Foundation for Defense of Democracies

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Group.png Foundation for Defense of Democracies   Powerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
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Typethink tank
Membership• David Asher
• Kelly Ayotte
• Stewart Baker
• Henri Barkey
• Michael Braun
• Ed Cardon
• John P. Carlin
• Steven Chabinsky
• Sinan Ciddi
• Frank Cilluffo
• Giovanna Cinelli
• Steven Cook
• Zack Cooper
• Svante Cornell
• Ted Craver
• Nova Daly
• Toby Dershowitz
• Elaine K. Dezenski
• Paula Dobriansky
• Eric S. Edelman
• Daniel Glaser
• Emily Goldman
• John Hannah
• Michael V. Hayden
• Todd Hinnen
• Jamil Jaffer
• Adnan Kifayat
• David Kilcullen
• Michael Koplow
• Matthew Levitt
• Herbert Lin
• Michael Madon
• Michele Malvesti
• Robert McBrien
• H.R. McMaster
• Blaise Misztal
• Leon Panetta
• Gretchen Peters
• Samantha Ravich
• James Rickards
• Nadia Schadlow
• Nate Schenkkan
• Raj Shah
• Amit Sharma
• David Shedd
• John Simon
• Suzanne Spaulding
• Matthew Spence
• Barbara N. Stevens
• Camille Stewart
• V.S. Subrahmanian
• Mark Vlasic
• Dan Wachtler
• Alan Wade
• Jenny White
• Doug Wood
• Juan C. Zarate
• Daniel Ackerman
• David Adesnik
• Maira Alvelo
• Tony Badran
• Abigail Barnes
• Ryan Bernstein
• Erin Blumenthal
• Bradley Bowman
• Emily de La Bruyère
• Toby Dershowitz
• Mark Dubowitz
• Aykan Erdemir
• Yaya J. Fanusie
• Annie Fixler
• Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
• Reuel Marc Gerecht
• Saeed Ghasseminejad
• Richard Goldberg
• Robert L. Green
• Samantha Greenberg
• Mathew Ha
• John Hannah
• John Hardie
• Nick Harlambakis
• Kathy Helman
• Michael Hsieh
• Thomas Joscelyn
• Tzvi Kahn
• Orde Kittrie
• Danielle Kleinman
• Varsha Koduvayur
• Philip Kowalski
• Michael Ledeen
• Allison Levine
• Trevor Logan
• Eric B. Lorber
• Stephanie Mafrici
• David Maxwell
• Clifford D. May
• David May
• Bill McCarthy
• Lawrence Muscant
• Alireza Nader
• Jacob Nagel
• Emanuele Ottolenghi
• Cleo Paskal
• Nathan Picarsic
• Thomas G. Pledger
• Chip Poncy
• Bill Roggio
• Jonathan Schanzer
• Julia Schulman
• Brenda Shaffer
• Yakov Shaharabani
• Allie Shisgal
• Craig Singleton
• Mikhael Smits
• Andrea Stricker
• Jack Sullivan
• Behnam Ben Taleblu
• Benjamin Weinthal
• Liane Zivitski
• Steve Forbes
• Jack Kemp
• Jeane Kirkpatrick
• Newt Gingrich
• James Woolsey
• Frank Lautenberg
• Charles Schumer
• Joseph Lieberman
• Donna Brazile
• Gary Bauer
• Charles Krauthammer
• Bill Kristol
• Eric Cantor
• Richard D. Lamm
• Eliot Engel
• Frank Lautenberg
• Mark Foley
• Jim Marshall
• Frank Gaffney
• Zell Miller
• Marc Ginsberg
• Richard Perle
• J.D. Hayworth
• Charles E. Schumer
• Charles Jacobs
• Olli Heinonen

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) was described by Daniel McCarthy, writing for The American Conservative in 2003, as an 'aggressive new neoconservative think tank'[1]. Based in Washington D.C., the organization was founded two days after the September 11th attack in 2001.[2]

In its own words, it “uniquely combines policy research, democracy training, strategic communications, and investigative journalism. We focus our efforts where opinions are formed and, ultimately, where the war of ideas will be won or lost: in the media, on college campuses, and in the policy community, at home and abroad.”[3]

George W. Bush used FDD as a platform for the launch of his National Security Strategy 2006.[4].

George W. Bush speech

In George W. Bush’s 2006 speech he congratulated the FDD for helping fight terrorism and spread democracy across the Middle East. He said:

You have trained Iraqi women and Iranian students in the principles and practice of democracy, you've translated ‘democracy readers' into Arabic for distribution across the broader Middle East, you've helped activists across the region organize effective political movements—so they can help bring about democratic change and ensure the survival of liberty in new democracies. By promoting democratic ideals, and training a new generation of democratic leaders in the Middle East, you are helping us to bring victory in the war on terror—and I thank you for your hard work in freedom's cause.[5]

Terrorology Summer School

In its first five years, FDD has established numerous programs that have extended its influence and reach. Three of these programs focus increasing attention on the issue of terrorism in universities:

Summer Workshop on Teaching about Terrorism (SWOTT)

According to FDD, SWOTT is a “unique, U.S.-based effort to provide college professors with the tools they need to teach about the threat of terrorism and the methods used to combat it … and includes classes that encompass all facets of terrorism studies and field trips to military and other national security-related installations.”[6][7]

Undergraduate Fellowship on Terrorism

FDD fellowships and terrorism education programs routinely involve study trips to Israel. There they meet with Israeli, American, Turkish, Jordanian, and Indian officials to learn about each country's experience fighting terrorism. The fellows often form FDD-affiliated student groups on their respective campuses. FDD-affiliated student groups can now be found at nearly all major American undergraduate institutions. Many FDD Undergraduate Fellows have gone on to work in the intelligence and defense communities. [8]

Academic Fellowship on Terrorism

The Academic Fellowship program uses Israel as a case study to teach “an intensive, 10-day course on terrorism and the threat it poses to democratic societies”. “The goal of the program is to offer information to teaching professionals about the latest trends in terrorists' ideologies, motives, and operations, and how democracies can fight them”.[9]

Media, Campaigns & Conferences

  • In May 2003, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies were co-sponsors (along with the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute) of an all-day conference on Iran. The speakers are reported to have all been strongly pro-Israel, with many of them calling for the US to replace the Iranian regime with a democracy[12].

  • FDD have also campaigned against the UN court hearings on “Israel's Anti-Terrorism Fence”. They have also sponsored the Iraq-America Freedom Alliance (which is giving “voice to Iraqis who are grateful for their newfound freedom and working to secure democracy”)[13].

  • Every Sunday night at 9pm, FDD's Ambassador Richard Carlson hosts the WMAL radio show the Danger Zone. Danger Zone features discussions involving leading figures from the worlds of intelligence, security, military and academia.[14].

Oil for Food Scandal

The FDD's journalist-in-residence, Claudia Rosett, was the first reporter to break the U.N.'s Oil for Food scandal.[17]

As U.S. News and World Report senior writer Michael Barone explained: "The U.N. Oil for Food program, we learn from the reporting of Claudia Rosett in The Wall Street Journal, was a rip-off on the order of $21 billion — with money intended for hungry Iraqis going instead to Saddam Hussein and his henchmen, to bribed French and Russian businesses and, evidently, to the U.N.'s own man in charge, Benon Savan."[18]

For this reporting, Ms. Rosett received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism[19]

As a result of her work, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed an internal commission to investigate. The U.S. Senate and House also began their own reviews and invited her to testify at their hearings [20].


Founding Members

Steve Forbes | Jack Kemp | Jeane Kirkpatrick | Newt Gingrich | James Woolsey |Frank Lautenberg Charles Schumer | Joseph Lieberman | Donna Brazile.[21]

Board of Directors

Steve Forbes, CEO Forbes Magazine - Board Member | Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Fmr. Ambassador to the UN - Board Member Jack Kemp, Fmr. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – Chairman | Clifford D. May, Frm. Republican National Committee Director of Communications - President

Distinguished Advisors

Louis J. Freeh - Fmr. Director of the FBI |R. James Woolsey, Fmr. Director of the CIA | Newt Gingrich, Fmr. Speaker of the House | Joe Lieberman - US Senator

Board of Advisors

Gary Bauer, American Values - President | Charles Krauthammer, Syndicated Columnist | Donna Brazile, Campaign Manager Gore 2000 | Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard Editor | Eric Cantor (R-VA), Task Force on Terrorism Chairman Richard D. Lamm, Fmr. Colorado Governor | Eliot Engel (D-NY), U.S. House of Representatives | Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), U.S. Senate | Mark Foley (R-FL), U.S. House of Representatives | Jim Marshall (D-GA), U.S. House of Representatives | Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy President | Zell Miller, Fmr. US Senator | Marc Ginsberg, Fmr. Ambassador Morroco | Richard Perle, Former Chair of the Defense Policy Board and FDD Advisor | J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), U.S. House of Representatives | Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), U.S. Senate | Charles Jacobs, American Anti-Slavery Group President

Senior Fellows

Khairi Abaza | Daveed Gartenstein-Ross | Avi Jorisch | Samer Libdeh | Mario Loyola | Andrew C. McCarthy Barbara Newman | Walid Phares | Victoria Toensing | Youssef M. Ibrahim

Adjunct Fellows

Jonathan Adelman, University of Denver Professor | Mohammed Akacem, Metropolitan State College of Denver Professor Richard Z. Chesnoff, Journalist | Paul Crespo, Former Marine Corps Officer and Military Attaché Tanya Gilly | Orde Kittrie, Arizona State University Law Professor | Agota Kuperman, U.S. Foreign Service (ret.) Joel Mowbray | J. Peter Pham | Jess Sadick, U.S. government Terrorism Specialist | Frederic Smoler, Sarah Lawrence College Professor | Jan Ting, Temple University Law Professor


Richard W. Carlson, Vice Chairman | Audra Ozols, Campus Programs Coordinator | Mark Dubowitz, Chief Operating Officer | Cara Rosenthal, Donor Relations Senior Manager | Tanya Gilly, Democracy Programs Director | Claudia Rosett, Journalist-in-Residence | Eleana Gordon, Senior Vice-President | David Silverstein, Campus Education & Grassroots Programs Vice-President | Sara H. Levy, Communications Manager | Jonathan L. Snow, Research Manager Clifford D. May, President | Jean Thurman, Operations Manager | Bill McCarthy, Communications Vice-President Caitlyn Walters, Project Coordinator |Andrew Apostolou


Related Organizations

American Enterprise Institute | Americans for Victory Over Terrorism | Center for Security Policy | Coalition Against Terrorist Media | Committee on the Present Danger | Empower America | European Foundation for Democracy International Republican Institute | National Endowment for Democracy | Project for the New American Century |Spirit of America

Government Links

Defense Policy Board

External links

Official Sites

External Resources


  1. Daniel McCarthy, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies goes on offense., The American Conservative, 17-November-2003, Accessed 01-April-2009
  2. FDD Website, About Us, Accessed 01-April-2009
  3. DefendDemrocacy.Com, About Us, Accessed 01-April-2009
  4. Jim Lobe, Bush Reaffirms Ties With Leading Neocons, 15-March-2006, Accessed 01-April-2009
  5. George Bush, President Bush’s speech on Iraq, The Washington Post, 13-March-2006, Accessed 01-April-2009
  6. FDD Website,Campus Programs, Accessed 01-April-2009
  7. Swott, Summer Workshop, Accessed 01-April-2009
  8. FDD Website, Programs, Accessed, 01-April-2009
  9. FDD Website, Academic Fellowships, Accessed 07-April-2009
  10. FDD Website,European Foundation For Democracy (EFD) Applaud's Germany’s Ban of Hezbollah’s Al- Manar TV, 26-November-2008, Accessed 07-April-2009
  11. Rightweb, Foundation for Defence of Democracies, Accessed 01-April-2009
  12. Mearsheimer, J. & Walt, S. (2006) The Israel Lobby, London Review of Books, Accessed 8th July 2008
  13. Rightweb, Foundation for Defence of Democracies, Accessed 01-April-2009
  14. FDD Website, Amb. Richard Carlson, Acessed 07-April-2009
  15. FDD Website, Programs, Accessed 01-April-2009
  16. FDD Website, Programs, Accessed 01-April-2009
  17. FDD Website,Investigative Reporting Project, Accessed 07-April-2009
  18. FDD Website, What They’re Saying About FDD’s Claudia Rossett and the Oil-For-Food-Scandal, Accessed 07-April-2009
  19. Gary Shapiro, Rosett wins Breindel Laurel, New York Sun, 3-June-2005, Accessed 07-April-2009
  20. United States House of Representatives Statement of Claudia Rosett, 04-October-2007, 07-April-2009
  21. FDD Website, Our Team, Leadership Council, Accessed 01-April-2009
  22. FDD Website, Our Team, Accessed 07-April-2009