Foundation for Defense of Democracies

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Group.png Foundation for Defense of Democracies   Powerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Foundation for Defense of Democracies.jpg
Typethink tank
Sponsored byHewlett Foundation
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

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


Known members

29 of the 141 of the members already have pages here:

Kelly AyotteUS lawyer and politician, Attorney General of New Hampshire 2004-2009
Henri Barkey
Gary Bauer
Donna Brazile
Eric CantorUS politician, multiple WEF meetings
Paula DobrianskySpookily connected US politician
Eric EdelmanUS diplomat/politician whom Sibel Edmonds named as a corrupt individual of interest.
Steve ForbesBillionaire editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine.
Frank GaffneyDescribed as "one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes"
Reuel Marc Gerecht
Marc Ginsberg
John HannahNeocon senior aide on "national security" to Dick Cheney
Michael HaydenUS Spook, NSA Director 1999-2005, CIA Director 2006-2009, News Guard advisory board
Jack KempClosely associated with the hawkish wing of the Republican Party.
Jeane KirkpatrickNeocon "terror expert", US Ambassador to the UN, Washington Conference on International Terrorism...
Charles KrauthammerSingle Bilderberger Washington Conference on International Terrorism visitor
Bill KristolHawkish neonconservatice
Frank LautenbergUnited States Senator from New Jersey
Michael Ledeen"Washington's neoconservative guru", Bilderberg, Le Cercle...
Joe LiebermanLawyer whom Sibel Edmonds named in 2006 as one of her "Dirty Dozen".
H. R. McMasterSingle Bilderberger US general
Emanuele OttolenghiFoundation for Defense of Democracies, suspected US DSF
Leon Panetta
Richard Perle"widely considered a core representative of the neoconservative political faction"
Nadia SchadlowSuspected US deep state functionary. First Bilderberg in 2017
Charles Schumer
David SheddDirector of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the war in Syria. In 2022 co-wrote an article outlying a strategy for "Waging Psychological War Against Russia."
James WoolseyEx CIA director still (per 2020) very active in deep state networks.
Juan ZarateWorked on expanding the use of Treasury powers to advance national security interests. U.S. representative to get control over the Vatican's finances.


Hewlett FoundationHuge foundation setting the agenda by funding lots of deep state projects.
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  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