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
Revenue (2013)
Expenses (2013) $10,237,000
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 belief that "America’s unique and central role in the global system offers the best foundation for security, the defense of liberty, and assuring economic growth."[5]

In March 2011, Kenneth R. Weinstein was appointed President and CEO of the Institute.[6]


Founder Herman Kahn

Founded 1961 by Herman Kahn, Max Singer, and Oscar Ruebhausen 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 predicted the changes the American workforce would undergo by the year 2000.[clarification needed] 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.

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",[7] 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,[8] joined by senior fellow Robert M. McDowell.[9][10]

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

James Franklin Jeffrey at a panel discussion on Turkey, the Kurds, and the Middle East

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.[11] One of the center's core projects is "Current Trends in Islamist Ideology", the leading scholarly journal in the field, published since 2005.[12] It is edited by Hillel Fradkin and Hudson senior fellows Husain Haqqani[13] and Eric Brown,[14] along with Hassan Mneimneh, Senior Transatlantic Fellow for MENA and the Islamic World at the German Marshall Fund.[15]

Center for Religious Freedom[edit]

Founded in 1986[16] and housed at Hudson Institute since January 2007,[17] 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.[18] 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[19] and includes among its scholars senior fellows Paul Marshal and Samuel Tadros, and adjunct fellow Lela Gilbert.[20]

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.[21][22] 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,[23] 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,[24] and its staff includes senior fellow Jeremiah Norris.[25][26]

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.[27] The initiative is directed by Christopher DeMuth,[28] a distinguished fellow at Hudson and former president of the American Enterprise Institute.[29]

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.[30][31] It criticizes current obesity approaches as having a one-sided perspective, suffering from a lack of pragmatism, and being ineffective and costly.[32] 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.[33] 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.[34]

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.[35] 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[36] projects while largely ignoring smaller civic associations. The center conducts discussions[37] 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[38] of 1996-97.[39]

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[40] 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[41] on the country's national security.[42]

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.[43] 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,[44] document the harm done by drug abuse, present scientific countermeasures, and present necessary and relevant information to key federal, state, and local policymakers.[45] The center is directed by John P. Walters, Hudson Institute's COO, and senior fellow David W. Murray.[46]

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.[47]


2013 Finances:[1]

Hudson personnel[edit]


  • Kenneth R. Weinstein, President and CEO[48]
  • 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]

  • Sarah May Stern, Chairman
  • Marie-Josée Kravis, Vice Chair and Senior Fellow
  • Walter P. Stern, Chairman Emeritus
  • Allan R. Tessler, Chairman Emeritus
  • Thomas C. Barry
  • Jeffrey L. Berenson
  • Linden Blue
  • Deborah Kahn Cunningham
  • Mitch Daniels
  • Jack David
  • Robert DuPuy
  • Laurence C. Leeds, Jr.
  • Yoji Ohashi
  • Russell Pennoyer
  • William Schweitzer
  • Max Singer
  • Kenneth R. Weinstein
  • Margaret Whitehead
  • Curtin Winsor, Jr.

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.[49]


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."[53]

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.[54]

In 2008, Nina Rosenwald invited controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders to the USA.[55] According to The Nation, 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.[55][56]

Further reading[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Annual Report 2013" (PDF). Hudson Institute. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  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. ^ "About - Hudson Institute". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  5. ^ "Mission Statement - by Hudson Institute". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  6. ^ "Experts - Kenneth R. Weinstein". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  7. ^ "Former FCC Commissioner Launches Free-Market Think Tank". Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  8. ^ "Furchtgott-Roth: Title II Could Mean Internet 'Stealth' Tax". 
  10. ^ "Center for the Economics of the Internet". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "The War on Terrorism: Osama bin Laden and al-Qa'ida - Joyner Library". 
  12. ^ "9/11: What else it taught us". 
  13. ^ "Pakistan must give up its obsession with Kashmir: Ex-envoy Husain Haqqani". timesofindia-economictimes. 
  14. ^ "Beijing's Islamic Complex". The American Interest. 
  15. ^ "Current Trends in Islamist Ideology". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "Preview: R&L Interviews Nina Shea - Acton PowerBlog". Acton Institute PowerBlog. 
  17. ^ "Center for Religious Freedom". 
  18. ^ "Syrian Christians ask Congress: Why is U.S. waging war on us?". The Washingtion Times. 
  19. ^ Los Angeles Times (19 February 2015). "Islamic State's horrible healing power in Egypt". 
  20. ^ "Center for Religious Freedom". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  21. ^ Nick Morrison (18 January 2015). "If Business Wants Better Schools, It Should Dig Deeper". Forbes. 
  22. ^ "Study: U.S. Leads in Private, Charitable Giving". ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome. 
  23. ^ "Australia Rates High in Philanthropic Freedom". 
  24. ^ Capital Flows. "Saudi Arabia's Deportation Of Foreign Workers Will Exacerbate Middle Eastern Economic Weakness". Forbes. 
  25. ^ "Private charity outpaces, outperforms foreign aid". The Washingtion Times. 
  26. ^ "Center for Global Prosperity". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "Open Skies and Open Spectrum". National Review Online. 
  28. ^ "Former AEI president Christopher DeMuth leaves for Hudson Institute - The Washington Post". Washington Post. 
  29. ^ "Initiative on Future Innovation". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  30. ^ Rachel Chason, USATODAY (12 June 2014). "Food labels no guarantee of healthier choices". USA TODAY. 
  31. ^ "Cookie Monster Crumbles" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  32. ^ Hank Cardello. "Calling Obesity a Disease Decreases Incentives to Eat Healthier - US News". US News & World Report. 
  33. ^ "How the Food Industry Can Solve Our Childhood Obesity Crisis". The Atlantic. 
  34. ^ "Obesity Solutions Initiative". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  35. ^ William Schambra. "Saving John’s Carpet House, Saving Civil Society?". 
  36. ^ "Nonprofit Sector Research Fund : Working Paper Series" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  37. ^ Bill Schambra and Lisa Gilbert. "Both Left and Right agree: IRS should clarify political rules for nonprofits". Washington Examiner. 
  38. ^ William Schambra. "The Tyranny of Success: Nonprofits and Metrics". 
  39. ^ "Bradley Center for Philanthropy & Civic Renewal". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  40. ^ "THOMAS STEWART: ISIS may herald return of the Barbary Pirates". The Washingtion Times. 
  41. ^ "Fate of the Tomahawk cruise missile". TheHill. 
  42. ^ "Center for American Seapower". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  43. ^ "Marijuana legalization undermines Obama administration’s health goals". TheHill. 
  44. ^ "JOHN P. WALTERS AND DAVID W. MURRAY: Drug testing welfare recipients: punitive or humane?". The Washingtion Times. 
  45. ^ "David Murray". 
  46. ^ "Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  47. ^ "Kleptocracy Initiative". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  48. ^ "About - Leadership and Staff". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  49. ^ "Hudson Upcoming Events Detail". Hudson Institute. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  50. ^ 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. 
  51. ^ John Walters Hudson Institute Biography
  52. ^ Curtin Winsor Hudson Institute Biography.
  53. ^ Marian Burros, "Eating Well; Anti-Organic, And Flawed", The New York Times, accessed December 14, 2007.
  54. ^ Javers, Eamon (2006-01-13). "A Columnist Backed by Monsanto". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  55. ^ a b Blumenthal, Max. "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate". The Nation Magazine. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  56. ^ Gharib, Ali. "Islamophobe With Militarist Name Attacks Muslims For Militarist Names". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 

External links[edit]

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