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The Hudson Institute is an American conservative 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’. It promotes public policy change in accordance with its stated values of a "commitment to free markets and individual responsibility, confidence in the power of technology to assist progress, respect for the importance of culture and religion in human affairs, and determination to preserve America's national security."
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".
In March 2011, Kenneth R. Weinstein was appointed president and CEO of the institute.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2012)|
Founded 1961 by Herman Kahn, Max Singer, and Oscar Ruebhaused 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[clarification needed] the American workforce would undergo by the year 2000. 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, and in the past, Nina Rosenwald, who, in 2008, invited controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders to the USA. According the The Nation Magazine, 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.
According to its mission statement, the Hudson Institute "challenges conventional thinking and helps manage strategic transitions to the future through interdisciplinary and collaborative studies in defense, international relations, economics, culture, science, technology, and law. Through publications, conferences and policy recommendations, we seek to guide global leaders in government and business."
The Hudson Institute mission statement continues "In the 1970s, Hudson's scholars advocated a turn away from the 'no-growth' policies of the Club of Rome; in the early 1990s, it advised the newly independent Baltic nations on becoming market economies; it assisted in drafting the Wisconsin welfare reform law."
The Institute has taken positions critical of environmentalism. Dennis Avery, as Director of the Hudson's Center for Global Food Issues, has written in opposition to those who favor the adoption of organic agricultural methods.
The Hudson Institute is supported by donations from companies and individuals. Corporate contributors listed in a publication from 2001 included Eli Lilly and Company, Monsanto Company, DuPont, Dow-Elanco, Sandoz, Ciba-Geigy, ConAgra, Cargill, and Procter & Gamble.
Fundraising efforts use testimonials from what the Institute calls its "family of generous supporters and friends", among them, Henry Kissinger, who provides a testimonial: "Hudson Institute is today one of America's foremost policy research centers, in the forefront of study and debate on important domestic and international policy issues, known and respected around the globe, a leader in innovative thinking and creative solutions to the challenges of the present and the future."
While many conservative think tanks eschew government funding, Hudson does take government contracts. The Capital Research Center (CRC) database lists Hudson as having received six grants between 1996 and 2002 totaling $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.)
In 2002, Hudson received a grant of $173,484 from the Department of Commerce.
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. Although several of the organizations listed below no longer exist, notable funding sources listed in the institute's 2002 annual report included::
* Lewis LIbby resigned from his position as a senior advisor after being convicted in United States v. Libby
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."
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.