Heritage is a leading non-partisan, non-profit, conservative American think-tank based in Washington D.C. It was founded in 1973 on a grant from Joseph Coors, co-owner of the Coors Brewing Company and in 1977 Edwin Fuelner, Jr, became president and led Heritage to the position of influence and prominence it enjoys today.
The Heritage Foundation was hugely influential in creating the “Reagan Doctrine” of the 1980’s. After publishing A Mandate for Leadership in 1981, Heritage analysts served as key policy architects in President Regan’s foreign policy in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and the Cold War. Rightly agreeing that the Soviet Union was indeed an “evil empire,” Heritage was instrumental in supporting Reagan’s Strategic Defence Initiative.
In the 1990’s Heritage cooperated with leading Republican Newt Gingrich in developing the policies of the “Contract with America,” a manifesto which swept the Republicans back into control of the Senate midway through the Clinton years.
The Heritage Foundation has always stood very clearly for the conservative principles of limited government and individual and economic freedom. As it did in 1977, it is still “committed to building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish.”
The Heritage Foundation seeks to “Fulfill a mandate for liberty” dedicated to the first principles coupled with the rule of law. The broader vision is outlined in its manifesto, Leadership for American, the Ten Transformational Initiatives which Heritage is focused on are American Leadership, Family and Religion, Education, First Principles, Energy and Environment, Health Care, Entitlements, Protect America, Entrepreneurship, and the Rule of Law.
Today the Heritage Foundation provides a vast amount of research and analysis which continue to affect policy decision in Washington. With over seventy analysts and experts, Heritage is influential by producing briefings, policy papers, web memos and blogs as well as actively testifying in Congressional hearings. Research areas include American Political Thought, Crime, National Security and Defence, Federal Budget and Spending, Government Reform, Health Care, Education, Social Security, Energy and the Environment, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, NATO, United Nations and International Organizations, Russia and Eurasia, Public Diplomacy, and Trade and Economic Freedom.
In conjunction with the Wall Street Journal, The Heritage Foundation also compiles, analyses, and publishes the annual Index of Economic Freedom. The Index identifies and rates every country and nation according to the standards of ten specific freedoms such as trade freedom, business freedom, investment freedom, and property rights.
The Heritage Foundation also offers highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students internships throughout the year. The program places interns with analysts to contribute research and writing. For those interested, please see their website.
Index of Economic Freedom: http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/