Michael Novak is an American Catholic philosopher, journalist, novelist, and diplomat. The author of more than twenty-five books on the philosophy and theology of culture, Novak is most widely known for his book The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. In 1993 Novak was honored with an honorary doctorate degree at Universidad Francisco Marroquín due to his commitment to the idea of liberty. In 1994 he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, which included a million-dollar purse awarded at Buckingham Palace. He writes books and articles focused on capitalism, religion, and the politics of democratization.
Novak served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1981 and 1982 and led the U.S. delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1986. Additionally, Novak served on the board of directors of the now-defunct Coalition for a Democratic Majority, a faction of the Democratic Party, which sought to influence Democratic Party policies in the same direction that the Committee on the Present Danger later did. Novak is currently George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute. As of 2004, he has claimed to be a lifelong Democrat, but he has supported many Republican candidates in recent years.