Raj Kannappan

40 under 40-2021 Raj Kannappan
Courtesy of Raj Kannappan
  • Age
  • Title
    Vice President and Director
  • Company
    Young America’s Foundation

As director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise at Young America’s Foundation, Raj Kannappan is responsible for promoting conservative free-market principles among college students around the country. With a presence on more than 2,000 college and high school campuses, and nearly $100 million in assets, the group has been quietly funding and supporting campus Republican groups, bringing speakers to colleges, and promoting messages of fiscal and social conservatism historically tied to President Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley.

Kannappan and YAF are also exerting their influence on the legal system. The group has been filing lawsuits against colleges that bar right-wing speakers from campus. A recent lawsuit against the University of Florida, which repeatedly refused to use school funds to pay speaker fees for controversial Republicans, resulted in the university settling with conservative students for $66,000 and changing its free-speech rules.

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