The former SAIC CEO ran on the Republican ticket last fall for New Hampshire governor. He was ultimately defeated by Democrat Maggie Hassan.
Mike Rogers will lead the group nationally; he previously served as chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee when he was a Michigan congressman.
APPS seeks to do two things to shape the 2016 presidential race, according to its website:
- Raise the level of debate on the most important issues facing the country and move candidates beyond just rhetoric and talking points.
- Enhance the knowledge base of citizens in the early states to help elect a president who supports American engagement and a strong foreign policy.
The group will be registered as a 501(c)(4) instead of a political action committee. For campaign finance purposes, the law allows such groups to donate to candidates with a lower level of disclosure about who is funding their work.
“When the president of the United States wakes up on Jan. 21, the world’s problems will be staring at him or her,” Rogers said. “And we believe there was never enough in prior campaigns and wasn’t going to be at this if we didn’t provide a forum for thoughtful discussion about our national security posture in the world, our foreign affairs posture in the world, and certainly American engagement in the world.”
APPS plans to hold forums in early primary states with the goal of providing a venue for conversations with candidates focused solely on issues related to foreign policy.
The group will not endorse candidates and has no plans to come up with the kind of “score cards” that occasionally accompany other policy-focused organizations.