Lexington Institute

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Lexington Institute
Key people Merrick Carey
Loren B. Thompson
Budget Revenue: $2,350,609
Expenses: $2,220,847
(FYE December 2012)[1]
Location 1600 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia

The Lexington Institute is a non-profit public-policy think tank headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, that focuses on national security, education reform, and U.S. relations with Cuba.

History and positions[edit]

It was founded in 1998 by former Congressman James Courter (R-NJ), former congressional aide Merrick Carey, former Georgetown University professor Loren Thompson, and policy analyst Donald Soifer. Its annual revenues are $2.5 million, and are derived mainly from corporate sponsors, other foundations and private individuals.

The institute's employees are quoted frequently in national media. In 2008 it was rated as the 21st most widely cited think tank in terms of media visibility,[2] although relative to the size of its budget it has been rated as high as number two in the nation.[3] The Institute's mission statement supports "limiting the role of the federal government to those functions explicitly stated or implicitly defined by the Constitution" and "promoting America's ability to project power around the globe." It does not describe itself as "conservative" or "libertarian".[4]

Defense policy[edit]

The Lexington Institute has been called the "defense industry's pay-to-play ad agency", reflecting the fact that it receives substantial funding from military contractors and issues a steady stream of reports, usually favorable, about the performance and status of key weapons programs.[5] However, institute staffers are frequently critical of particular weapons or policies, assailing among other things the Navy's next-generation destroyer, the Army's future troop carrier, a proposed joint replacement for the Humvee light tactical vehicle and most of the acquisition reform measures proposed during the Obama Administration.[citation needed] Media citations frequently note that Lexington staffers have ties to military contractors. Thompson stated, "I'm not going to work on a project unless somebody, somewhere, is willing to pay. This is a business. My bottom line is that if what I write and say is true, it doesn't really matter what my motives are."[6] Thompson is also Chief Executive Officer of a for-profit consulting company headquartered in McLean, Virginia called Source Associates.

Daniel Goure and Thompson are defense analysts. Goure was formerly associated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Thompson was deputy director of Georgetown University's Security Studies Program and taught there for two decades, during which time he received a Ph.D. from the university. Thompson argued in favor of continued C-17 production in 2009 and against this production in 2010.[7] He also taught briefly at Harvard. Thompson has said that the United States is likely to engage in war against Vietnam again and so needs the EFV to storm their beaches.[8] He has also called for a shift in American defense spending towards items such as the Littoral Combat Ship and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II that can be exported to allies.[9] Thompson has said that "The United States cannot continue to spend, especially on defense, the way it has been over the past decade.”[10] Despite being funding by defense contractors, Goure has argued that the use of these contractors is a sign of an army in decline.[11]

Education policy[edit]

In February 2014, the Institute published a report, "Updating Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century." http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/updating-career-and-technical-education-for-the-21st-century-2/

In February 2014, an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch by Lexington Institute education analysts Doug Mesecar and Don Soifer called for broader implementation of performance-based funding models for public education. http://m.timesdispatch.com/opinion/their-opinion/columnists-blogs/guest-columnists/mesecar-and-soifer-education-reform-consider-performance-based-funding/article_27c221d7-9011-5490-baf2-556852b68985.html?mode=jqm

Lexington's research on successful strategies for structured English immersion programs was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2009 Horne v. Flores opinion.[12]

Bob Holland and Don Soifer, policy analysts with the Lexington Institute, have argued that multiculturalism has fostered a decline in the teaching of US History and the rise of Islamic extremism.[13][14]

As a result of his writings, Soifer's 2012 reappointment to the board of the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board was delayed,[15] but Soifer was reconfirmed to serve a second four-year term on the board on December 4, 2012, by a 7-2 vote of the DC Council. [16]

An April 2013 education paper, "Why Blended Learning Can't Stand Still", analyzed best practices at several of the nation's highest performing blended learning public charter and traditional schools.[17]

As one Education Week writer described their findings, "Constant, real-time data monitoring streamlines the formerly arduous task of analyzing student results, giving teachers more time to plan and individualize lessons to accelerate and enhance learning." [18]

Soifer has also published articles arguing that Virginia needs more charter schools, state takeovers of failing schools, and other ways to foster innovation.[19]


The Institute also covers purely political topics. For example, Thompson wrote that most of the candidates in the Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2012 are "unsuited to high office".[20]


The Lexington Institute operates the policy website www.EnergyTrends.org, that focuses on energy use and renewable energy in the United States.

A 2013 Lexington report, "Ensuring the Resilience of the U.S. Electric Grid," argued for strategies to minimize the impact of disruptions to the power grid.[21]


  • Jim Courter, Chairman
  • Merrick Carey, CEO
  • Loren B. Thompson, Chief Operating Officer
  • Don Soifer, Executive Vice President
  • Dan Goure, Vice President
  • Dr. Rebecca Grant, was formally a senior fellow


  1. ^ "Charity Rating". Charity Navigator. 
  2. ^ Right Ebbs, Left Gains as Media 'Experts' (
  3. ^ Media Citations per Dollar (2008) (
  4. ^ Lexington Institute mission statement, accessed December 11, 2012.
  5. ^ Mad men: Introducing the defense industry's pay-to-play ad agency
  6. ^ Mad men: Introducing the defense industry's pay-to-play ad agency
  7. ^ C-17 debate: Loren Thompson vs Loren Thompson
  8. ^ Beach-storming drill returns Marines to roots
  9. ^ The U.S. can't afford unilateral military moves abroad
  10. ^ Spires, Shelby G. "Expert: Federal spending freeze beats alternative." The Sun, 7 February 2011.
  11. ^ Goure, Daniel. "The Sun Has Finally Set On The British Army And We Are Next." Lexington Institute, 6 July 2012.
  12. ^ [1] "Supreme Court of the United States", 25 June 2009 (Page 24, Note 10)
  13. ^ Cook, Alta M. "Students need foundation in basics." The Gazette, 2 October 2011.
  14. ^ "HOLLAND & SOIFER: Multiculturalism fosters isolated communities."
  15. ^ "Council puts hold on charter school board member’s reappointment over articles on multiculturalism."
  16. ^ "Legislative Roundup" www.DCist.com, 05 December 2012.
  17. ^ Sean Kennedy & Don Soifer "Why Blended Learning Can't Stand Still." www.lexingtoninstitue.org 05 April 2013.
  18. ^ Rob Bock "Success of Blended Learning Depends on Innovation, Study Says." www.educationweek.org, 17 April 2013.
  19. ^ Soifer, Don "Soifer: Time For a School Takeover Plan." www.lexingtoninstitute.org, 04 April 2013.
  20. ^ Thompson, Loren B. "If Republicans Don't Pick Romney, Obama Will Win Reelection In A Landslide." www.lexingtoninstitute.org, 10 November 2011.
  21. ^ Thompson, Loren B. "Ensuring The Resilience Of The U.S. Electrical Grid." Lexington Institute, 22 January 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°53′43″N 77°04′38″W / 38.8953°N 77.0771°W / 38.8953; -77.0771