P.M. Module 4: Management basics November 2023 by Killexams.com team|
|C.P.M. Module 4: Management|
ISM Management basics
Other ISM exams630-005 C.P.M. Module 1: Purchasing Process
630-006 C.P.M. Module 2: Supply Environment
630-007 C.P.M. Module 3: Value Enhancement Strategies
630-008 C.P.M. Module 4: Management
CPSM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)(Foundation)
CPSM1 Foundation of Supply Management
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C.P.M. Module 4: Management
B. Provide immediate feedback, focusing on tasks.
C. Allow the employee time to correct the problem.
D. Advise the employee of the organization's disciplinary process.
Which of the following is MOST likely to be included in a corrective action plan that
results from an audit of the purchasing process?
A. Established timeframes, prioritization, and cost/benefit analyses.
B. Recommendations for improvement and penalties for failure.
C. A statement of facts and a response from purchasing.
D. An analysis of costs related to problem resolution.
Which of the following was the first to declare discrimination on the basis of race, color,
or sex in hiring, firing, or promotion as being illegal?
A. The 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
B. The 1971 Griggs vs. Duke Power Decision.
C. The 1964 Civil Rights Act.
D. Executive Order 11246.
Which of the following would generally NOT be included in strategic conditions that
imply high risk and the importance of contingency planning?
A. Extensive customer influence on purchasing.
B. Numerous purchasers for provider products.
C. Numerous substitute products.
D. Extensive provider power.
Which of the following do NOT use past experience to determine future needs in the
establishment of operating budgets?
A. Budgeting accountability.
B. Decentralized budgets.
C. Zero-based budgets.
D. Line item budgets.
Why is managing and evaluating a buyer's performance especially difficult?
A. Buyers usually resist controls.
B. Buyers change jobs frequently.
C. Buyers can exert little influence on prices.
D. Buyers have responsibilities that are difficult to measure.
You work as a purchasing manager at . A buyer who has been at
for the past 12 years, the last five of which were spent in purchasing,
confronts you, and states that she believes her pay raises have not reflected her
work performance. The buyer blames the problem on her immediate supervisor, the
Senior Buyer, whom she believes is acting out of racial prejudice. Which of the
following would be your BEST course of action at this point?
A. Confront the Senior Buyer and determine if he indeed has such prejudices.
B. Request that the human resources department review the situation.
C. Review the buyer's performance reports and pay increase history.
D. Process a 10% pay increase for the buyer.
"Gifts, loans, unusual hospitality, or any other item of monetary value that could
influence actions, or give the appearance of being capable of influencing actions,
should not be accepted or solicited, even indirectly." What is the above statement an
A. A rule.
B. A policy.
C. A procedure.
D. An objective.
Which of the following is NOT would not be reviewed in a typical procedure for
effective invoice auditing?
B. Purchase order.
C. Bill of materials.
D. Receiving report.
Which of the following represents the LEAST appropriate use of the Internet by a
A. Publishing bid requests.
B. Providing copies of forms.
C. Providing objective ratings of suppliers.
D. Publishing the organization's purchasing policies.
Which of the following is MOST likely to be reduced by downsizing and rightsizing the
B. Salary increases.
C. Employee morale.
D. Career development opportunities.
Which of the following is a record of all the components of an item?
A. Return material authorization.
B. Bill of materials.
C. Purchase order.
D. Change order.
Which of the following should be the first step in hiring the right person for a
A. Decision to recruit internally or externally.
B. Review of applicant qualifications.
C. Development of a job description.
D. Checking of applicant references.
Which of the following departments can BEST evaluate purchasing department
A. Quality assurance department.
B. Accounting department.
C. Legal department.
D. User department.
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Sherrie Scott is a freelance writer in Las Vegas with articles appearing on various websites. She studied political science at Arizona State University and her education has inspired her to write with integrity and seek precision in all that she does.
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Manufacturing output again contracted in October, according to the new edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business, which was issued today by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
The report’s benchmark metric, the PMI, increased 1.2% to 47.6 (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth), contracting, at a slower rate, for the 10th consecutive month. The past 10 months of contraction were preceded by a stretch of 29 consecutive months of growth. ISM also said that the overall economy contracted in October, following growth in September, which was preceded by 30 consecutive months of growth.
The October PMI is 0.7% below the 12-month average of 47.4, with September 2023 marking the high for that period, at 49.0, and June 2023, at 46.0, marking the lowest.
ISM reported that five manufacturing sectors saw growth in October—food, beverage, and tobacco products, and plastics & rubber products. The 13 industries contracting in October were: printing & related support activities; textile mills; electrical equipment, appliances & components; machinery; fabricated metal products; wood products; computer & electronic products; furniture & related products; paper products; miscellaneous manufacturing; primary metals; chemical products; and transportation equipment.
The report’s key metrics were largely down in October, including:
• New orders, which are considered the engine that drives manufacturing, fell 0.5%, to 46.8, contracting, at a faster rate, for the 12th consecutive month;
• Production fell up 2.1%, to 50.4, growing, at a slower rate, for the second straight month, with four sectors reporting growth;
• Employment slipped 4.4%, to 46.8, contracting after growing in September, with four sectors reporting growth;
• provider deliveries, at 47.7 (a reading above 50 indicates contraction), moved faster, at a slower rate, for the 13th consecutive month, with two sectors reporting slower deliveries;
• Backlog of orders, at 42.2, decreased 0.2%, contracting, at a faster rate, for the 13th consecutive month;
• Inventories, at 43.3, were down 2.5%, contracting, at a faster rate, for the eighth consecutive month, with only one sector reporting growth;
• Customer inventories, at 48.6, were up 1.5% over September, heading “too low,” at a slower rate, for the fifth straight month; with three sectors reporting customers’ inventories as too high; and
• Prices, at 45.1, were up 1.3%, decreasing, at a slower rate, for the sixth consecutive month
Comments submitted by the ISM member respondents again highlighted various themes related to the economy and market conditions.
A chemical products respondent said that the economy is absolutely slowing down, adding that there is less optimism regarding the first quarter of 2024.
“A slow fourth quarter, and we’re clearly in a mild industry recession,” said a fabricated metal products respondent. “However, demand is down less than 5%, and customer confidence of a recovery in the second half of 2024 is solid. provider deliveries are stable, and suppliers are seeking more work. But they’re not yet willing to adjust prices to compete for it.”
In an interview, Tim Fiore, chair of the ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said that this report was somewhat of a “good stuff and not so good stuff” story, in a way.
“The good stuff is that [manufacturing] revenue was flat, coming in at 50.4, and things are pretty much stable on the production/revenue side,” he said. “Which is a really good thing because if it was not stable on that, you would see a lot of other activities occurring. The second good thing is that employment came down to 46.8, which means people are destaffing in a much more aggressive way, as we have been talking about layoffs, attrition, and [hiring] freezes.”
To that end, he explained that around 55% of the report’s forced reduction comments, or layoffs, were up 35% over September, meaning that companies used layoffs as more of a tool in October compared to freezes and attrition, as well as the highest level of layoff since last May.
The confidence in demand seen over the first half of the year is not as strong as it was,” he said. “Or people are not quitting as much, therefore attrition isn’t working as quickly as companies want it to be.”
Looking at some of the report’s other metrics, Fiore observed that the provider deliveries number inching up is a good sign and serves as a function of the fact that demand on the supply base is still pretty slim. Manufacturers are still delivering faster albeit not as fast as in September and are heading in the right direction, he said.
The inventories reading, at 43.3, could be a hangover from the end of the third quarter, according to Fiore.
As for the “not so good stuff,” Fiore pointed to the new orders reading at 45.5.
“Looking at demand, customer inventories came back into just the right level, at 48.6, which is about right, but not a positive for the future,” he said. “That means that customers have as much as they need, with current output consistent with demand, so it is neutral. And new export orders, at 49.4, almost at 50, and climbing slowly. Should they go over 50, it can help the new orders number, with backlog of orders still super-low at 42.2. We continue to burn into backlog and drop it down.”
In summary, Fiore said that the positives for manufacturing are production, provider deliveries, and inventories, with the negatives being new orders, in particular the backlog and customer inventory number, as well as new orders.
When asked how things could play out for manufacturing over the balance of the year, Fiore said that the PMI still has a chance of hitting the benchmark 50 reading.
“I think we’ll continue to see provider deliveries inch its way up towards 50, as the year closes,” he said. “Manufacturing inventory should get above 46, hopefully 47 or 48 over the next couple of months. Employment numbers will probably be a drag, maybe 42 to 44. Production is not going to move more than a couple points. And the new order level is probably not going to come back much beyond 48. I’m not sure if all that equals 50, but it gets us back into 48-to-52 range. I think the forecast is going to say that probably from a revenue standpoint, we probably met our expectations for the second half of this year. I think it’s going say that H1 of 2024 is going to be less than H2 of 2023, with 2024 H2 will be stronger than H1 2024. That is the cycle I see happening, with the real recovery happening in the second half of next year.”November 1, 2023
A big part of growth is knowing you need to change and adapt. Teams that take this to heart will know that even if their work gets done it doesn’t mean you can’t Improve it or make it easier for employees. Business process management (BPM) software is designed to help you analyze business processes and understand what works, what can be better and what you can add. The software on this list can offer capabilities to help you on your improvement journey.
Top business project management software comparison
The table below shows whether the 4 software have some key features for BPM tools. The pricing is of course also a consideration and is based on the first paid plan regardless of whether they have a free plan or not.
Asana: Best for team insights
Asana is a feature-rich project management solution with advanced features for reporting and security. You can use their detailed progress capabilities to measure performance and determine team needs based on projects. The software can help you gain in-depth insights into workloads and make changes to current business processes from there.
Zoho Creator: Best for customization
If your team is looking for a BPM that allows you to tailor the application to your needs, Zoho Creator is a unique solution. Tech-savvy teams can use the low-code BPM tool to develop their ideal solutions for their business needs. It may not be suited for simple workflows and less technology, but it is awesome for complex data needs in BPM.
ClickUp: Best for data visualization
One of the best project management tools for team workloads is ClickUp. Their software offers advanced work views, collaboration, automation and reporting options. Teams can streamline business processes with automation, monitor progress in dynamic views and manage employee resources with workload profiles in reporting.
For more information, read the full ClickUp review.
nTask: Best for time management
nTask is an affordable project management tool with an abundance of features to meet dynamic needs. They offer time management, multiple work views, remote collaboration and unlimited workspaces. You can track a variety of factors around business princesses while ensuring team progress.
For more information, read the full nTask review.
Jira Work Management: Best for both startups and Enterprises
Jira Work Management is a great solution for managing projects and complex business processes. You can use it for automation, data visualization, task management and reporting. Teams will absolutely be able to gain insights and manage business processes. Their Free plan has stacked capabilities to effectively use the tool for work or get a taste of the platform before buying.
If you’re looking to buy a paid subscription for less than 10 users, then you need a monthly plan. Annual pricing is for buying a minimum of 10 licenses that you can fill right away or expect to fill that year.
For more information on Jira in general, read the full Jira Software review.
Key features of business process management
Business process management encompasses a variety of factors, but to find a great software, we’ve narrowed down some criteria to get started. Not every feature will be important to you, but most of them are offered by great BPM solutions.
One of the best ways to Improve business processes is to streamline repetitive but important tasks by automating them. This way, you also ensure tasks will be completed either through automated alerts, scheduled meetings or reports. If you can sideline it to the conveyor belt, you can spend that time on harder tasks.
You can’t manage business processes if they aren’t completed in the right order. Task dependencies ensure teams know to wait on task delivery before moving on to the next phase. Some tools allow you to look at all dependent tasks in one place, and it can help you gain a deeper understanding of how your team functions.
Another important way to get insight into how your team functions is detailed reporting for progress, performance, time, budget, risks and more. While it sounds obvious, a good part of BPM is analysis. Knowing your work from different perspectives will help you understand critical parts that may not be obvious.
For example, a team might switch to software without color-coded notifications and automated scheduling and suddenly find their team interprets notifications wrong and forgets to schedule important meetings. It’s actually really hard to know which small parts of your workflow are integral. That’s why, through reporting, you can pay attention to changes in progress after switching software or trying a new work style.
We all know that time is everything, but when it comes to BPM it’s an indicator for performance. If you’re able to optimize the time spent on workflow, then you can make room to rearrange your work model and consider new opportunities.
Time tracking and estimations can help you predict, measure and analyze your team from all sorts of perspectives. For example, if approvals average one to three months but the time it takes to actually do them is an hour, it means your managers are overbooked.
While work visualizations are one of the more common project management features, they are for a big reason. With in-depth views like Gantt charts for timelines and due dates, management teams can stay on track. Filtering through work progress, employee status, milestones and deadlines is also important for decision-making. Your team can’t operate cohesively if they can’t take each other’s needs into account.
How do I choose the best business process management software for my business?
When looking for a BPM solution, you need to know exactly what you want to manage. You can choose a solution advertised for business process management systems or find project management and work management tools with advanced automation, reporting and data visualization.
Maybe you don’t know what processes you want to analyze, monitor, Improve or streamline. Software with advanced reporting can give you a macro view of your business workflow and future needs.
Tools like Asana, monday, ClickUp and Jira all have great reporting options. You can also use them for project management while you take your time to look for points of improvement in your team. It’s a huge benefit to ask your team about any issues or processes that feel outdated.
You may find you need something you can personalize, so Zoho Creator will be worth considering, but it’s very expensive. nTask will also be great for testing out for time, budget and risk processes you want to dive into.
Many of the business process management systems on this list have free plans you can test out before making a big purchase. We highly recommend taking advantage of that before committing to several months of onboarding.
The software were chosen according to whether or not they had important features for BPM such as tools for monitoring, tracking and reporting. Anything to give businesses a deeper understanding of how they operate. From there, having features to help make changes and Improve current workflows is important. Each software on this list has tools to learn and make needed changes.
Cost and whether or not they had free plans were also considered. BPM features tend to be advanced and can get very costly, but most of the solutions listed have a free version. Popularity with users and intuitive learning were also considered, but with the understanding that feature-rich solutions will all have some sort of a learning curve.
Student stage managers are the backbone of theater production at BC. This essential role familiarizes students with all aspects of theatrical production and helps to develop leadership, communication, and project management skills. Listed below are multiple ways to get involved in stage management at Boston College.
Stage Management Basics
Offered in the fall semester, this is a one-credit, pass/fail course that meets once a week. Stage Management Basics introduces students to the responsibilities and characteristics of stage management, both in the context of theatre at Boston College and on a professional level. Students study production preparation, rehearsal management, union rules, working relationships, and performance practices. Using a combination of discussion, hands-on training, reading analysis, and professional observation, students will develop the essential skills of a stage manager.
The ASM and SM labs give students hands-on stage management experience by working on one of the six Theatre department productions.
Assistant Stage Management (ASM) Lab
Every department production has two or more assistant stage managers. These students help the stage manager to run rehearsals and are in charge of backstage during performances. ASMs must be at many of the regular rehearsals and at all of the technical and dress rehearsals and performances for the show that they are assigned.
ASMing counts as a one-credit lab. While it takes a little more time than other labs, you learn how all the theatrical pieces of a show fit together. Unlike our other labs the ASM Lab uses traditional letter grading.This lab requires department permission, however, there are no ‘majors only’ restrictions and no experience is necessary to assistant stage manage a show.
Stage Management (SM) Lab
Once students gain experience as an ASM, they may advance to the 2-credit Stage Management lab.
The stage manger works alongside the director on a production and is in charge of organizing rehearsals, communicating with the production team, and running performances. Stage managers at BC work alongside students and professionals alike and are considered leaders within the department. Stage managers plan each rehearsal with the show’s director, create rehearsal schedules, keep track of blocking, costume and prop needs, and distribute rehearsal reports to theatre staff and designers.
The stage management lab is graded A, B, C, D or F and counts towards two of the theater lab credits.
Stage managers are assigned at the end of the previous academic school year to stage manage one of the six Theatre department productions. This lab requires department permission and significant production experience.
Other Opportunities on Campus
In addition to courses and labs within the theater department, there are also student groups on campus where students can get involved as an assistant stage manager or stage manager. These groups include Dramatics Society, Contemporary Theatre, and dance groups. Students can also work with BC’s Annual Arts Festival, which happens every spring.
If you are interested in becoming involved in stage management, want to sign up for an ASM lab, or have additional questions, please contact Adele Traub, Lecturer in Stage Management, at email@example.com.
Rehearsal guidelines should be made available to directors and stage managers when putting together a rehearsal schedule for their production. It should also be made available to cast members at the first rehearsal. View a PDF version of the latest version of rehearsal guidelines.
WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing contracted sharply in October after showing signs of improvement in prior months as new orders and employment slumped, likely reflecting strikes by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union against Detroit's Big Three car makers.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Wednesday that its manufacturing PMI dropped to 46.7 last month from 49.0 in September, which was the highest reading since November 2022. It was the 12th consecutive month that the PMI remained below 50, which indicates contraction in manufacturing. That is the longest such stretch since the 2007-2009 Great Recession.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index unchanged at 49.0. The PMI was probably pulled down by the UAW strikes at assembly plants owned by Ford Motor (F.N), General Motors (GM.N) and Chrysler parent Stellantis (STLAM.MI) across the country, which disrupted supply chains and forced automakers to furlough and lay off thousands of non-striking workers.
The automakers have since reached tentative agreements with the UAW, which could see the PMI rising in November.
Though manufacturing, which accounts for 11.1% of the economy, is struggling under the weight of higher borrowing costs, the PMI likely exaggerates the weakness in the industry. Data from the Federal Reserve last month showed production of long-lasting manufactured goods rising at a brisk clip in the third quarter. Nondurable manufacturing output, however, fell.
The ISM survey's forward-looking new orders sub-index fell to 45.5 last month from 49.2 in September. Production at factories continued to expand, though barely. The production index fell to 50.4 from 52.5 in the prior month.
Backlog orders were little changed at a depressed level. Inventories at factories continued to be depleted, which bodes well for future production.
Prices for factory inputs were subdued. The survey's measure of prices paid by manufacturers rose to a still-depressed reading of 45.1 from 43.8 in September. This likely reflected slight delays getting some materials from suppliers.
The survey's measure of provider deliveries rose to 47.7 from 46.4 in the prior month. A reading below 50 indicates faster deliveries.
Factory employment dropped, reversing the improvement seen in September. The survey's gauge of factory employment decreased to 46.8 from 51.2. This measure has not been a reliable predictor of manufacturing payrolls in the government's closely watched employment report. The UAW strikes, however, likely reduced manufacturing payrolls in October.
The government reported last week that there were at least 30,000 UAW members on strike during the period it surveyed business establishments for October's employment report.
According to a Reuters survey of economists factory payrolls likely declined by 10,000 jobs last month after increasing 17,000 in September. That would contribute to lowering overall nonfarm payrolls gains to 180,000 jobs from 336,000 in September. The government will publish October's employment report on Friday.
Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
One Friday afternoon in July, two dozen neatly dressed young people trickled into a narrow office on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a few blocks east of the U.S. Capitol. From the outside, the building looked the same as the other stately row houses that line Capitol Hill. But inside, there was the unmistakable ambiance of a frat living room. Along the far wall, a collection of half-empty liquor bottles sat atop a decorative mantelpiece, next to a glass shelf housing a stack of wooden cigar boxes and a Lego replica of the White House. Across the room, a free-standing keg cooler dispensed cold brew coffee into paper cups. The space was mostly devoid of furniture, save for the keg, a fridge, a folding table and a few plastic chairs.
Yet the room’s occupants, all interns from Republican congressional offices and conservative think tanks around D.C., weren’t there to party — or at least not exclusively to party. Instead, they took their seats in the rolling chairs, pulled notebooks and pencils out of their backpacks and readied themselves for the day’s seminar. On the agenda: How to take over the federal government, one junior staff position at a time.
Their host was American Moment, a small but scrappy organization that’s quietly reshaping the conservative establishment in Washington. Founded in 2021 with the backing of now-Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, the group is part of a broader movement that’s underway in Washington to recruit right-leaning staffers to help the next Republican president — whoever that may be — wage war on the “deep state” and entrench the populist political revolt that began with the Trump administration.
But unlike some of its more high-profile partners in that effort — which include conservative heavyweights like the Heritage Foundation and the Conservative Partnership Institute — American Moment isn’t focused on wooing would-be cabinet secretaries or senior White House advisers. With the 2024 election fast approaching, the group is on a mission to recruit and train the next generation of Republican elites by beginning at the lowest levels of the Washington hierarchy — the legislative assistants, press aides and junior staffers who will serve as the foot soldiers in the GOP’s war on the federal bureaucracy.
Saurabh Sharma, the group’s bespectacled president and co-founder, told me that his long-term goal is to nurture a new class of Beltway elites who are steeped in an explicitly reactionary worldview — and who have the institutional knowledge and political acumen to translate that philosophy into policy. “The loaf has to go in the oven and bake for 10 years so that the class of credentialed experts — the people who know the system and know where the levers of power are — are your people,” said Sharma, who, at 25 years old, serves as the notably youthful public face for American Moment. “The way you make senior staff is by making junior staff 10 years earlier.”
According to Sharma and his 26-year-old co-founder Nick Solheim the current crop of young people working in D.C. isn’t up to snuff. Sharma diplomatically described the cohort to me as “less than sufficient.” But in other settings, he and Solheim have been more candid in their evaluations: On a latest episode of the group’s podcast, Sharma attributed the underperformance of many Republican offices to the fact that members are surrounded by an army of “23-year-old shitheads” whose parents “sent them to D.C. to keep them as far away from the family business as possible.” On a different podcast, Solheim described the “common Hill staffer” as “single, unmarried, sad and going on drinking binges every night.” In their view, that was part of the reason that the Trump administration struggled to find young staffers who were both sufficiently qualified to work in the White House and politically aligned with Trump.
And this gathering at American Moment’s office — taking place amidst the liquor bottles and Legos — was an integral part of changing that.
The trainees were participating in American Moment’s three-month summer fellowship, which places aspiring politicos in internships on Capitol Hill or at allied nonprofits. That afternoon, the fellows were slated to attend a seminar about the crisis of masculinity and its effect on the opioid epidemic with the “pro-family” policy wonk Patrick Brown, followed by a training session on persuasive writing with a professional communications coach. During the fellowship, the group would learn other soft skills that, while not immediately relevant to taking over the administrative state, are certainly helpful in doing so: how to draft a policy memo, where to find jobs in the executive agencies, what to wear to job interviews (no tweed, no fedoras).
The fellowship is only one part of the American Moment’s growing network of training programs, all designed to equip up-and-coming staffers with the skills they need to build careers in D.C.’s Republican ecosystem. In the fall, spring and summer, the group runs a 12-week educational program on conservative policy priorities for interns and young Hill staffers. Throughout the year, the group hosts weekly policy seminars featuring prominent right-leaning intellectuals and political operatives like Russell Vought, the combative former director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Trump administration, and Elbridge Colby, the hardline China hawk.
Unlike some of the right-leaning organizations that have traditionally trained aspiring Republican elites — groups like the American Enterprise Institute or Cato — American Moment isn’t interested in teaching its trainees to look back fondly to the days of Reagan and Goldwater. Instead, it is militantly focused on pumping out true believers in the sort of populist-nationalist conservatism that came into fashion during the Trump years: protectionism on trade, hawkishness on China, skepticism of neoconservative foreign policy interventionism, restriction on immigration — of both the legal and illegal varieties — and a fierce dedication to fighting the culture war.
“They’re pushing the conservative movement away from a set of economic policies that I think have been bad for working-class people,” said Vance, who remains one of the group’s closest political allies and ideological lodestars, despite formally leaving its advisory board earlier this year. “They’re thinking seriously about how to staff Hill offices and the next administration with people who share the views of our electorate, as opposed to [people who] hate the electorate and what they represent.”
Now in its third year of existence, American Moment’s long game is showing some signs of success. As of this fall, Sharma and his co-founders, Nick Solheim and Jake Mercier, have compiled a database of approximately 1,500 young people who have been vetted by the group’s leaders and who are ready to step into junior or mid-level roles on Day 1 of the next Republican administration. (American Moment declined to make members of its professional network available for interviews, and several program alumni whom I reached out to did not respond to interview requests. Sharma said that the group advises its trainees not to talk to the media in order to avoid drawing attention away from their bosses, and they apparently take the schooling to heart.) On the Hill, American Moment has built close relationships with powerful conservatives including Vance, fellow Sens. Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley, and Reps. Jim Banks and Dan Bishop, whose offices have all accepted interns out of the group’s fellowship program. In April, the organization teamed up with the Heritage Foundation to help launch Project 2025, a $22-million dollar initiative to build a personnel database that could cover all levels of the next Republican administration.
Despite its obvious political affinity with Trump, Sharma told me that the organization is agnostic about who becomes the Republican presidential nominee in 2024. But it’s clear that American Moment’s success hinges in large part on Trump claiming a second term. Though even if Trump does return to the White House in 2025, it’s far from certain that American Moment’s cadre of young staffers will be able to overcome the conservative establishment’s enduring hostility toward some of the populist right’s positions, especially on foreign policy and economic regulation.
Still, the true scope of the group’s ambitions extends far beyond just staffing the next administration. “They are unique in what they do,” said Kevin Roberts, the president of the Heritage Foundation and a close political ally of American Moment. “The junior people that they’re investing in now … are going to be the mid-career and late-career senior officials of a presidential administration in the 2030s and 2040s. That hasn’t happened ever in the conservative movement.”
Like a lot of American Moment’s followers, I first encountered Sharma through the group’s podcast, “Moment of Truth,” which offers its listeners an unapologetically wonky tour of the political landscape of the populist right. latest episodes include a 70-minute-long dive into antitrust law with the conservative lawyer Mark Meador and a 65-minute interview with former United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
On the podcast, Sharma radiates a kind of dorky charisma — the enthusiasm of someone who spends his free time talking about the internal politics of the White House Office of Performance and Personnel Management — and when I spoke with him via video call a few weeks after my visit to American Moment’s office, he did not disappoint. Dressed in his typical workday attire of wire-rimmed glasses, white dress shirt, blue tie and a matching pair of striped suspenders, Sharma walked me through his winding path to the right. It began, he told me, in the leadup to the 2016 election, when he caught the bug for politics while watching videos of Trump rallies and Bernie Sanders speeches from his dorm room at the University of Texas Austin, where he was studying biochemistry. He decided to get involved in Republican politics, but he was dismayed by the options available to young conservatives.
“If you were a young person on a college campus in the 2010s, there were a lot of incentives to engage in campus street theater, get on Fox News and then get chewed up and spit out by the conservative look-at-the-libs-on-college-campus machine,” Sharma told me. Instead, he decided to join the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT), a youth group focused on state and local politics. At the group’s weekly meeting, he recalled, he would give a short presentation analyzing the ways that the turf wars within Trump’s White House were shaping the administration’s policy decisions — how the Steve Bannon loyalists were duking it out with Mike Pence’s people over immigration, or how Jared Kushner’s squabble with Pence was influencing China policy.
“It was all analysis that I was getting through news articles, but in retrospect, it aged pretty well,” said Sharma, who eventually became YCT’s chair in 2019. “Those were the factions in the early days.”
At a D.C. bar trivia night in late 2019, Sharma — fresh off an internship at the far-right media outlet The Daily Caller — met Solheim, who at the time was working for a digital marketing firm and moonlighting as an expert on arctic geopolitics. (“Expert” was a bit generous, Solheim later confessed to me. “I had read a bunch of books and watched a lot of YouTube videos.”) Earlier that evening at the same trivia, Solheim had been introduced to the woman who would become his wife, Evie, for the first time, but he ditched her to spend the rest of the night talking politics with Sharma instead.
“We shut the bar down together,” Solheim told me. (Evie eventually forgave him.)
A few months later, in April 2020, while the world was still reeling from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Solheim woke up one morning to a text from Sharma in a group chat with Mercier, who Sharma had met through mutual friends in Washington. “I want to talk to you two tomorrow,” read the message timestamped 3:06 a.m. “Read this before the call.”
Sharma passed along a link to an article by J.D. Vance titled “End the Globalization Gravy Train,” in which Vance described the structural political challenges that conservative populists needed to overcome to entrench the “anti-globalist” revolt that had begun under Trump. Chief among these challenges, Vance argued, was the absence of a robust political infrastructure in D.C. that could support the work being done by populist Republicans on the Hill. If Trump-aligned Republicans wanted to challenge the GOP’s traditional positions on free trade, immigration and foreign policy, they couldn’t just rely on a handful of politicians to do so. They needed to build an entire counter-establishment that had both the resources and political capital to take on “Conservative, Inc.” — the sprawling network of right-of-center donors, think tanks and policy experts that quietly enforced the pre-Trump orthodoxy on the right.
On a Zoom call with Solheim and Mercier the next day, Sharma laid out his vision for a new organization: A hybrid training camp and clearing house for young staffers who agreed with Vance’s critique of the Republican establishment. Sharma knew that a handful of latest college graduates didn’t have the capital to compete with GOP donors or the policy chops to challenge think tanks, but they had access to another, potentially more valuable resource: impressionable young people who were itching to take on the conservative mainstream.
Solheim agreed to sign onto the new gig as chief operations officer, and he and Sharma reached out to policy activist Rachel Bovard, who was then serving as the senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI). Sharma, who had previously participated in a fellowship at CPI run by Bovard, suspected that the organization was the ideal partner for their new venture: Founded by former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in 2017 after his unceremonious ousting as president of the Heritage Foundation, CPI had positioned itself as the institutional home for the inside-the-beltway MAGA movement during the Trump years, serving both as a policy shop and a talent pipeline for Trump’s most committed loyalists. (In the years since, CPI has become a sort of administration-in-exile for former Trump staffers, home to the likes of Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows.) When Sharma approached Bovard with their idea, she was immediately sold.
“I think we both had an awareness of a pipeline that was missing in D.C.,” said Bovard, who left CPI in 2022. “For CPI, that was staffing at the middle-level and senior Capitol Hill level, but Saurabh was really focused on [finding] the junior-level people who weren’t necessarily going to end up in D.C.”
Bovard helped Sharma and Solheim secure financial support from CPI, which ultimately donated $336,000 to American Moment in 2021 — close to half of the group’s total operating budget for its first year. (A representative from CPI did not respond to a request for comment.) In May 2020, Vance signed on to serve as a founding member of the group’s board of advisers, and in February 2021, the organization celebrated its launch with a swanky cocktail party at CPI’s headquarters, featuring smoked salmon canapés and a cocktail called the “New Right Old Fashioned.” Reps. Jim Banks, Ken Buck and Marjorie Taylor Greene were spotted amidst the crowd.
Following American Moment’s launch, its founders did some casual outreach on college campuses to find new recruits, but Sharma and Solheim quickly discovered that they didn’t really need to go looking for candidates. As word of the organization spread, a steady flow of interested young people reached out asking to be put on the list. Within a year, the database had grown from 50 names to 500 to close to 1,000. By the end of 2023, the group projects that it will have around 2,000 fully vetted staffers in its personnel database, the majority of whom will already have some experience working on Capitol Hill or at allied conservative organizations.
But even as the group’s database began to grow, it became clear to Sharma and Solheim that solving the staffing problems that plagued the Trump administration would require addressing a whole host of more diffuse problems that are endemic to the culture of young conservatives in Washington. First and foremost, Sharma told me, is the constant turnover of staffers on Capitol Hill — a challenge that afflicts offices on both sides of the aisle, but which poses a particular problem for Republicans, given the fact that fewer young people support the GOP to begin with. The high rates of turnover are driven in part by the perennially low wages on the Hill — though Sharma praised former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for raising the minimum annual staff salary to $45,000 in 2022 — but he said that the bigger problem for Republicans is that there aren’t meaningful social incentives in place to convince ambitious conservatives to stay on the Hill long enough to rise up through the professional ranks.
“Five-hundred roles are getting filled at the junior level every year, and hundreds of them are being afforded to people who have no intention of actually becoming mid-level staff because they’re going to be off to law school,” said Sharma, who scrapped his own plans to go to law school to found American Moment. “You naturally start scraping the bottom of the barrel.”
Sharma is the first to admit that American Moment’s solution to the turnover challenge — namely, its fellowship program — isn’t particularly innovative. But Bovard, who advises the group’s fellows, said that its programming is unique in producing Republican staffers who are ideologically aligned with the populist-nationalist line and genuinely knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the legislative process on Capitol Hill. “They are here to scrap,” Bovard said. “A lot of programs in D.C. [offer] training that people just sort of do as a box checking exercises, … but everything that Saurabh and Nick do for their program is designed around building up a set of intellectual and practical skills that [fellows] can use in Washington.”
“There’s a wide constellation of libertarian, neoconservative and Reagan conservative organizations that have a wide pool of internships and other sinecures and professional help to help advance their co-ideologues,” Sharma told me, alluding to legacy conservative organizations like the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute. “Similar infrastructure does not exist [on our part] of the right of center — except for the one that we’re building with our allies.”
Despite bucking the preferences of old-school conservative donors, American Moment hasn’t had much trouble raising money so far. Between 2021 and 2022, its budget grew from just over $700,000 to close to $1.2 million; this year, the group is projecting between $1.5 and $2 million in revenue. Sharma declined to go into detail about the group’s donors, but he told me that, in broad strokes, its benefactors fall into three general buckets: traditional right-leaning donors and legacy conservative foundations, ideologically motivated donors who are aligned the populist-nationalist cause and, finally, first-time donors out of Silicon Valley who have taken a shine to reactionary politics. When I asked Solheim if the group had received any money from Peter Thiel, the enigmatic conservative megadonor, he grinned and declined to comment.
Those funds have allowed the group to focus on recruiting from an atypical demographic in Washington: People who don’t have college degrees or prior experience in professional politics. When selecting fellows, Solheim told me, the group prioritizes candidates who are “immediately employable” — meaning applicants who have recently graduated from school or who are looking to change careers. This year’s cohort included an 18-year-old who had just finished high school and a 29-year-old who had left a high-paying job in finance to come work on the Hill. To support candidates from less affluent backgrounds, the group pays its fellows $3,000 a month — with 401(k) matching — and it allows fellows to cash out the remainder of their stipend as a lump sum if they land a job offer during their fellowship.
“What we’re trying to do is credential people who would otherwise not be able to get here,” said Solheim, who was forced to drop out of college because of financial struggles. “People who didn’t go to elite universities, people who don’t have rich parents.”
One of the most underappreciated challenges facing conservative populists in D.C., Sharma said, is a social one. “We call it Sodom on the Potomac,” Solheim told me, explaining his decision to leave D.C. during the pandemic and move to West Virginia, where he still lives with his wife and young daughter. “It has a way of destroying people’s lives.” As the Trump years made clear, it’s tricky enough to be a young conservative living, working and dating in one of the most liberal cities in America — but it’s even trickier when you’re fighting with members of your own party as well as the opposing one.
“If all the people you hang out with are neocons or arch-libertarians, then it becomes very hard to just be out at war with people all the time,” Sharma told me. “So [a lot of populist-leaning conservatives] don’t come in the first place, or when they do come, they wash out and they leave because it’s just so hostile.”
The group’s solution to this dilemma has been to try to build a social scene in D.C. where like-minded allies can schmooze and hang out with co-ideologues. Once a quarter, the group hosts a themed cocktail party for people in its professional network, complete with an open bar and cheeky party favors. (At its summer soiree, “Hot Havana Syndrome Summer,” the group handed out T-shirts featuring a cartoon drawing of Tucker Carlson wearing a tin-foil hat.) After every party, Sharma told me, he fields a handful of angry messages. “People get mad at me every quarter because I host a cocktail party — like ‘Oh, how dare you, you can’t host cocktail parties and be a real populist,’” said Sharma. “It’s the dumbest argument in the history of the world.”
Before the training sessions at American Moment’s headquarters, I met Solheim on the third floor of the Russell Senate Office Building, where about a hundred summer interns had gathered around circular tables in the ornate Kennedy Caucus Room for the latest installment of the group’s weekly lunchtime lecture series. The speaker that day was the iconoclastic economist Oren Cass, whose organization, American Compass, has become the nerve center of the “new conservative economics” premised on a rejection of free-market absolutism and an embrace of more protectionist economic policies.
Inside the caucus room, Cass guided the interns through an austere PowerPoint presentation, arguing that Republican-backed policies on free trade and government deregulation had hollowed out America’s industrial base, harmed American workers, undermined the “traditional family” and deepened America’s economic dependence on foreign adversaries like China. As the interns munched on boxed lunches from Chick-fil-A, Cass pulled up a slide featuring a picture of Friedrich Hayek, the godfather of supply-side economics, with the caption: “Hayek was WRONG.”
The interns, looking up from their chicken sandwiches, nodded along approvingly.
Free lunches aside, American Moment’s founders have used the group’s growing profile in Washington to position themselves as a prominent participant in the ongoing, intra-conservative debate about the future of the American right. Sharma and Solheim have used the group’s podcast and public events to promote the strain of nationalist-populist conservatism that has come to be associated with the “New Right” of the GOP, built around economic nationalism, skepticism of neoconservative foreign policy interventionism and a full-bore commitment to the culture war. Since early 2022, Sharma and Solheim have become especially outspoken critics of the U.S.’s ongoing involvement in the war in Ukraine, and in April of 2022, American Moment co-hosted a high-profile “emergency conference” of conservative intellectuals and Republican officeholders to urge the GOP avoid further entanglements in the war.
“They’ve added a lot to the depth of conservative intellectual life on Capitol Hill,” said Roberts, the president of the Heritage Foundation. “They’re going to be considered thought leaders of this movement for a long time.”
Yet despite their underlying agreement with the populist-nationalist agenda, Sharma and Solheim are skeptical of the label “New Right,” and in our conversations, they took pains to distance themselves from it. Sharma said the label is too limiting for their mission, getting in the way of the broader coalition building that American Moment thinks that unorthodox conservatives need if they ever hope to translate their principles into genuine policy.
“It’s pretty clear that it is very hard to move national politics around a comprehensive ‘New Right’ agenda,” said Sharma. “The basic approach of ‘Well, we’re going to do our -ism and do politics that way’ falls apart in that situation. You’re basically signing yourself up to be a loud but ultimately defeated minority.”
Sharma also told me that he’s grown frustrated with the intellectualism of the discourse on the New Right, which is prone to elevating abstract philosophical debates over more practical policy questions. This is especially true, Sharma said, of the ongoing debate over conservatives’ proper relationship to the administrative state, which pits small-government libertarians seeking to limit the power of the federal bureaucracy against populists and social conservatives who want to wrest power away from liberal technocrats in order to use it to advance their own priorities.
“[It’s] like arguing over what color to paint my mansion on the moon,” Sharma told me. “Like, that’s great, and I’m sure there’s a very robust debate to be had about it, but there are a lot of steps in between that need to happen.”
One of those steps, said Sharma, will be for the next Republican president to re-institute some version of the Trump administration’s executive order on “Schedule F” employees, which removed job protections for over 50,000 federal workers who play a role in policymaking. But even reinstating Trump’s plan for Schedule F — which Joe Biden repealed upon taking office in 2021 — will only go so far unless conservatives can build a network of competent and committed civil servants to carry out subsequent reforms.
“If implemented, it will be a great piece of any reformist conservative agenda, but it is not the be-all-end-all of anything,” he told me. “It is one chapter in a very long book of things that need to be done.”
In the meantime, Sharma said, the group is growing its footprint in D.C., expanding its personnel database and rolling out new trainings for young conservatives. Sharma and Solheim plan to keep at it for the next decade at least — but, with any luck, not much longer than that.
“It’s an organization designed to solve a particular task,” said Sharma. “The day [we] solve it, we’ll go do something else.”
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