The Atlas Network is a Washington DC-based non-profit organization that works to support and grow a network of more than 400 think tanks in more than 80 countries promoting individual liberty and free market ideals.
Many of the member think tanks of the Atlas Network have supported climate science denial and have campaigned against legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The Atlas Economic Research Foundation (AERF) was founded by Antony Fisher in 1981 with the goal of bringing “innovative, market-based perspectives to issues of public policy.”  Fisher had previously founded the Institute of Economic Affairs, an influential London-based think tank promoting neoliberal ideas of small governments and low regulation.
Atlas Network is the trading name of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. Previous names have been the Atlas Foundation and the Atlas Research Foundation. The International Policy Network (IPN) in the UK, also founded by Fisher, is effectively a UK variant of the Atlas Network.
According to UK Charity Commission filings (PDF), The Atlas Economic Research Foundation (UK) was working as the International Policy Network, and is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, number 262982. In April 2001, with the consent of the Charity Commission, it adopted the working name of The International Policy Network, 'IPN', and in December 2004, 'UK' was added to the name. The UK Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the IPN UK are no longer listed among UK Charities. and the UK branch was most recently operating with a new name, “Network for a Free Society.” The U.S. Atlas Network appears to be a separate entity from the International Policy Network US Inc., although Atlas Network's 2010 financial records reveal that they continued to provide support to IPN. 
The stated vision of the Atlas Network is to “win the long-term policy battles that will shape history, we need freedom champions to create credible institutes – well-managed and independent of vested interests – that use sound business practices to advance sound public policy ideas.”
SourceWatch describes the Atlas Economic Research Foundation as “The Johnny Appleseed of antiregulation groups […] on a mission to populate the world with new 'free market' voices.” The mission of Atlas, according to John Blundell (president from 1987 to 1990), “is to litter the world with free-market think-tanks.” 
The Atlas Network has played a role in the work of a varity of conservative think tanks including the Manhattan Institute in New York, the National Center for Policy Analysis in Texas, Instituto Libertad y Democracia in Peru, the Acton Institute in Michigan, Fundación Libertad in Argentina, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, Instituto Libertad y Desarrollo in Chile, the Centre for Civil Society in India, Istituto Bruno Leoni in Italy, and the Association for Liberal Thinking in Turkey, among others. 
Atlas identifies, screens, and offers initial support to individuals and groups who want to create local think tanks. Atlas “strives to provide personal assistance to individuals who are starting a free-market institute” and offers online training programs “that will walk you through the early stages of starting a think-tank.” 
Stance on Climate Change
Atlas has cosponsored numerous Heartland Institute events dedicated to the proposition that climate change is not a crisis.
In a November 2014 commentary, Atlas CEO Brad Lips wrote: “The Kyoto Protocol – signed by President Clinton in 1998 (but never ratified by the U.S. Senate) – now appears to have been the high-water mark for the Global Warming movement (since coincidentally that was that last year of measured “warming”). Even those who believe global warming is a catastrophic, man-made problem now struggle to make a case that global energy austerity is a practical or cost-effective course of action.” 
“Atlas Network is not endowed and it does not accept government funding. It does not support political candidates or parties, or otherwise involve itself in partisan politics.We are grateful to those generous individuals, philanthropies, and businesses that entrust us with financial resources to build a greater public consensus around the ideas of a free society by advancing the Atlas Network mission.”
According to their financials page, “Atlas Network is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Atlas Network is not endowed and does not accept government funding. All of its programs depend upon the generosity of foundations, individuals, and corporations.” 
Atlas Network as Recipient
Atlas Network as Donor
|Students for Liberty||$416,905|
|George Mason University||$235,960|
|Prague Security Studies Institute Washington||$224,750|
|International Freedom Educational Foundation||$179,844|
|Hispanic American Center for Economic Research||$132,198|
|Education Intelligence Agency||$95,000|
|George Mason University School of Law||$86,000|
|Foundation for Government Accountability||$74,394|
|Free Africa Foundation||$53,000|
|The Prometheus Institute (Irvine CA)||$50,850|
|Foundation for Democracy in Russia||$50,000|
|Illinois Policy Institute||$34,000|
|Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty||$30,000|
|University of Richmond||$27,500|
|Free To Choose Network||$26,350|
|John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy||$25,800|
|American Slovenian Education Foundation||$25,000|
|State Policy Network||$25,000|
|The Bastiat Society||$24,000|
|The Americas Forum||$23,000|
|Northwood University (Michigan)||$20,500|
|Pelican Institute for Public Policy||$20,250|
|Foundation for Individual Rights in Education||$20,200|
|National Review Institute||$20,000|
|The Independent Institute||$19,425|
|North Dakota Policy Council||$17,500|
|Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia||$16,056|
|The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College||$16,000|
|American Traditional Institute||$15,000|
|National Center for Policy Analysis||$15,000|
|Mackinac Center for Public Policy||$12,000|
|The Ryan Foundation||$12,000|
|American Center for Civic Character||$10,500|
|Deep Springs International||$10,500|
|Ocean State Policy Research Institute||$10,450|
|Competitive Governance Institute (Formerly Sam Adams Alliance)||$10,200|
|Advance Arkansas Institute||$10,000|
|Association of Private Enterprise Education||$10,000|
|Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise||$10,000|
|College of Charleston Foundation||$10,000|
|Common Sense Institute of New Jersey||$10,000|
|Human Rights Foundation||$10,000|
|Institute for Humane Studies||$10,000|
|Institute to Reduce Spending||$10,000|
|International Policy Network US||$10,000|
|Moving Picture Institute||$10,000|
|Peak Freedom Forum||$10,000|
|Rio Grande Foundation||$10,000|
|University of Detroit Mercy||$10,000|
|Texas Public Policy Foundation||$9,500|
|Platte Institute for Economic Research||$8,197|
|East Carolina University||$8,000|
|Interamerican Institute for Democracy||$8,000|
|American Friends of the Institute of Economic Affairs||$7,500|
|Alaska Policy Forum||$6,580|
|Washington Policy Center||$6,100|
|Saint Vincent College||$6,000|
|American Principles in Action||$5,800|
|Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education||$5,600|
|Idaho Freedom Foundation||$5,500|
|Just Facts Inc.||$5,500|
Tobacco Industry Funding
The following individuals were listed on the Atlas Network Website as of August, 2015: 
- Chelsea Schick — Associate Director of Development and Events
- Chantilly Alberti — Development and Events Associate
- Paolo Angelini — Office Manager
- Reza Ansari — Outreach and Persian Programs Manager
- Daniel Anthony — Vice President of Marketing and Communications
- Cindy Cerquitella — Atlas Leadership Academy Director
- Alejandro A. Chafuen (Alex), Ph.D. — President
- Erwin Chaloupka — Economic Policy Associate for Central and Eastern Europe
- Brittany Cobb — Development and Events Manager
- Grace Courter — Marketing and Communications Associate
- Kristina Crane — Operations Manager
- Eric D. Dixon — Editor
- Harry Kalsted — Development and Operations Associate
- Autumn Lansford — Atlas Leadership Academy Program Associate
- Stephanie Giovanetti Lips — Director of Outreach
- Brad Lips — Chief Executive Officer
- Laura Liu — Economic and Trade Policy Advisor
- Rómulo López — Director of Finance
- Elisa Martins — Associate Director of Programs
- Nicholas Miller — Development and Events Associate
- Dr. Tom G. Palmer — Executive Vice President of International Programs
- Casey Pifer — Institute Relations and Programs Associate
- Katherine Price — Development Associate
- Clark Ruper — Director of Development
- Johannes Schmidt — Grants and Awards Program Associate
- Jeremy Schofield — IT Manager
- Gonzalo Schwarz — Director of Grants and Awards
- Alexander Skouras — Associate Director of Institute Relations
- Matt Warner — Vice President of Programs and Institute Relations
- Mariana Zepeda — Research Associate and Assistant to the President
- Scott Barbee
- Robert Boyd
- John Cerasuolo
- Derwood Chase
- Stuart Chase
- Barry Conner
- Sam Corcos
- John Dalsheim
- Sean Fieler
- Dan Gressel
- Pamela Hoiles
- Nicolas Ibanez
- Bob Jefferies
- Leo Kayser III
- Jeffrey Kofsky
- Warren Lammert III
- Ron Manners
- Oscar Garcia Mendoza
- Luis Perez
- Borut Prah
- Nadine Prah
- Jed Sunden
- Lauren Templeton
- Jon Basil Utley
- Mariela Vicini
- Kathryn Washburn
- Shari Williams
- Charles Albers
- Luis Henrique Ball
- Tomothy Browne — Director of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.
- Alejandro A. Chafuen (Alex), Ph.D. — President, Atlas Network.
- Board member of the Chase Foundation, the Acton Institute, and the Fraser Institute.
- Honorary Active Member and member of the Member’s Committee of the John Templeton Foundation, the World Charity Foundation, and The Templeton Religion Trust.
- Member of the board of advisors of The Philanthropic Enterprise.
- Member of the founding committee of Donors Trust.
- Member of the Mont Pelerin Society
- He is also the president and founder of the Hispanic American Center of Economic Research.
- Debbi Gibbs
- Peter Goettler
- Dan Grossman — Chairman of the Board, Atlas Network. Former chair of the Foundation for Economic Education.
- Nikolaos Monoyios
- Gerry Ohrstrom — Has been director of the Reason Foundation, Santa Fe Institute, Property and Environment Research Centre, Africa Fighting Malaria, International Policy Network, Gruter Institute, Intelligence Squared debate series, and others.
- George Pearson — Worked for nearly three decades for the Koch family as manager of various Koch Foundations and for Koch Industries in various corporate positions including Director of Public Affairs. Also served as officer or director of Institute for Humane Studies, Cato Institute, and the Kansas Policy Institute.
- Andrea Millen Rich — President, Centre for Independent Thought.
- Rene Scull
- Linda Whetstone — Chairman, Network for a Free Society. Serves on the Boards of the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Istanbul Network for Liberty, and others. Previous Chairman of the International Policy Network, and a Director of the Mont Pelerin Society.
- Ambassador Curtin Winsor Jr. — Trustee, William H. Donner Foundation, Africare, and Hudson Institute.
- William Sumner — Board Member Emeritus.
- George Ayittey, Ph.D. — Fellow
- Nicolás Cachanosky, Ph.D. — Sound Money Project Fellow
- William Dennis — Senior Fellow
- Rainer Heufers — Think Tank MBA Senior Fellow
- Jerry L. Jordan — Sound Money Project Senior Fellow
- Garry Kasparov — 2014 Templeton Leadership Fellow
- Michel Kelly-Gagnon — Dobson-Lengvari Fellow
- Casey Lartigue, Jr. — Asia Outreach Fellow
- Mario Vargas Llosa — Templeton Leadership Fellow Emeritus
- William J. Luther, Ph.D. — Sound Money Project Fellow
- Deroy Murdock — Senior Fellow
- Charles Murray — 2015 Templeton Leadership Fellow
- Alexander William Salter
- Judy Shelton, Ph.D. — Sound Money Project Co-Director & Atlas Network Senior Fellow
- Robin Sitoula — Senior Program Advisor
Past Board Members
- Chuck Albers
- John Blundell — Senior Fellow, Institute of Economic Affairs.
- Timothy Browne — Director of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.
- Alejandro Chafuen — President since 1991. Board member since 2009.
- Dan Grossman (Chairman of the Board — Former Chairman, Foundation for Economic Education.
- Abby Moffat — Also board member, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the Institute of World Politics, the Media Research Center, and the Heritage Foundation.
- George Pearson — Manager of various Koch Foundations and worked Koch Industries in various corporate positions including Director of Public Affairs.
- Andrea Millen Rich — President of Center for Independent Thought.
- René Scull — Past Vice President of Philip Morris Asia.
- William Sumner — Director of the Institute for Humane Studies.
- Linda Whetstone — Chairman of the International Policy Network (UK), member of the Boards of the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Mont Pelerin Society.
- Ambassador Curtin Winsor, Jr
June 13, 2016
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD/PRWatch) reports that the Atlas Economic Research Foundation was named as a creditor in Peabody Energy's bankruptcy filings. 
Prominent individuals appearing in the documents include climate deniers Willie Soon, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer and Richard Berman. The long list of organizations also includes groups such as Americans for Prosperity, American Legislative Exchange Council, CFACT, Institute for Energy Research, State Policy Network, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more. 
“These groups collectively are the heart and soul of climate denial,” said Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigation Center, who has spent 20 years tracking funding for climate denial. “It’s the broadest list I have seen of one company funding so many nodes in the denial machine.”
The company’s filings reveal funding for a range of organisations which have fought Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and denied the very existence of climate change. […]
Among Peabody’s beneficiaries, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change has insisted – wrongly – that carbon emissions are not a threat but “the elixir of life” while the American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to overturn Environmental Protection Agency rules cutting emissions from power plants. Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity campaigns against carbon pricing. The Oklahoma chapter was on the list. […]
“The breadth of the groups with financial ties to Peabody is extraordinary. Thinktanks, litigation groups, climate scientists, political organisations, dozens of organisations blocking action on climate all receiving funding from the coal industry,” said Nick Surgey, director of research for the Center for Media and Democracy.
“We expected to see some denial money, but it looks like Peabody is the treasury for a very substantial part of the climate denial movement.”
Notable organizations listed in the initial documents include:
- 60 Plus Association
- The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity
- American Energy Alliance
- Alliance For Energy And Economic Growth
- American Energy Alliance
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- Americans For Prosperity Oklahoma
- Atlas Economic Research Foundation
- Berman And Company, Inc
- Consumer Energy Alliance
- Center For Clean Air Policy
- Center for Energy and Economic Development
- Center For The Study Of Carbon Dioxide And Global Change
- Coalition for Responsible Regulation
- Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow
- Council on State Taxation
- DCI Group AZ, LLC
- Ducks Unlimited
- Energy & Environment Legal Institute
- Edison Electric Institute
- Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
- Free Market Environmental Law Clinic
- Frontiers Of Freedom Institute
- George C. Marshall Institute
- Hill Knowlton Strategies
- Hill Knowlton, Inc
- Hudson Institute
- Hunton & Williams
- Independence Institute
- Institute For Energy Research
- Institute for Liberty
- National Association of Manufacturers
- National Black Chamber of Commerce
- National Conference of State Legislatures
- National Mining Association
- National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
- NextGen Energy Council
- PACE (May refer to Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy)
- Science & Public Policy Institute
- Sidley Austin LLP
- State Policy Network
- Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute
- Texas Public Policy Foundation
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Western Business Roundtable
Notable individuals named in the initial documents include the following:
Atlas announces that Australian think tank the Institute of Public Affairs is a finalist in its flagship Templeton Freedom Awards for a campaign against the country's laws that had put a price on greenhouse gas emissions.
IPA executive director John Roskam had described the laws as “the greatest threat to the free market in Australia since bank nationalisation in 1947”. The laws, introduced despite a toxic anti-science campaign promoted by the IPA, were repealed in July 2014.
The IPA's campaign included organising and funding speaking tours and promotions for climate science deniers, including former Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus, mining industry figure and geologist Professor Ian Plimer and writer and anti-wind farm activist James Delingpole.
May 16 - 18, 2010
June 2, 2009
Greenpeace reports that Atlas gave over $100,000 (among other donations) to fund a “Danish study,” prepared by Danish think-tank CEPOS, that “provides clean energy opponents a means of raising questions about the viability of renewable energy and a means of directly criticizing President Obama for his statement that Denmark produces almost 20% of its electricity through wind power.” 
“[T]he study contains factual errors, its conclusions have been misrepresented and to boot, its findings are not particularly relevant to the US,” Greenpeace concluded. 
March 8-10, 2009
Atlas Network Contact & Location
As of June 2016, the Atlas Network listed the following contact information on its website: 
1201 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
Chelsea Schick, 202-449-8434
Daniel Anthony, 202-449-8441
- International Policy Network UK (IPN) — Same entity as Atlas Economic Research Foundation (UK). The U.S. organization does not appear to be directly affiliated.
- Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)
- Network for a Free Society — New name for International Policy Network (UK)
The Atlas network included over 400 members as of April, 2016. View a complete membership list online, or see the attached spreadsheet for a complete listing of Atlast Network member by location (.xlsx). 
“Our Story,” Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Archived August 11, 2015.
“Network for a Free Society (previously Atlas Economic Research Foundation (UK) working as The International Policy Network UK) Annual Report and Financial Statements” (PDF), Year ended 31 December 2010. Charity no: 262982. Retrieved from UK Charity Commission.
“Atlas Economic Research Foundation,” SourceWatch profile.
“FAQ,” Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Archived August 11, 2015.
“Annual Reports & Financials,” Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Archived August 11, 2015.
“Atlas Economic Research Foundation,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 11, 2015.
“Atlas Economic Research Foundation: the think-tank breeders,” PR Watch, Third Quarter 2004, Volume 11, No. 3. Archived February 13, 2006.
“People: Atlas Network,” Archived August 11, 2015.
“Board Members,” Atlas Network. Archived December 23, 2011.
4th International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), The Heartland Institute.
Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-palooza Round 4: 'International Conference on Climate Change' Groups Funded by Exxon, Koch Industries,” DeSmogBlog, May 13, 2010.
“Co-Sponsors,” Third International Conference on Climate Change. Archived July 14, 2010.
“Recipients of 2009 Fisher Venture Grants,” (Press Release), Atlas Network, April 15, 2009.
“Koch Industries Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine” (PDF), Greenpeace Report, March, 2010.
“Co-Sponsors,” The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. Archived April 28, 2011.
Brad Lips. “Defeating Piketty's Charge - A working paper” (PDF), Atlast Network, November, 2014. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
“Global Directory,” Atlas Network. Accessed April 5, 2016. Archived .pdf (2016-05-10) on file at DeSmogBlog
Nick Surgey. “Peabody Coal Bankruptcy Reveals Climate Denial Network Funding,” PRWatch, June 13, 2016. Archived June 20, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6iPmXjc4W
“In re: Peabody Energy Corporation, et al. Debtors,” United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division, Case 16-42529, May 27, 2016. Retrieved from DocumentCloud.
Farron Cousins. “Court Documents Show Coal Giant Peabody Energy Funded Dozens Of Climate Denial Groups,” DeSmogBlog, June 13, 2016.
Suzanne Goldenberg and Helena Bengtsson. “Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change,” The Guardian, June 13, 2016. Archived June 20, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6iPnEUG1o
“Atlas Economic Research Foundation - Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace. Archived May 5, 2012.