The Heritage Foundation

News Releases

April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012 | News Releases on

Anderson Is Heritage’s New Simon Fellow in Religion

Washington, D.C., April 17, 2012—Ryan T. Anderson, a writer, editor and researcher who specializes in natural law theory, is The Heritage Foundation’s new William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society.

Anderson will focus his studies at the leading Washington think tank on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education as part of Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. He also has expertise in bioethics, marriage and religious liberty.

“Ryan joins the Heritage team at a time of increasing concern about the character of American culture,” said Jennifer A. Marshall, director of the DeVos Center. “His moral reasoning will clarify the principles at stake in some of the most debated issues of our day.”

Anderson, who has moved to Washington from Atlanta, will remain editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, N.J. He previously worked as assistant editor of the journal First Things and as journalism fellow at the Phillips Foundation.

Ryan Anderson As Heritage’s Simon fellow, Andersons succeeds Ryan Messmore, who held the post for five years.

The fellowship is endowed by the New York-based William E. Simon Foundation, which supports programs intended to strengthen the free enterprise system and the spiritual values on which it rests: individual freedom, initiative, thrift, self-discipline and faith in God.

Anderson’s recent work focuses on the moral and constitutional questions surrounding same-sex marriage. He is co-author with Princeton University’s Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis of “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” (Encounter Books, forthcoming 2012). The three co-wrote the article “What is Marriage?” in the winter 2011 issue of Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Anderson also served as executive director of the Witherspoon Institute. His writing has appeared in First Things, Weekly Standard and National Review, among other publications. A native of Baltimore, Md., he holds a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton. He is a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he received his master’s degree.

The Heritage Foundation is the nation's most broadly supported public policy research institute, with nearly 700,000 donors. Founded in 1973, it develops public policy solutions that advance free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values and a strong national defense.

* * *

A note on the William E. Simon Foundation: The Simon Foundation carries on the legacy of William "Bill" Simon, the successful businessman, public servant and philanthropist perhaps best known as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in the mid-1970s. A native of Paterson, N.J., he was the first administrator of the Federal Energy Office.

Simon’s long career included leadership posts at Salomon Brothers and Wesray Corp. before he started the investment firm WSGP International and then William E. Simon & Sons LLC, a global merchant bank. He was a key member of the U.S. Olympic Committee for more than 30 years and a longtime trustee of The Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution. His devout Catholic faith informed his business dealings and public service as well as varied philanthropic activities.

One son, William E. Simon Jr., is executive director of Simon & Sons and co-chairman of the Simon Foundation as well as a Heritage trustee. Another son, Peter, is co-chairman of the firm and family foundation. A resident of New Jersey, he is a member of the President’s Club of The Heritage Foundation.

About the Author