Bruce Chapman

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Bruce K. Chapman
Seattle City Council member Bruce K. Chapman.jpg
Chapman, circa 1973
Born (1940-12-01) December 1, 1940 (age 77)
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Former politician, current think-tank fellow
Salary $157,332[1]
Title Director of the Discovery Institute

Bruce Kerry Chapman (born December 1, 1940)[2] is the director and founder of the Discovery Institute, an American conservative think tank often associated with the religious right.[3][4] He was previously a journalist, a Republican politician, and a diplomat.


Bruce Chapman was born in Evanston, Illinois.


After graduating from Harvard University in 1962,[5] he served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, and worked as an editorial writer for the New York Herald Tribune. In 1966 he moved to Seattle and wrote a book entitled The Wrong Man in Uniform, arguing against conscription.

With his college roommate George Gilder, he wrote an attack on the anti-intellectual policies of Barry Goldwater titled The Party That Lost Its Head (1966).

Chapman became active in politics through the Seattle Young Republicans, and became a member of the United States Republican Party. He was elected to the Seattle City Council in 1971. In 1975, he was appointed Secretary of State of Washington. He campaigned for the office of Governor of Washington in 1980, but ultimately did not win the Republican nomination.

Chapman was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the position of Director of the United States Census Bureau and served in that role from 1981 until 1983. Between 1983 and 1985 he was Deputy Assistant to President Reagan and Director of the White House Office of Planning and Evaluation. From 1985 to 1988 he served in the appointed position of United States Ambassador to the United Nations Organizations in Vienna. His portfolio included nuclear proliferation, refugees, economic development, and the control of narcotics.

Intelligent design[edit]

From 1988 to 1990, Chapman was a fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank. In 1990, he left Hudson and founded the Discovery Institute. The institute is best known as the hub of the Intelligent Design movement,[6] and also focuses on a broad range of issues, including transportation and international cooperation in the Cascadia region.

Personal life[edit]

Chapman is a Roman Catholic and is married to Sarah Gilmore Williams, a great-granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt, with whom he has two sons, Adam and Andrew.


  1. ^ In 2005, the most recent available date from the Research and Public Policy Institutions - Discovery Institute by Charity Navigator
  2. ^ Bruce Kerry Chapman, HistoryMakers Biographical Database
  3. ^ Barbara Forrest (May 2007). "Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement: Its True Nature and Goals. A Position Paper from the Center for Inquiry, Office of Public Policy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 30, 2007. Retrieved December 7, 2008. 
  4. ^ Patricia O’Connell Killen, a religion professor at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma whose work centers on the regional religious identity of the Pacific Northwest, recently wrote that "religiously inspired think tanks such as the conservative evangelical Discovery Institute" are part of the "religious landscape" of that area. [1]
  5. ^ Kabaservice, Geoffrey (2012). Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 36. ISBN 9780199768400. 
  6. ^ What is...'Intelligent Design?' Terence Kealey. The Times, UK, December 18, 2004.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Lud Kramer
Secretary of State of Washington
Succeeded by
Ralph Munro
Preceded by
Vincent Barabba
Director of the United States Census Bureau
1981 – 1983
Succeeded by
John G. Keane