American Enterprise Institute

American Enterprise Institute (AEI)


The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), or American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, is one of the richest and most influential think tanks in the U.S. having received significant funding from conservative foundations and large corporations. AEI's areas of concern include foreign and domestic policy which includes the issue of global warming. [1]

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) describes itself as a “private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare,” with their primary research divisions being Economics, Foreign and Defense Policy, Politics and Public Opinion, Education, Health, Energy and the Environment and Society and Culture. They are a “community of scholars and supporters committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity and strengthening free enterprise.” [2]

While AEI states that “As a tax-exempt educational organization governed by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, AEI is generally prohibited from attempting to influence legislation in the U.S. Congress or other legislative bodies,” they also state that individual scholars and fellows “frequently do take positions on policy and other issues, including explicit advocacy for or against legislation currently being considered by the Congress.” However, AEI asserts that when they do, “they speak for themselves and not for AEI or its trustees or other scholars or employees.”  [2]

Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets described AEI as an avid opponent of the Kyoto protocol, as well as most other environmental regulations. AEI climate science skeptics have included James K. Glassman, also of ExxonMobil-funded Tech Central StationExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond is a previous member of AEI's board of trustees.  [1][3]

Stance on Climate Change

“The key features of the climate change debate are large degrees of uncertainty and a long time horizon. Although it is fairly well-established that the Earth's atmosphere has warmed somewhat (one degree Fahrenheit) during the past century, it's not clear why this happened. The warming may have been due to human impositions (the burning of fossil fuels and other incidents of industrial growth), or to natural solar or climate variations, or to some of each. Whatever the causes, we don't know if future warming trends will be large or small, or whether the net environmental and economic consequences (including both beneficial and harmful effects) may be large or small.” [4]

The American Enterprise Institute's head of energy studies, Benjamin Zycher, has suggested there is doubt about man-made climate change: [5]

“The issue of the climate sensitivity of the atmosphere to increasing GHG concentrations is nowhere near resolution.”
“[T]ornado, hurricane, and cyclone activity are at historically low levels, wildfires are in a long-term decline except in government forests, there is no trend in sea-levels related to increases in GHG concentrations, the record of the Arctic ice cover is ambiguous, there is no drought trend since 1895, and the same is true for flooding over the last 85-127 years.”
Leading economist Jeffrey Sachs discusses Zycher's claims in an article in the Huffington Post, titled “How the AEI Distorts the Climate Debate,” where he challenges the AEI  “to come clean.” Sachs wrote:
The AEI, despite its roster of distinguished academics, has failed to be constructive in the climate debate. It's time that the AEI puts forward a strategy to achieve the globally agreed objective of avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. [6]
According to Mark J. Perry, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, “Hydraulic fracking causes environmental damage, greater use of shale gas will exacerbate climate change, and the natural gas carried by the pipelines is not intended for American consumers but rather will go to export markets. Each of these three claims is completely baseless.” [7]


Below is a summary of data compiled from the Conservative Transparency database for “The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research”: [8]

As Donor

Foundation for Defense of Democracies $943,167
University System of Maryland $183,124
Grand Total $1,126,291

As Recipient

Aequus Institute $4,000  
American Petroleum Institute $110,000 **
Armstrong Foundation $50,000  
Arthur N. Rupe Foundation $10,000  
Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation $10,000  
Castle Rock Foundation $690,000  
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation $1,777,289  
CIGNA Foundation $3,030,000  
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $750,000  
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation $9,000  
Donors Capital Fund $22,808,744 ***
DonorsTrust $309,850 ***
Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking $341,400  
Earhart Foundation $1,118,800  
Exxon Mobil $3,615,000 *
F.M. Kirby Foundation $329,000  
George Edward Durell Foundation $115,000  
Intel Corporation $15,000  
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $200,000  
JM Foundation $140,000  
John M. Olin Foundation $8,007,124  
John Templeton Foundation $1,309,086  
John William Pope Foundation $45,000  
Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld Foundation $25,000  
Kovner Foundation $19,850,000  
Lovett and Ruth Peters Foundation $115,000  
Lowndes Foundation $30,000  
Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker Foundation $155,000  
Paul E. Singer Foundation $1,212,000  
Peter G. Peterson Foundation $200,000  
Philip M. McKenna Foundation $137,000  
PhRMA $675,000  
Ravenel And Elizabeth Curry Foundation $585,000  
Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation $845,000  
Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust $4,000  
Ruth & Lovett Peters Foundation $35,000  
Sarah Scaife Foundation $8,911,000  
Scaife Family Foundation $590,000  
Searle Freedom Trust $8,044,000  
Smith Richardson Foundation $11,056,676  
Stuart Family Foundation $68,500  
The Carthage Foundation $900,000  
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $20,245,297  
The Randolph Foundation $754,500  
The Robertson-Finley Foundation $20,000  
The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation $10,000  
True Foundation $5,000  
Walton Family Foundation $267,900  
William E. Simon Foundation $437,500  
William H. Donner Foundation $414,500  
Grand Total $120,387,166  

According to ExxonSecrets, AEI received $3,615,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [1]

** Updated with data from publicly available 990 forms available at the Economic Research Institute.

*** According to IRS forms analyzed by Greenpeace. See DeSmogBlog's respective Donor Capital Fund (DCF) and Donors Trust (DT) pages for details.

The AEI was sixth on a list of organizations that received the highest climate skeptic funding between 2011 and 2013, reaching $5.7 million in total, The Guardian reports in their article titled “Secretive donors gave US climate denial groups $125m over three years” that examines money flows from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. [9]

Key People

Board of Trustees

AEI is governed by a Board of Trustees, composed of “leading business and financial executives”: [10]
  • Tully M. Friedman — Chairman. Chairman and CEO, Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, LLC
  • Daniel A. D’Aniello — Vice Chairman.  Chairman and Co-Founder, The Carlyle Group
  • Clifford S. Asness — Managing and Founding Principal, AQR Capital Management
  • Gordon M. Binder — Managing Director, Coastview Capital, LLC
  • Arthur C. Brooks — President and Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Free Enterprise, American Enterprise Institute
  • The Honorable Richard B. Cheney
  • Peter H. Coors —  Vice Chairman of the Board,  Molson Coors Brewing Company
  • Harlan Crow — Chairman and CEO, Crow Holdings
  • Ravenel B. Curry III —  Chief Investment Officer, Eagle Capital Management, LLC
  • Elisabeth (Betsy) DeVos 
  • John V. Faraci —  Chairman, International Paper
  • Christopher B. Galvin —  Chairman, Harrison Street Capital, LLC
  • Raymond V. Gilmartin —  Chairman and CEO, Retired, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Harvey Golub —  Retired Chairman and CEO, American Express Company.  Chairman, Miller Buckfire
  • Robert F. Greenhill —  Founder and Chairman, Greenhill & Co., Inc.
  • Frank J. Hanna —  Hanna Capital, LLC
  • John K. Hurley —  Founder and Managing Partner, Cavalry Asset Management
  • Seth A. Klarman —  President and CEO, The Baupost Group, LLC
  • Bruce Kovner —  Chairman,  Caxton Alternative Management, LP
  • Marc S. Lipschultz —  Partner,  Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
  • John A. Luke Jr. —  Chairman and CEO, MeadWestvaco Corporation
  • George L. Priest —  Yale Law School
  • Kevin B. Rollins —  Retired CEO, Dell, Inc.
  • Matthew K. Rose — Executive Chairman, BNSF Railway Company
  • Edward B. Rust Jr. —  Chairman and CEO, State Farm Insurance Companies
  • D. Gideon Searle —  Managing Partner, The Serafin Group, LLC
  • Mel Sembler —  Founder and Chairman,  The Sembler Company
  • Wilson H. Taylor —  Chairman Emeritus, Cigna Corporation
  • William H. Walton —  Managing Member, Rockpoint Group, LLC
  • Marilyn Ware —  Chairman, Ret. American Water Works
  • Richard B. Madden — Emeritus Trustee
  • Robert H. Malott — Emeritus Trustee
  • Paul F. Oreffice — Emeritus Trustee
  • Henry Wendt — Emeritus Trustee

Council of Academic Advisors

According to the AEI website, its Council of Academic Advisers is “chaired by Yale Law School Professor George L. Priest and including distinguished academics from a variety of policy-related fields, advises AEI’s president on the Institute’s research agenda, publications, and appointments, and each year selects the recipient of the Irving Kristol Award.” [11]

  • George L. Priest (Chairman) — Edward J. Phelps Professor of Law and Economics ,Yale Law School
  • Alan J. Auerbach — Robert D. Burch Professor of Economics and Law, University of California, Berkeley
  • Eliot Cohen —  Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
  • Eugene F. Fama — Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
  • Martin Feldstein —  George F. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Aaron L. Friedberg — Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Robert P. George — McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Director, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University
  • Eric A. Hanushek — Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  • R. Glenn Hubbard — Dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School
  • Walter Russell Mead — James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities, Bard College
  • John L. Palmer — University Professor and Dean Emeritus, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • Mark Pauly — Bendheim Professor, Professor of Health Care Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Sam Peltzman — Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
  • Jeremy A. Rabkin — Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Harvey S. Rosen — John L. Weinberg Professor of Economics and Business Policy, Princeton University
  • Richard J. Zeckhauser — Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University


As of August, 2015, AEI's listed “Officers” included: [12]

  • Arthur C. Brooks — President
  • David Gerson — Executive Vice President
  • Jason Bertsch — Senior Vice President, Development and Communications
  • Danielle Pletka — Senior Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies
  • Toby Stock — Vice President, Development and Academic Programs

National Council

According to AEI, “Members of AEI's National Council are business and community leaders from all over the country who are committed to the values and success of the Institute.  They are ambassadors for AEI and provide us with advice, insight, and guidance as we look to reach out to new friends around the country.” [13]

(*Denotes National Council Co-Chair)

  • Randy P. Kendrick
  • Curtis F. Bradbury, Jr. — Chief Operating Officer, Stephens
  • Kenneth Broad
  • Spencer Fleischer
  • Sue Koffel
  • Dan O’Keefe*
  • Mark Carlin* —  Executive Vice President,  Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc.
  • Peter B. Clark
  • Robert A. Eckert — Mattel, Inc.
  • Christian A. Felipe
  • Joel and Stella Freedman*
  • Josh Friedman
  • Heather and Paul G. Haaga* — Kip Hagopian
  • Richard A. Kayne* — Chief Executive Officer, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, Inc.
  • Bob Lowe
  • Harry T. McMahon — Executive Vice Chairman, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Peter Nolan*
  • Andy Puzder*
  • Richard J. Riordan*
  • Richard and Allison Roeder*
  • Marc Stern
  • Sheldon M. Stone
  • Gene Sykes
  • Gary L. Wilson — General Partner, Manhattan Pacific Partners
  • Henry Gordon — President, Strata Resources Inc.
  • John and Carrie Morgridge* — Morgridge Foundation
  • Donald and Susan Sturm — Sturm Financial Group
  • James L. Haskel
  • Shelly and Michael Kassen
  • John and Karin Kukral*
  • Linda McMahon* — Principal and former Chief Executive Officer, World Wrestling Entertainment
  • Lou Oberndorf
  • Steven Price — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Townsquare Media, Inc.
  • Robert K. Steel
  • Barry S. Sternlicht  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Starwood Capital Group
  • Michael Sullivan — Point72 Asset Management
District of Columbia
  • John D. Baker
  • Thilo Best* — Principal, Bayshore Retirement Partners
  • Nancy and Gary Chartrand*
  • Troy and Elizabeth Fowler — Board of Directors, Triad Foundation
  • Martin L. Garcia
  • Steven T. Halverson
  • D. Scott Luttrell — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, LCM Group, Inc.
  • Patrick and Charlene Neal* — Neal Communities
  • Peter S. Rummell*  — Chief Executive Officer, Rummell Company LLC
  • James M. Seneff* —  Executive Chairman, CNL Financial Group, Inc.
  • W. Ross Singletary II — Managing Partner, Arcus Capital Partners
  • Mary Lou and John Dasburg 
  • Lewis M. Eisenberg* — Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
  • Donald V. Fites
  • Robert B. and Janet A. Hoffman* — Double V Trust Funds
  • Rodger R. Krouse* — Co-Chief Executive Officer, Sun Capital Partners, Inc.
  • Howard H. Leach — President, Leach Capital, LLC
  • Daniel N. Mezzalingua* — Acquisitions Analyst, FTO
  • Bill and Linda Stavropoulos
  • Steven Shafran
  • Susan Crown and William Kunkler
  • Richard Driehaus
  • Ronald J. Gidwitz — Principal, GCG Partners
  • Judson and Joyce Green
  • David G. Herro*
  • Martin P. Hughes
  • Richard M. Jaffee
  • Michael L. Keiser* — Co-Founder, Recycled Paper Greetings, Inc
  • Yvette and Lou Klobuchar Jr.
  • Sylvie Lègére and Todd Ricketts
  • Richard H. Lenny*
  • Alec Litowitz*
  • Barry L. MacLean* — President and Chief Executive Officer, MacLean-Fogg Company
  • Robert and Mary McCormack
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Murley
  • Philip and Judy Nussbaum*
  • Mayari Pritzker — President, Robert and Mayari Pritzker Family Foundation
  • Philip J. Purcell
  • David K. Reyes
  • John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe
  • Muneer Satter* —  Founder, Satter Investment Management, LLC
  • Jeffrey L. Silverman — Chairman and Co-Founder, Agman Partners
  • Rob Taylor
  • Carl Thoma — Managing Partner, Thoma Bravo, LLC
  • John and Carol Walter*
  • Joe Craft and Kelly Knight*
  • Bill Achtmeyer* — Chairman and Managing Partner, The Parthenon Group
  • Christopher F. Egan*
  • John Kingston
  • M. Holt Massey
  • James F. Mooney* — Partner, The Baupost Group, LLC
  • Geoffrey S. Rehnert* — Co-Chief Executive Officer, Audax Group
  • Thomas S. Roberts — Managing Director, Summit Partners
  • Roger T. Servison Fidelity Investments
  • Thomas P. Stossel and Kerry Maguire
  • Sam and Marilyn Fox* — Founder, Harbour Group
  • Thomas Hillman
  • Scott Zajac
  • F. Joseph Daugherty, MD*
  • Paul and June Schorr
New York
  • Erwin and Nancy Aulis*
  • Eric Cantor* — Former House Majority Leader. Vice Chairman, Moelis & Company
  • Russell L. Carson* — General Partner, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe
  • John K. Castle — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Castle Harlan, Inc.
  • Martin Cohen — Executive Chairman, Cohen & Steers
  • David Coulter — Vice Chairman, Warburg Pincus
  • Anthony J. de Nicola — Co-President, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe
  • Michael A. Delaney — Managing Partner, Court Square Capital Partners
  • Kurt Dudas — Ehrenkranz Partners
  • Martin C. Eltrich* — Partner, AEA Investors
  • John Evangelakos — Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP
  • Sean M. Fieler* — General Partner, Equinox Partners, LP
  • Edward C. Forst — President and Chief Executive Officer, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.
  • Kenneth H. and Yvonne S. Hannan* — Colonial Navigation Co. Inc.
  • Ed and Helen Hintz* — Hintz Capital Management
  • Ken Hirsh
  • John W. Holman, III — Managing Director, Eagle Capital Management, LLC
  • Paul J. Isaac* — Arbiter Partners
  • J. Christopher Kojima — Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • Stephen M. Kotran — Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP
  • William Kourakos — Perella Weinberg Partners
  • Ken Langone
  • Bill Laverack — Laverack Capital Partners
  • Daniel S. Loeb* — Chief Executive Officer, Third Point LLC
  • Geoffrey and Melissa Bradshaw-Mack
  • Michael E. Martino* — Co-Founder, Mason Capital Management
  • Kenneth B. Mehlman — Member & Global Head of Public Affairs, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
  • Alex Navab*   Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
  • Robert H. NiehausGCP Capital Partners LLC
  • Richard R. Ong — Managing Director, Eagle Capital Management, LLC
  • Craig Overlander — Chief Executive Officer, Société Générale Americas
  • David N. Roberts* — Senior Managing Director, Angelo, Gordon & Co.
  • Robert Rosenkranz — Chairman,  Delphi Financial Group
  • Robert P. Ryan — Elliott Management Corporation
  • Nathan E. Saint-Amand, M.D.*
  • Steven Shapiro — GoldenTree Asset Management
  • Steven Tananbaum
  • Ryan Taylor
  • Robert H. Castellini* — Chairman, Castellini Company
  • Dan and Kellie Peters The Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation
  • Jeff Wyler — Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Wyler Automotive Family
  • Mark Dorman — Managing Director, Endeavour Capital
South Carolina
  • Bud Watts
  • Bayard Boyle, Jr.* — Chairman, Boyle Investment Group
  • Jay Adair*
  • James D. CarrekerJDC Holdings
  • Michael J. Fourticq, Sr.* — Hancock Park Associates
  • Mark D. Gibson — Executive Managing Director, HFF, L.P.
  • Amy Korenvaes* — President, Harlan and Amy Korenvaes Family Foundation
  • Harlan B. Korenvaes* — Korenvaes Capital Management
  • Joanie and Don McNamara
  • Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr*
  • Allen and Kelli Questrom*
  • Anne and Rob Raymond*
  • Robert Rowling
  • Ray and Heather Washburne — Charter Holdings
  • Greg Miller* — Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation
  • James H. Donovan* — Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
  • Ivor Massey, Jr. — Triad LC
  • Maria and Brent Frei
  • Jon D. Hammes* — Hammes Company
  • James C. Rahn — President, Kern Family Foundation
  • Dick Uihlein*CEO, Uline


  • J. Joe Ricketts*
  • Dan Schultejann — Chief Executive Officer, Automation-X Corporation


As of August, 2015, AEI listed the following “Scholars” on their website: [14]

  • Joseph Antos — Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy
  • Leon Aron — Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies
  • Michael Auslin  — Resident Scholar
  • Claude Barfield — Resident Scholar
  • Michael Barone — Resident Fellow
  • Roger Bate — Visiting Scholar
  • Richard Bennett — Visiting Fellow, AEI Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy
  • Walter Berns (1919-2015) — Resident Scholar, Emeritus
  • Andrew G. Biggs — Resident Scholar
  • Edward Blum —  Visiting Fellow
  • Dan Blumenthal — Director of Asian Studies and Resident Fellow
  • John R. Bolton — Senior Fellow
  • Karlyn Bowman — Senior Fellow and Research Coordinator
  • Alex Brill — Resident Fellow
  • Arthur C. Brooks — President
  • James C. Capretta — Visiting Fellow
  • Timothy P. Carney — Visiting Fellow, Culture of Competition Project
  • Lynne V. Cheney —  Senior Fellow
  • Edward Conard — Visiting Scholar
  • Kevin C. Corinth —  Research Fellow in Economic Policy Studies
  • Maura Corrigan — Visiting Fellow
  • Mike Daniels —  Visiting Fellow in the Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy
  • Sadanand Dhume —  Resident Fellow
  • Robert Doar — Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies 
  • Thomas Donnelly —  Resident Fellow and Co-Director of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies 
  • Mackenzie Eaglen —  Resident Fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies 
  • Nicholas Eberstadt —  Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy
  • Jeffrey Eisenach — Visiting Scholar.  Director, Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy
  • Flavio Felice AEI Adjunct Scholar, Pontifical Lateran University (Rome)
  • R. Richard Geddes — Visiting Scholar Cornell University
  • James K. Glassman — Visiting Fellow
  • Jonah Goldberg — Fellow
  • Aspen Gorry — Visiting Scholar
  • Scott Gottlieb — Resident Fellow 
  • Phil Gramm — Visiting Scholar
  • Mary Habeck — Visiting Scholar
  • Kevin A. Hassett —  State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair in American Politics and Culture and Director of Economic Policy Studies 
  • Robert B. Helms — Resident Scholar 
  • Frederick M. Hess — Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies
  • R. Glenn Hubbard — Visiting Scholar 
  • William Inglee —  Visiting Fellow, Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies, AEI
  • Kevin J. James — Research Fellow, Center on Higher Education Reform
  • Matthew H. Jensen — Managing Director, Open-Source Policy Center
  • Frederick W. Kagan —  Christopher DeMuth Chair and Director, Critical Threats Project
  • Leon R. Kass — Madden-Jewett Chair
  • Andrew P. KellyAEI Resident Scholar and Director, AEI Center on Higher Education Reform
  • Paul H. Kupiec — Resident Scholar
  • Jon Kyl — Visiting Fellow
  • Desmond Lachman — Resident Fellow
  • Roslyn Layton — Visiting Fellow at AEI's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy
  • Adam Lerrick — Visiting Scholar
  • Phillip Lohaus — Research Fellow, Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies
  • John H. Makin (1943-2015) — Resident Scholar
  • Nat Malkus — Research Fellow, Education Policy Studies
  • Aparna Mathur — Resident Scholar, Jacobs Associate
  • Michael Mazza — Research Fellow, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies
  • J. Matthew McInnis — Resident Fellow
  • Michael Q. McShane — Adjunct Fellow, Education Policy Studies
  • Thomas P. Miller —  Resident Fellow
  • Charles MurrayW. H. Brady Scholar
  • Lindsey R. NeasAEI Research Fellow, Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies
  • Roger F. Noriega —  Visiting Fellow
  • Stephen D. Oliner — Resident Scholar and Codirector of AEI's International Center on Housing Risk
  • Norman J. Ornstein — Resident Scholar
  • Mark J. Perry — Scholar
  • James Pethokoukis — Editor, AEIdeas DeWitt Wallace Fellow
  • Tomas J. Philipson — Visiting Scholar
  • Edward J. Pinto — Resident Fellow and Codirector of AEI's International Center on Housing Risk
  • Danielle Pletka — Senior Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies
  • Alex J. Pollock — Resident Fellow
  • Ramesh Ponnuru — Visiting Fellow
  • Angela Rachidi —  Research Fellow, Poverty Studies
  • Vincent R. Reinhart — Visiting Scholar
  • Gerard Robinson — Resident Fellow, Education Policy Studies
  • Dalibor Rohac — Research Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies
  • Michael Rubin — Resident Scholar
  • Sally Satel — Resident Scholar
  • Gary J. Schmitt — Resident Scholar, Co-Director of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies and Director of the Program on American Citizenship
  • Mark Schneider — Visiting Scholar
  • David Schoenbrod — Visiting Scholar
  • Derek Scissors — Resident Scholar
  • Sita Nataraj Slavov — Visiting Scholar
  • Vincent H. Smith — Visiting Scholar
  • Christina Hoff Sommers — Resident Scholar
  • Katharine B. Stevens —  Research Fellow, Education Policy Studies
  • Thomas Peter Stossel — Visiting Scholar
  • Michael R. Strain — Resident Scholar and Deputy Director of Economic Policy Studies
  • Phillip Swagel — Visiting Scholar
  • Bret Swanson — Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy Visiting Fellow
  • Jim Talent —  AEI Senior Fellow Director, National Security 2020 Project, Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies
  • Shane Tews — Visiting Fellow with AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy
  • Marc A. Thiessen — Fellow
  • Stan Veuger — Resident Scholar
  • Alan D. Viard — Resident Scholar
  • Peter J. Wallison — Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies
  • W. Bradford Wilcox — Wendell L. Willkie II AEI Visiting Fellow
  • Paul Wolfowitz — Visiting Scholar
  • John Yoo — Visiting Scholar
  • Roger I. Zakheim — Visiting Fellow
  • Madeline Zavodny AEI Adjunct Scholar, Agnes Scott College
  • Weifeng Zhong — Research Fellow, Economic Policy Studies
  • Katherine Zimmerman — Research Fellow
  • Joel M. Zinberg — Visiting Scholar
  • Benjamin Zycher — John G. Searle Chair

Board of Trustees (Past Trustees)

AEI's Board of Trustees has included representatives from major corporations, including Lee R. Raymond (the Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation) who once served as “chairman” at AEI[15]

Past members, as of January 2012, were as follows: [16]

  • Arthur C. Brooks — President, American Enterprise Institute.
  • Kevin B. Rollins — Chairman, AEI. Senior Adviser, TPG Capital.
  • Tully M. Friedman — Vice Chairman, AEI. Chairman and CEO, Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, LLC.
  • Gordon M. Binder — Managing Director, Coastview Capital, LLC.
  • Richard B. Cheney.
  • Harlan Crow — Chairman and CEO, Crow Holdings.
  • Ravenel B. Curry III — Chief Investment Officer, Eagle Capital Management, LLC.
  • Daniel A. D'Aniello — Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Carlyle Group.
  • John V. Faraci — Chairman and CEO, International Paper Company.
  • Christopher B. Galvin — Chairman, Harrison Street Capital, LLC.
  • Raymond V. Gilmartin — Harvard Business School.
  • Harvey Golub — Retired Chairman and CEO, American Express Company, Chairman, Miller Buckfire.
  • Robert F. Greenhill — Founder and Chairman, Greenhill & Co. Inc.
  • Frank J. Hanna — Hanna Capital, LLC.
  • Bruce Kovner — Chairman, Caxton Associates, LP.
  • Marc S. Lipschultz — Partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
  • John A. Luke Jr. — Chairman and CEO, MeadWestvaco Corporation.
  • J. Peter Ricketts — President and Director, Platte Institute for Economic Research, Inc.
  • Edward B. Rust Jr. — Chairman and CEO, State Farm Insurance Companies.
  • D. Gideon Searle — Managing Partner, The Serafin Group, LLC.
  • Mel Sembler — Founder and Chairman, The Sembler Company.
  • Wilson H. Taylor — Chairman Emeritus, Cigna Corporation.
  • William H. Walton — Managing Member, Rockpoint Group, LLC.
  • William L. Walton — Rappahannock Ventures LLC.
  • Marilyn Ware — Ware Family Office.
  • James Q. Wilson — Boston College and Pepperdine University.

Council of Academic Advisors (2012)

As of February, 2012, the American Enterprise Institute listed the following members of their “Council of Academic Advisors”: [17]

  • James Q. Wilson — Chairman
  • Alan J. Auerbach
  • Eliot Cohen
  • Eugene F. Fama
  • Martin Feldstein
  • Aaron L. Friedberg
  • Robert P. George
  • Gertrude Himmelfarb
  • R. Glenn Hubbard
  • John L. Palmer
  • Sam Peltzman
  • George L. Priest
  • Jeremy A. Rabkin
  • Richard J. Zeckhauser

Officers (2012)

As of February, 2012, the American Enterprise Institute listed the following “Officers” on their website:  [18]

  • Arthur C. Brooks — President.
  • David Gerson — Executive Vice President.
  • Jason Bertsch — Vice President, Development.
  • Henry Olsen — Vice President, Director of the National Research Initiative.
  • Danielle Pletka — Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies.

Notable Past Scholars

A full list of AEI scholar's is available here. The following are notable examples:

James K. Glassman, known for hosting “TCS Daily,” a publication of  Tech Central Station, is a past “DeWitt Wallace Fellow” of AEI. He is no longer listed on their site.  [15]


June, 2015

Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Brian Schatz of Hawaii visited the AEI to discuss a proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions by taxing them. AEI's head of energy studies, Benjamin Zycher, argued that the carbon tax would have minimal benefit.
As reported by the AEI, “Zycher argued against the senators’ carbon tax plan, arguing that their emphasis on global benefits led to flawed measurement of the social cost of carbon emissions, that the impact on temperatures would be minimal, and that the rest of the world would have an incentive to free-ride at the expense of the US.” [19]
Chad Stone, chief economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, commented that Zycher's view was “based on a very skeptical reading of the scientific evidence on global warming and a worldview in which, with rare exceptions like national defense, government activities are almost always rooted in special-interest politics and almost always destructive. That position won't likely change, and it doesn't make adherents receptive to a carbon tax of any kind.” [20]
April 21, 2015
The AEI's Scholar Mark J. Perry comments on “18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around 1970 when the 'green holy day' (aka Earth Day) started.” With reference to issues like climate change, Perry comments that the “hype, hysteria and spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions will continue, promoted by the 'environmental grievance hustlers'.” [21]
November 18, 2014
Media Matters reports how Fox News “provided AEI fellow Jonah Goldberg a platform to attack climate scientists as profiteers who are “financially incentivized” to advocate climate change action, without disclosing AEI's own financial incentive to undercut action on climate change.” [22]
Goldberg appeared on the November 18 edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto where you argued that mainstream climate scientists have a conflict of interest because they are “deeply invested in the whole industry of global warming” for university program funding. View the video below.

August, 2011

AEI President Arthur C. Brooks spoke at a “Leadership Dinner” sponsored by Reynolds American at the 38th Annual Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). [23]

Learn more about the American Legislative Exchange Council at  the Center for Media and Democracy's

February, 2007

In February 2007, The Guardian (UK) reported that AEI was offering scientists and economists $10,000 each, “to undermine a major climate change report” from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

AEI asked for “articles that emphasize the shortcomings” of the IPCC report. AEI visiting scholar Kenneth Green made the $10,000 offer “to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere,” in a letter describing the IPCC as “resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent.” [24]

June, 2003

AEI and the Federalist Society launched a project and website called NGOWatch to monitor nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), especially those involved in foreign policy and international relations. [25]

Later reorganized and renamed Global Government Watch, the initiative was initially launched at an AEI conference entitled “NGOs: The Growing Power of an Unelected Few,” which was cosponsored by the right-wing Australian think-tank Institute of Public Affairs[26]

According to the conference organizers, “NGOs have created their own rules and regulations and demanded that governments and corporations abide by those rules.”

August 2, 2002

AEI wrote to President Bush discouraging him from attending the UN Summit on Sustainable Development. Bush did not attend. [27

Related Organizations


  1. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

  2. About,” American Enterprise Institute. Archived August 20, 2015.

  3. Board of Trustees,” AEI. Archived April 30, 2003.

  4. The Kyoto Treaty Deserved to Die,” The American Enterprise Online. Archived June 5, 2008. Originally published in Energy Crunch, September 2001.

  5. Benjamin Zycher. “The Fact-free Opposition to Keystone XL,” The American Enterprise Institute, February 5, 2014. Archived August 20, 2015.

  6. Jeffrey Sachs. “How the AEI Distorts the Climate Debate,” Huffington Post, February 8, 2014. Archived August 20, 2015.

  7. Michael J. Perry. “Nonsensical ‘fractivist’ pipeline hysteria,” The Washington Times, July 21, 2015. Archived August 20, 2015.

  8. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 18, 2015.

  9. Suzanne Goldenberg and Helena Bengtsson. “Secretive donors gave US climate denial groups $125m over three years,” The Guardian, June 9, 2015. Archived August 20, 2015. 

  10. Board of Trustees,” American Enterprise Institute. Archived August 20, 2015.

  11. Council of Academic Advisers,” American Enterprise Institute. Archived August 20, 2015. 

  12. Officers,” American Enterprise Institute. Archived August 20, 2015. 

  13. National Council,” American Enterprise Institute. Archived August 20, 2015.

  14. Scholars,” American Enterprise Institute. Archived August 20, 2015.

  15. Board of Trustees,” AEI. Archived April 30, 2003.

  16. Board of Trustees,” AEI. Archived January 12, 2012.

  17. Council of Academic Advisers,” AEI. Archived February 18, 2012.

  18. Officers,” AEI. Archived January 21, 2012.

  19. To tax or not to tax: Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Brian Schatz present their American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act,” American Enterprise Institute, June 10, 2015. Archived August 20, 2015.

  20. Chad Stone. “Will Republicans Ever Buy a Carbon Tax?, June 12, 2015. Archived August 20, 2015.

  21. Mark J. Perry. “18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year,” American Enterprise Institute, April 21, 2015.

  22. Libby Watson. “On Fox, Pundit From Oil-Funded Group Says Climate Scientists Are The Profiteers,” Media Matters for America, November 18, 2014. Archived August 20, 2015.

  23. Hundreds of State Legislators Gather to Discuss Policy Solutions Promoting Economic Growth and Limited Government,” ALEC, August 3, 2011. Archived January 11, 2012.

  24. Ian Sample. “Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study,” The Guardian, February 2, 2007. Archived August 20, 2015.

  25. Jim Lobe, “Bringing the War Home: Right Wing Think Tank Turns Wrath on NGOs,” Foreign Policy In Focus, June 13, 2003. Archived August 20, 2015.

  26. “We’re Not from the Government, but We’re Here to Help You,” American Enterprise Institute, June 11, 2003. Archived August 20, 2015.

  27. (Press Release) “Africa: Corporate-funded Lobbyists Aimed to Sabotage Johannesburg Summit,”, August 19, 2002. Archived August 20, 2015.

  28. About Global Governance Watch®,” Global Governance Watch. Archived January, 2011.

  29. About Global Governance Watch®,” Global Governance Watch. Archived August 20, 2011.

  30. Graham Readfearn. “Exclusive: Mont Pelerin Society Revealed As Home To Leading Pushers Of Climate Science Denial,” DeSmogBlog, January 14, 2014.

Other Resources