Hudson Institute

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The Hudson Institute is a non-profit think tank headquartered in Washington D.C. Its 2008 IRS form 990 listed $11.8 million in advocacy expenditures. [1]

While describing itself as "non-partisan" and preferring to portray itself as independently "contrarian" rather than as a conservative think tank, the Hudson Institute gains financial support from many of the foundations and corporations that have bankrolled the conservative movement. The Capital Research Center, a conservative group that seeks to rank non-profits and documents their funding, allocates Hudson as a 7 on its ideological spectrum with 8 being "Free Market Right" and 1 "Radical Left." [1]

Hudson has traditionally had a strong focus on U.S. domestic policies such as national defense, education, crime, immigration, welfare, pesticides and biotechnology. However, in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks it has substantially boosted its focus on international issues such as the Middle East, Latin America and Islam.

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Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.


The Institute was founded in 1961 by the late Herman Kahn and his colleagues Max Singer and Oscar Ruebhausen from the RAND Corporation. Initially its policy focus, while right-wing, was dictated by Kahn's own interests (such as domestic and military uses of nuclear power, the future of the US workplace, and the science of "futurology"). Following his death in 1983, the Institute expanded its staff and took on a more overtly conservative stance.

Hudson states in its 2002 annual report that its guiding principles continue "Kahn's optimism about the future, his commitment to free markets and individual responsibility, his belief in the connection between the advance of technology and economic progress, a respect for the importance of religion and culture in human affairs, and his understanding that the prosperity and security of the United States are vital to the prosperity and security of the world." [2]

Hudson insists that its policy positions are not influenced by either its funding sources or ideology. "Whether in domestic policy, national security, or international events, the institute guards its intellectual integrity. Neither dollars nor ideology will sway our opinions. At Hudson Institute, we always strive for the betterment of our world," Walter P. Stern and Herb London wrote in an introductory message in the think tanks 2002 annual report. [3]

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.


The Institute now operates a number of programs - each of which are dubbed as a "center" or "project" - including:

The Hudson Institute also works on medicines issues, arguing for positions very close to those of the large patent-holding drug companies. In particular, one of its Senior Fellows, Carol Adelman, has authored a number of articles attacking the World Health Organization, and NGOs, for approving the use of generic versions of antiretroviral AIDS drugs.


Between 1987 and 2006, the Institute received 273 grants totaling $17,722,643 (unadjusted for inflation) from a range of foundations including:[4]

While many conservative think tanks eschew government funding, Hudson happily takes government contracts. The Capital Research Center (CRC) database lists Hudson as having received six grants between 1996 and 2002 totalling $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). [5]

In 2002 Hudson received a grant of $173,484 from the Department of Commerce. (Rather bizarrely, CRC assigns the Department of Commerce an "ideological ranking" of 1 - "Radical Left").

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. Other known funders listed in the institute's 2002 annual report include:

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 Kenneth R. Weinstein told Businessweek that he was uncertain if the payment should have been disclosed. "That's a good question, period," he said. [6]

Between 2001 and 2010, the Institute received $7 million from the Bradley Foundation[2]


In 2006, Scooter Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, joined Hudson Institute as a senior advisor. Libby, who was convicted as part of the federal investigation into the Valerie PlameGate affair, became a vice president of the Institute. According to the Hudson Institute's 2008 IRS Form 990, Libby was paid an annual salary of $187,000, plus $10,755 in benefits.[3] [4] Later, in 2009, the Institute advocated for a presidential pardon for Scooter Libby.[5] As at October 2005 key Hudson Institute personnel, with pay data from the 2000-2003 IRS return, include:

Executive Management

Other Members of the Executive Commitee

Board of Trustees

The Hudson Institute also has 32 trustees including:

The Hudson Institute also has "Trustee Emeriti" including:


According to the Institute's 2002-2003 IRS return, the five highest paid employees, other than officers, and their total financial compensation, were:

Selected other staff and Fellows

Former personnel

Former board directors include James H. Dowling from the multinational PR firm Burson-Marsteller. Former staff, listed in 2001 IRS return, include include John Curtis Smith, vice president; Patricia Hasselblad, secretary; and Gary Geipel, COO; Betsy Ross, senior fellow; and Edwin S. Rubinstein, senior fellow. Other former staff include: Phyllis Busansky, Welfare Policy Center; David Dodenhoff, Welfare Policy Center; Joshua Kaufmann, Welfare Policy Center; Kay Crawford, restorative justice coordinator of the Crime Control Policy Center; Natalie Hipple, research director at Hudson's Crime Control Policy Center; John Clark, director of Hudson's Center for Central European and Eurasian Studies; Donald K. Jonas, director of Hudson's Center for Workplace Development; Michael Garber, director of Hudson's Education Policy Center; Diana Etindi, director of Hudson's Phoenix Center on Human Relations and Community Affairs; Marshall Wittmann, director of the Project for Conservative Reform; Amy Sherman, director of the Welfare Policy Center.

Contact details

1015 15th Street, N.W. (the Examiner Building (Washington DC), home to numerous conservative organizations)
6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 974-2400
Fax: (202) 974-2410
Email: info AT

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External articles

Emma Schwartz, "Kazakhstan Pays for Academic Reports: Johns Hopkins Institute Says It Had Complete Independence," ABC News, September 29, 2008.


  1. All Expendidures Data, chart/lobbying database, accessed January 20, 2012
  2. Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber, Ben Poston. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. November 28, 2011
  3. Hudson Institute/IRS 2008 Form 990, government reporting form, accessed January 20, 2012
  4. Hudson Institute Communications Lewis Libby Joins Hudson Institute, news release, January 6, 2006
  5. Diana Furchtgott-Roth Pardon Scooter Libby, January 15, 2009