American Enterprise Institute

American Enterprise Institute

infobox Organization
name = American Enterprise Institute

size = 300px
abbreviation = AEI
motto = Competition of ideas is fundamental to a free society.
formation = 1943
type = Public Policy Think Tank
headquarters = 1150 Seventeenth Street NW
location = Washington, D.C.
leader_title = President
leader_name = Christopher DeMuth
website = []
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is a conservative think tank, founded in 1943. According to the institute its mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism — limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, and open debate." [ [ "AEI - About AEI"] , "The American Enterprise Institute", Retrieved April 8, 2007.] AEI is an independent, non-profit organization. It is supported primarily by grants and contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals. It is located in Washington, D.C.

AEI has emerged as one of the leading architects of the second Bush administration's public policy. [ [ "Conservative Anger Grows Over Bush's Foreign Policy"] , "Washington Post" [Online Edition] , Retrieved April 9, 2006.] More than twenty AEI alumni and current visiting scholars and fellows have served either in a Bush administration policy post or on one of the government's many panels and commissions. [George W. Bush, [ Speech to AEI] , 26 Feb 2003] Former United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is a visiting scholar, and Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a senior fellow. [ [ "Scholars and Fellows by Name"] , "American Enterprise Institute", retrieved July 5, 2007.]

Political stance

AEI is often cited as a right-leaning counterpart to the left-leaning Brookings Institution. [ [ An insider's guide to the upcoming week] April 30, 2007] [Dana Milbank, “White House Hopes Gas Up A Think Tank: For Center-Right AEI, Bush Means Business,” Washington Post, December 8, 2000, p. A39] In 1998, AEI and Brookings established the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies. [ [ "AEI-Brooking - About Us"] , "AEI-Brookings Joint Center", retrieved April 8, 2006.] In 2006, the two organizations jointly launched the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project. [ [ "AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project"] ]

AEI has connections with the neoconservative movement in American politics. [ [ Battle of the Washington think tanks] 3 April, 2003]
Irving Kristol, widely regarded as the movement's founder, is a Senior Fellow at AEI.

Officers and trustees

AEI's officers are Christopher DeMuth, president; David Gerson, executive vice president; Jason Bertsch, vice president for marketing; Henry Olsen, vice president and director of the National Research Initiative; and Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies. On January 1, 2009, Arthur C. Brooks will succeed DeMuth as the eleventh president of AEI.American Enterprise Institute, " [ Arthur Brooks Selected to Be President of AEI] ," news release, July 14, 2008.]

Its board is chaired by Bruce Kovner. Current notable trustees include:
* Lee R. Raymond, Vice Chairman. The retired Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation
* Christopher DeMuth, a lawyer and President of AEI
* Gordon Binder, the former Chairman and CEO of Amgen
* John V. Faraci, Chairman and CEO of International Paper
* Harlan Crow, Chairman and CEO of Crow Holdings - the Trammell Crow family's investment company
* Christopher Galvin, the former CEO and Chairman of Motorola
* Raymond Gilmartin, the retired Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co.
* William S. Stavropoulos, former Chairman CEO of the Dow Chemical Company
* Harvey Golub, the retired Chairman and CEO of the American Express Company
* Roger Hertog, former President of Sanford C. Bernstein and Company and Vice Chairman of AllianceBernstein
* Robert Pritzker, President of the Pritzker Foundation and Marmon Holdings
* Kevin Rollins, former CEO and President of Dell
* Edward B. Rust Jr., Chairman and CEO of the State Farm Insurance Companies
* James Q. Wilson, university professor and author

AEI has a Council of Academic Advisers, chaired by James Q. Wilson, which includes Martin Feldstein, Gertrude Himmelfarb, R. Glenn Hubbard, Samuel P. Huntington, William M. Landes, Sam Peltzman, George L. Priest, Jeremy A. Rabkin, Murray L. Weidenbaum, and Richard J. Zeckhauser. [American Enterprise Institute, " [,contentID.20038142213500052/default.asp|Trustees, Officers, and Advisers] ," accessed May 31, 2008.]

cholars and fellows

AEI lists their scholars and fellows on their web site. [ [ Scholars and Fellows] ] Some prominent current AEI scholars and fellows include:
*Michael Barone, coauthor of "The Almanac of American Politics"
*John R. Bolton, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
*Arthur C. Brooks, visiting scholar and author of "Gross National Happiness"
*Lynne Cheney, wife of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, AEI senior fellow.
*Ted Frank, director of the AEI Legal Center for the Public Interest
*David Frum, an author and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, is a resident fellow.
*David Gelernter, professor of computer science at Yale University; a victim of the Unabomber.
*Reuel Marc Gerecht is a resident fellow. He is the director of the Project for the New American Century's Middle East Initiative and a former Middle East specialist at the CIA.
*Newt Gingrich, member of the Republican Party and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives between 1995 and 1999, is a senior fellow at AEI focusing on health care (he has founded the Center for Health Transformation), information technology, the military, and politics.
*Scott Gottlieb, former Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs at the Food & Drug Administration
*Michael S. Greve, founder of the Center for Individual Rights, is the John G. Searle Scholar at AEI.
*Kevin Hassett, economic adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain during their presidential campaigns
*Steven Hayward is a resident scholar.
*Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fellow, is a former Dutch politician, women's rights activist and critic of Islamism & Shar'ia Law.
*Leon Kass, former chairman, President's Council on Bioethics
*Frederick Kagan is a military historian and signatory of Project for the New American Century manifesto titled " [ Rebuilding America's Defenses] " (2000) along with his brother Robert (co-founder of the PNAC) and his father and fellow neo-conservative, Donald Kagan.
*Irving Kristol
*Lawrence Lindsey
*Gregory Mankiw
*Allan Meltzer is one of the foremost academics studying monetary policy and the Federal Reserve Bank. He, along with economist Milton Friedman, pioneered monetarism, the now widely accepted theory that inflation is entirely the result of the growth of the money supply. Meltzer is currently working on the second volume of his History of the Federal Reserve.
*Joshua Muravchik is a resident scholar. He researches Middle East politics, democracy, neoconservatism and the history of socialism.
*Charles Murray, an influential policy writer and a researcher, is the W.H. Brady Scholar in Culture and Freedom. He is best known for his work in welfare reform and as the co-author of the controversial 1994 book, "The Bell Curve".
*Michael Novak is the George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy and Public Policy and Director of Social and Political Studies at the institute. He has written extensively about the role of faith in government.
*Norman Ornstein has been a Congressional analyst and political commentator for more than thirty five years.
*Richard Perle served on the United States Defense Policy Board and is a former Assistant Secretary of Defense.
*Danielle Pletka, Vice President, her research areas include the Middle East
*Sally Satel is a psychiatrist and author of "PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness is Corrupting Medicine."
*Christina Hoff Sommers is a critic of the feminist movement. She is the author of "Who Stole Feminism" and "The War Against Boys".
*Peter Wallison was general counsel of the United States Department of the Treasury and counsel to president Ronald Reagan; in a 1999 New York Times article, he predicted many of the components of the 2008 financial crisis. [ [ "Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending." Steven A. Holmes, "The New York Times" September 30, 1999] ]
*Ben Wattenberg, a speechwriter for President Lyndon B. Johnson, is a senior fellow.
*Paul Wolfowitz (Visiting Scholar), A "major architect of President Bush's Iraq policy and, within the [George W. Bush] Administration, its most passionate and compelling advocate." [ [ "The Believer: Paul Wolfowitz defends his war." Peter J. Boyer, "The New Yorker" November 1, 2004] retrieved 4 July 2004]
*John Yoo, formerly of the Office of Legal Counsel, and a professor at Berkeley Law, is a visiting scholar.

Former scholars

*Robert Bork, former resident fellow, Supreme Court nominee
*Jeffrey Gedmin, former resident scholar and Executive Director of AEI’s New Atlantic Initiative, current President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
*James K. Glassman, under secretary of state for public diplomacy and founder of, was a senior fellow until 2008.
*Alan Keyes, former Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, is a former AEI resident scholar.
*Jeane Kirkpatrick was the former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was an AEI senior fellow until she died in 2006.
*Michael Ledeen left AEI in 2008 after twenty years as a scholar at the institute. ["Laura Rozen, " [ Michael Ledeen Leaves AEI] ," Mother Jones Blog, August 15, 2008.]
*Fred Thompson, television and film actor, currently appearing on the television show "Law & Order", former U.S. Senator, and former Republican presidential primary candidate, was a visiting fellow.

Global warming

AEI staff and fellows have been frequent critics of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international scientific body tasked to evaluate the risk of climate change caused by human activity. [ [ AEI - Short Publications - Climate Change Science ] ] [ [ AEI - Short Publications - Climate Change Policy after the G8 Summit ] ] In February 2007, a number of sources, including the British newspaper "The Guardian", reported that the AEI had sent letters to scientists offering US$10,000 plus travel expenses and additional payments, asking them to critique the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. The letters alleged that the IPCC was "resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work" and asked for essays that "thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs." [cite news | last = Sample | first = Ian | title = Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study | publisher = The Guardian |date = 2007-02-02 | url =,,2004397,00.html| accessdate = 2007-02-04] [cite news
title = AEI Critiques of Warming Questioned: Think Tank Defends Money Offers to Challenge Climate Report
url =
publisher = The Washington Post
] [cite web
last = American Enterprise Institute
title = Untitled letter
publisher = ThinkProgress
url =|accessdate = 2007-02-04
] According to the "Guardian" article, the AEI received $1.6 million in funding from ExxonMobil. The article further notes that former ExxonMobil CEO Lee R. Raymond is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees. This story was repeated by "Newsweek", which drew criticism from columnist Robert J. Samuelson because "this accusation was long ago discredited, and "Newsweek" shouldn't have lent it respectability. (The company says it knew nothing of the global-warming grant, which involved issues of climate modeling. And its 2006 contribution to the think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, was small: $240,000 out of a $28 million budget.)" [Cite news|author=Robert J. Samuelson| title=Greenhouse Simplicities | publisher="Newsweek"|date=2007-08-20 |page=47]

The Guardian article was disputed both by AEI [ [,filter.all/pub_detail.asp "Climate Controversy and AEI: Facts and Fictions"] , "American Enterprise Institute Online", Retrieved April 9, 2006 ] and in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal. [ [ "Global Warming Smear"] ] The rebuttals claimed factual errors and distortions, noting the ExxonMobil funding was spread out over a ten-year period and totaled less than 1% of AEI's budget. The Wall Street Journal editorial stated "AEI doesn't lobby, didn't offer money to scientists to question global warming, and the money it did pay for climate research didn't come from Exxon."

AEI denies that the organization is skeptical about global warming. Criticizing the story as part of a "climate inquisition" published in "the left-wing press", the AEI's Steven Hayward and Kenneth Green wrote in the "The Weekly Standard":

[I] t has never been true that we ignore mainstream science; and anyone who reads AEI publications closely can see that we are not "skeptics" about warming. It is possible to accept the general consensus about the existence of global warming while having valid questions about the extent of warming, the consequences of warming, and the appropriate responses. In particular, one can remain a policy skeptic, which is where we are today, along with nearly all economists. [cite journal
author = Hayward, Steven F. & Kenneth P. Green
date = February 19, 2007
title = Scenes from the Climate Inquisition: The chilling effect of the global warming consensus
journal = The Weekly Standard
volume = 012
issue = 22
url =

Hayward has described efforts to reduce global warming as being "based on exaggerations and conjecture rather than science." [ [ AEI - Short Publications - Acclimatizing ] ] He also has stated that "even though the leading scientific journals are thoroughly imbued with environmental correctness and reject out of hand many articles that don’t conform to the party line, a study that confounds the conventional wisdom is published almost every week." [,pubID.24401/pub_detail.asp How to Think Sensibly, or Ridiculously, about Global Warming] ] Green has referred to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as "the positively silly idea of establishing global-weather control by actively managing the atmosphere’s greenhouse-gas emissions," and endorsed Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear for having "educated millions of readers about climate science." [ [ Kenneth Green on Global Warming on National Review Online ] ]

AEI President Chris DeMuth accepts that the earth has warmed in recent decades, but states that "it's not clear why this happened" and charges that the IPCC "has tended to ignore many distinguished physicists and meteorologists whose work casts doubt on the influence of greenhouse gases on global temperature trends." [ [ The Kyoto Treaty Deserved to Die - Print Version ] ] AEI fellow James Glassman also disputes the prevailing scientific opinion on climate change, having written numerous articles criticizing the Kyoto accords and climate science more generally for Tech Central Station. [ [ "Meet the Press" by Nicholas Confessore ] ] He has supported the views of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, an outspoken skeptic of human-caused climate change, [ [ Certainty of Catastrophic Global Warming is a Hoax by James K. Glassman - Capitalism Magazine ] ] and, like Green, cites Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear which "casts serious doubt on global warming and extremists who espouse it." [ [,pubID.21703/pub_detail.asp AEI - Short Publications - Global Warming ] ] Joel Schwartz, an AEI Visiting Fellow, states: "The Earth has indeed warmed during the last few decades and may warm further in the future. But the pattern of climate change is not consistent with the greenhouse effect being the main cause." []


External links

* [ Official Website] .
* [ "The American" print magazine] . Formerly The American Enterprise (TAE) magazine
*Benjamin Wallace-Wells, [ "In the Tank: The intellectual decline of AEI"] , "Washington Monthly", December 2003
*Christopher DeMuth, [ "Think-Tank Confidential: What I learned during two decades as head of America's most influential policy shop"] , "", October 11, 2007

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