Hudson Institute

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Hudson Institute
Logo Hudson Institute.png
Founded 1961
Founder Herman Kahn
Type Think tank
Origins RAND Corporation
Area served
United States of America
Key people
Slogan An independent research organization promoting new ideas for the advancement of global security, prosperity and freedom

The Hudson Institute is an American conservative[2][3] non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 1961 in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, by futurist, military strategist, and systems theorist Herman Kahn and his colleagues at the RAND Corporation.

The Institute is committed to innovative research and analysis that promotes ‘global security, prosperity and freedom’.[4] It promotes public policy change in accordance with its stated values of a "commitment to free markets and individual responsibility, confidence in the power of technology to assist progress, respect for the importance of culture and religion in human affairs, and determination to preserve America's national security."[5]

In March 2011, Kenneth R. Weinstein was appointed president and CEO of the institute.[5]


Founded 1961 by Herman Kahn, Max Singer, and Oscar Ruebhaused from the RAND corporation in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. Its initial policy focus, while conservative, largely reflected Kahn’s personal interests, which included the domestic and military use of nuclear power, the future of the workplace in the U.S., and the science of “futurology”. As the Cold War died down and funding for military projects decreased, Hudson started examining domestic, social and economic issues.

Following Kahn’s death in 1983, Hudson expanded its staff and took on a distinctly more conservative stance. The headquarters were moved to Indianapolis in 1984. In 1987, Hudson’s study ‘Workforce 2000’ correctly[citation needed] predicted the changes[clarification needed] the American workforce would undergo by the year 2000. The follow-up ‘Workforce 2020’ was released in 1997. In 1995 Hudson played a key part in devising Wisconsin’s welfare-to-work program.

In 2004 Hudson moved to Washington D.C, in order to focus its efforts on foreign policy and national security.

After the September 11 attacks, Hudson focused its efforts on international issues such as the Middle East, Latin America and Islam. This area of research is currently headed up by Hillel Fradkin. Other Islam experts include Zeyno Baran, and in the past, Nina Rosenwald, who, in 2008, invited controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders to the USA.[6] According the The Nation Magazine, which has characterized her as "the sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate," in 2012 she was still a board member of the Hudson Institute, after she had founded the more avowedly anti-Islamist Gatestone Institute.[6][7]

Policy centers[edit]

Center for the Economics of the Internet[edit]

Based on the conviction that the internet must also follow the core requirements for a functioning market, the Center for the Economics of the Internet focuses its program on research and debate intended to show the importance and use of property and contract rights throughout the digital world. The center rejects "internet exceptionalism",[8] where property rights, contract rights, and competition are not important, where "ordinary principles of economics do not apply", and where the government has a responsibility to regulate with unusual intensity and without limitations. The center is directed by Harold Furchtgott-Roth,[9] joined by senior fellow Robert M. McDowell.[10][11]

Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World[edit]

Led by Director Hillel Fradkin, the Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World conducts a variety of research programs and convenes public conferences covering a wide range of topics such as religious culture and intellectual developments affecting Islamic countries and Muslim-minority populations worldwide. The center's goal is to identify and encourage moderate and democratic alternatives to sectarian radicalism.[12] One of the center's core projects is "Current Trends in Islamist Ideology", the leading scholarly journal in the field, published since 2005.[13] It is edited by Hillel Fradkin and Hudson senior fellows Husain Haqqani[14] and Eric Brown,[15] along with Hassan Mneimneh, Senior Transatlantic Fellow for MENA and the Islamic World at the German Marshall Fund.[16]

Center for Religious Freedom[edit]

Founded in 1986[17] and housed at Hudson Institute since January 2007,[18] the Center for Religious Freedom works with a broad range of experts in order to promote religious freedom as an integral element of U.S. foreign policy. When U.S. foreign policy is lagging behind in that regard, the center strives to defend persecuted believers and to promote religious freedom worldwide. From its inception in 1986, the center has sponsored investigative field missions, published reports on the religious persecution of various individuals and groups, and taken action on their behalf in the media and with relevant officials in Congress and the executive branch.[19] During the Cold War, the Center's efforts were focused on helping religious believers that were persecuted under communism. Today, the center has broadened its efforts to promote religious freedom for citizens in autocratic regimes of any sort, especially in the Muslim world. The center is directed by Nina Shea[20] and includes among its scholars senior fellows Paul Marshal and Samuel Tadros, and adjunct fellow Lela Gilbert.[21]

Center for Global Prosperity[edit]

The Center for Global Prosperity is focused on creating awareness among opinion leaders and the general public about the crucial role of the private sector (both for-profit and not-for-profit) as a main source of countries’ economic growth and prosperity. The center's signature product is the annual Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances, which details the sources and amounts of private giving to the developing world.[22][23] The center’s work is rooted in support for free societies—functioning capital markets, private property, free trade and press, the rule of law, good governance, and human rights—as the principal basis for economic prosperity and well-being. Its pilot study, Philanthropic Freedom,[24] was the first comprehensive analysis of global philanthropic freedom, examining barriers and incentives for individuals and organizations to spend resources on social causes. The center is headed by Carol Adelman,[25] and its staff includes senior fellow Jeremiah Norris.[26][27]

Initiative on Future Innovation[edit]

Dedicated to sustaining America’s ability to develop welfare-increasing technological innovations, Hudson Institute's Initiative on Future Innovation sponsors original, problem-solving research to improve the basis for productive scientific inquiry and for the rapid implementation of new discoveries and inventions.[28] The initiative is directed by Christopher DeMuth,[29] a distinguished fellow at Hudson and former president of the American Enterprise Institute.[30]

Obesity Solutions Initiative[edit]

Directed by senior fellow Hank Cardello, the Obesity Solutions Initiative focuses on improving policies and developing solutions to address the global obesity epidemic. The initiative's main focal point is the development of market-based solutions taking into consideration the interests of the public health community, consumers, regulators, and the private sector.[31][32] It criticizes current obesity approaches as having a one-sided perspective, suffering from a lack of pragmatism, and being ineffective and costly.[33] The initiative's overall objective is to build the business case for healthier, lower-calorie foods by illustrating the financial and marketing benefits of such products.[34] The Center is developing policies that are based on tax incentives to lower the number of calories being sold, and the balancing of marketing budgets in order to educate consumers about portion control and nutrition.[35]

Bradley Center for Philanthropy & Civic Renewal[edit]

The center values small, local and often faith-based grassroots associations as core elements of a vital civil society and aims to encourage foundations and charitable donors to put more emphasis on supporting these organizations. Through research, publications, and seminars, the center examines the current giving practices of American foundations. According to the center, US foundations tend to support larger, expert-driven projects while largely ignoring smaller civic associations. The center conducts discussions about these issues throughout the non-profit sector and also advises donors on creating grant-making programs that support a renewal of civil society. Hudson senior fellow William A. Schambra has directed the Center since its launch in 2003. The Center was named after its longtime principal donor, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and also for the National Commission on Philanthropy and Civic Renewal of 1996-97.[36]

Center for American Seapower[edit]

The Center for American Seapower works for the promotion of public dialogue on America's shrinking maritime power and provides arguments and strategies in order to strengthen the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard as well as the American shipbuilding industries. Directed by senior fellow Seth Cropsey and adjunct fellow Bryan McGrath, the center works on developing alternative maritime strategies, makes detailed evaluation of the threats posed by the rise of local and potential global maritime competitors, and takes into account both historical and current events in order to assess the longer-term impact of diminishing U.S. sea power on the country's national security.[37]

Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research[edit]

The Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research is searching for ways to build sustained public awareness of the dangers of substance abuse, and supports new strategies verified by science, medicine, and actual practice. In the center's view, U.S. federal drug policy is in disarray, challenged by budgetary constraints and unclear goals. Currently, U.S. drug abuse is on the rise, as are the associated secondary consequences, and core policy principles are being threatened. As a result, the center aims to correct misinformation, document the harm done by drug abuse, present scientific countermeasures, and present necessary and relevant information to key federal, state, and local policymakers. The center is directed by John P. Walters, Hudson Institute's COO, and senior fellow David W. Murray.[38]

Kleptocracy Initiative[edit]

The Kleptocracy Initiative (KI) investigates the increasing threats posed to Western democracies by autocratic regimes. KI analyses the financial practices of autocratic governments and their leaders, and focuses on designing new and effective policies in order to prevent hostile foreign actors from secretly stealing their nations' assets and using those assets against their own citizens, the U.S. and its allies. The initiative is led by Executive Director Charles Davidson and Media Director Julie Davidson.[39]


The Hudson Institute is supported by donations from companies and individuals. Corporate contributors listed in a publication from 2001 included Eli Lilly and Company, Monsanto Company, DuPont, Dow-Elanco, Sandoz, Ciba-Geigy, ConAgra, Cargill, and Procter & Gamble.[40]

Fundraising efforts use testimonials from what the Institute calls its "family of generous supporters and friends", among them, Henry Kissinger, who provides a testimonial: "Hudson Institute is today one of America's foremost policy research centers, in the forefront of study and debate on important domestic and international policy issues, known and respected around the globe, a leader in innovative thinking and creative solutions to the challenges of the present and the future."[41]

While many conservative think tanks eschew government funding, Hudson does take government contracts. The Capital Research Center (CRC) database lists Hudson as having received six grants between 1996 and 2002 totaling $731,914 (unadjusted for inflation). Five of the six grants were from the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. (Neither the CRC database or Hudson's annual report for those years provide details on what the grants were specifically for.)[citation needed]

In 2002, Hudson received a grant of $173,484 from the Department of Commerce.[citation needed]

The Hudson Institute's IRS Form 990 for the financial year ending on September 30, 2003 showed total revenue of $9.34 million, including over $146,000 in government grants. Although several of the organizations listed below no longer exist, notable funding sources listed in the institute's 2002 annual report included:[citation needed]

Hudson personnel[edit]


Hudson Institute's leadership:[42]

  • Kenneth R. Weinstein, President and CEO
  • John P. Walters, Chief Operating Officer
  • Lewis Libby, Senior Vice President
  • William J. Luti, Vice President for Strategic Implementation
  • David Tell, Senior Fellow and Director, Public Affairs and Special Projects
  • Daniel McKivergan, Director Government Relations; Deputy Director, Public Affairs
  • Thereza Austria, Director of Finance
  • Joel Scanlon, Director of Studies
  • Nicholas Mackey, Director of Operations

Board of Trustees[edit]

Hudson Institute's Board of Trustees:[42]


Hudson Institute's Trustees:[42]

Other notable trustees, fellows and advisors, past and present[edit]

Politicians who have been affiliated with Hudson include former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle and Governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels who served as Hudson's President and CEO from 1987 to 1990.[43]


Critics question the institute's position on many issues, such as their negative campaigning against organic farming, since they receive large sums of money from conventional food companies. The New York Times commented on Dennis Avery's attacks on organic farming: "The attack on organic food by a well-financed research organization suggests that, though organic food accounts for only 1 percent of food sales in the United States, the conventional food industry is worried."[47]

After it was revealed that Michael Fumento received funding from Monsanto for his 1999 book Bio-Evolution, company spokesman Chris Horner confirmed that it continues to fund the think tank. "It's our practice, that if we're dealing with an organization like this, that any funds we're giving should be unrestricted," Horner told BusinessWeek. Hudson's CEO and President Kenneth R. Weinstein told BusinessWeek that he was uncertain if the payment should have been disclosed. "That's a good question, period," he said.[48]

Further reading[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Hudson Institute profile on". Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  2. ^ Blumenauer, Earl. "Betsy McCaughey (Times Topic)". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Sherry Slater (2011-12-18). "Orthopedic tax pains". The Journal Gazette. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  4. ^ "Hudson Institute > About Hudson > Mission Statement". Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  5. ^ a b The Hudson Institute, "Mission Statement", accessed April 15, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Blumenthal, Max. "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate". The Nation Magazine. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Gharib, Ali. "Islamophobe With Militarist Name Attacks Muslims For Militarist Names". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Center for the Economics of the Internet". Hudson Insititue. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Current Trends in Islamist Ideology". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Center for Religious Freedom". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Center for Global Prosperity". Hudson Insitute. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Initiative on Future Innovation". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Obesity Solutions Initiative". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  36. ^ "Bradley Center for Philanthropy & Civic Renewal". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  37. ^ "Center for American Seapower". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  38. ^ "Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  39. ^ "Kleptocracy Initiative". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  40. ^ John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, Trust Us, We’re Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future (New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001). ISBN 1-58542-139-1.
  41. ^ The Hudson Institute, "Meet our Family of Generous Supporters and Friends", accessed April 15, 2008.
  42. ^ a b c "Leadership". Hudson Institute. November 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  43. ^ "Hudson Institute > Hudson Upcoming Events Detail". 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  44. ^ Douglas J. Feith and Abram N. Shulsky (20 May 2010). "The Dangerous Illusion of 'Nuclear Zero' – Why even speculate about a nuclear posture that would require world peace as a precondition?". The Wall Street Journal. 
  45. ^ Curtin Winsor Hudson Institute Biography.
  46. ^ John Walters Hudson Institute Biography
  47. ^ Marian Burros, "Eating Well; Anti-Organic, And Flawed", The New York Times, accessed December 14, 2007.
  48. ^ Javers, Eamon (2006-01-13). "A Columnist Backed by Monsanto". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′11″N 77°02′03″W / 38.9030°N 77.0343°W / 38.9030; -77.0343