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Heritage Expert

Charles "Cully" Stimson

  • Manager, National Security Law Program and Senior Legal Fellow
The Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation

Charles “Cully” Stimson is a widely recognized expert in national security, homeland security and crime control. A senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation since 2007, Stimson became manager of the National Security Law Program in Heritage’s Davis Institute for International Studies in April 2013 after serving as Heritage’s chief of staff for a year.

Stimson has written and lectured on policy issues such as military detention and commissions, intelligence and criminal law (including the Patriot Act and FISA), immigration and the war on drugs. As chief of staff to then-Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner, he was a key adviser on public policy matters as well as manager of Feulner’s office staff and Heritage’s day-to-day operations.

Stimson’s many research papers, op-eds and articles include the special report “Adult Time for Adult Crime,”  Heritage’s comprehensive study on the constitutionality of life sentences for teen-age murderers. His work on criminal and immigration law has been cited in briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Before joining the think tank in 2007, Stimson served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs. He advised then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and coordinated the Pentagon’s global detention policy and operations, including at Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was chairman of detainee-related panels such as the Defense Senior Leadership Oversight Committee. He represented the United States before the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland, and briefed and testified before both houses of Congress.

An accomplished trial lawyer, Stimson worked as a prosecutor at the local, state and federal levels, where he concentrated on violent crimes such as homicide, sexual assault and domestic violence.  He also served as a military prosecutor and defense counsel. He continues to serve, with the rank of captain, as executive officer of the Reserve Trial Judiciary and as a military trial judge.

Stimson’s thousands of media interviews and appearances include Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, BBC and NPR. He has been quoted by most major newspapers, including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and London Times.

A businessman and educator by training, Stimson is vice chairman of his family’s real estate company in Seattle. Before joining the Defense Department in 2001, he was a vice president at a global financial services and insurance brokerage.

Stimson holds a law degree from the George Mason University School of Law. He is a graduate of Kenyon College and studied at Harvard and Exeter universities. An avid runner and triathlete, he serves on the board of the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

All Publications by Charles "Cully" Stimson