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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

Charmaine Yoest

Adjunct Faculty
School of Public Policy


Dr. Charmaine Yoest has a track record serving in many facets of political life including in the White House, on a presidential campaign, and leading a national nonprofit. Now on Capitol Hill, she serves as executive director of the House Values Action Team, working with Chairman Robert Aderholt. Previously, she served as a vice president of the Heritage Foundation, directing the domestic policy work of the national think tank voted most influential on policy issues three years running. Those issues included health care and welfare reform, education policy, family formation, women’s issues, and religious liberty. Yoest served in the White House as associate director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and also as the assistant secretary for public affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) where she provided leadership for the $1.3 trillion department’s public affairs programs, and coordination of strategic messaging across the 11 HHS Operating Divisions. She has appeared as a spokesperson on every major television network and cable outlet and has been published in the leading national publications. She has provided testimony in front of the United States Congress on multiple occasions. She is also the author of Mother in the Middle (HarperCollins), an examination of childcare policy.


  • PhD, Politics, University of Virginia
  • MA, Politics, University of Virginia
  • BA, Political Science, Wheaton College


  • Education Policy
  • Family Policy
  • Health Care Reform
  • Public Affairs
  • Religious Liberty
  • Welfare Reform
  • Women's Issues


  • MPP 645 Public Policy and Religion: American Gospel—The Role of Religion in US Domestic and Foreign Policy
  • MPP 687 Seminar in Regional Policies: Family Policy