Who We Are

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute working to defend free nations against their enemies. FDD was founded shortly after 9/11 by a group of visionary philanthropists and policymakers who understood the threat facing America, Israel and the West.

FDD’s founding Chairman was Jack Kemp, and its founding board members included Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick.

FDD’s current Chairman is former CIA director R. James Woolsey.

FDD’s distinguished advisors include Sen. Joe Lieberman, former National Security Advisor Robert “Bud” McFarlane, former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, former State Department Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky, Gen. P.X. Kelley (ret.), Francis “Bing” West, Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol, former CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Richard W. Carlson,  and Forbes CEO Steve Forbes.

Those affiliated with FDD come from many backgrounds and political perspectives, but all believe:

  • No one should be denied basic human rights, including minority rights, women’s rights, and religious freedom.
  • Free and democratic nations have a right to defend themselves and an obligation to defend one another.
  • Terrorism, the deliberate use of violence against civilians to achieve political objectives, is always wrong and must never be condoned.

A policy institute with a solid track record of transforming research into ideas, and ideas into actions that bring significant results, FDD uniquely combines policy research, counterterrorism and democracy education, strategic communications, and investigative journalism.

FDD works in the policy community, in the media, in the corridors of political power in Washington and other world capitals, and in courtrooms and classrooms.