Thomas A. Saunders III, chairman of The Heritage Foundation’s Board of Trustees, released the following statement about a leadership change at the organization:
The Heritage Foundation’s Board of Trustees, by a unanimous vote, has asked for and received the resignation of Jim DeMint as president and CEO of the organization. The Board elected Heritage Founder Ed Feulner as president and CEO while we conduct a thorough search for his successor.
After a comprehensive and independent review of the entire Heritage organization, the Board determined there were significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation. While the organization has seen many successes, Jim DeMint and a handful of his closest advisers failed to resolve these problems.
This was a difficult and necessary decision for the Board to take. As trustees, we have governance and oversight responsibilities for this organization and our 500,000 members. We were compelled to take action.
Heritage has never been about one individual, but rather the power of conservative ideas. Heritage is bigger than any one person.
As Chairman of the Board, I wholeheartedly endorse this change. It will make Heritage stronger in the short term and the long run.
Heritage is a permanent policy research institution fighting for conservative ideas, as Ed Feulner often reminds us. We remain committed, as ever, to the principles that have made America great: free enterprise; limited government; individual freedom; traditional American values; and a strong national defense. This will continue under the leadership of Ed and his successor.
Feulner led Heritage for more than three decades and returns to our organization after serving on President Trump’s transition team. There is no one better to guide the ship while we seek our new leader and continue to push for conservative ideas and policies in Washington and around the nation.
As conservatives, we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us to restore the principles of the American founding. You and the 500,000 Americans who donate to support Heritage have played a crucial role in making our work possible, and I look forward to working with you in the future. As we move forward, the Board of Trustees will be seeking your thoughts and input about our search for the next leader of Heritage.
Thanks to your support, our scholars have shaped public policy in a firmly conservative direction for the last 44 years and will continue to do so in the future.
I regret not being able to let you know sooner about this change. While we were trying to resolve this matter amicably, we honored our side of the bargain to remain silent.
I wanted to ensure that the Board’s decision was final before alerting you. Unfortunately, the media ran with speculation about this story before the facts could be disclosed. As a loyal Heritage supporter, I hope that you will understand the reasons that compelled these changes and stand with us in this time of transition.
Thank you for all your support and dedication to the conservative cause.
Thomas A. Saunders III
Chairman, Board of Trustees
The Heritage Foundation