Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Founding Year: 2001

Staff: 76

Budget: $11.7m

Mark Dubowitz (Chief Executive)

A non-profit, non-partisan research institute focusing on foreign policy and national security. Former Secretary of State, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, figured importantly in its founding. This think tank “combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications and investigative journalism in support of its mission to promote pluralism, defend democratic values and fight the ideologies that drive terrorism.” Holds events throughout the year, including the Leading Thinkers series briefings on Capitol Hill. Holds that terrorism – unlawful and premeditated violence against civilians to instill fear and coerce governments or societies – is always wrong and should never be condoned. Advisors include many popular and influential figures from government institutions, media and business.


  • Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance – Works to expand the understanding of economic warfare in the 21st century to develop further the doctrines and strategies of American financial and economic suasion
  • Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare – aims to promote a greater understanding within the U.S. government, private sector, and allied countries of the threats and opportunities that the new environment poses and assist policymakers develop and implement a winning strategy for the United States within this domain.
  • FDD’s Long War Journal – see publications
  • Iran Program – Addresses the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran to America and its allies, FDD conducts detailed research, develops actionable and comprehensive policy options, and appears regularly in media.
  • Military Edge – A data and interactive map portal intended to provide Israel with the necessary means to successfully deter and defend itself, by itself, against any likely combination of threats.
  • National Security Network – Comprised of more than 300 mid-career national security practitioners who have completed FDD’s National Security Fellows Program
  • Transformative Cyber Innovation Lab – Searches and nurtures technologically feasible, testable pilot projects which begin to solve some of the hardest cyber problems afflicting the national security industrial base and our country.
  • Turkey Program – Seeks to inform policymakers and the American public about the AKP’s dangerous policies that have risked Turkish and Western security.


Note: A strong supporter of Israel’s foreign and domestic policy and engages in aggressive pro-Israel advocacy.

Foundation for Defense of Democracies contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  Organization Type

  Geographic Foci


Related Content

A nonprofit organization transforming the energy system to benefit both the economy and the environment. Works to strengthen communities and increase economic opportunity by creating higher-paying jobs, expanding the United…

An independent research institute and deliberative body whose mission is to ensure that data and artificial intelligence (AI) work for people and society. Educates the public about the impact of…

A non-profit research and education organization with a 501(c)(3) mission to develop participatory processes and systemic methodologies for transforming people’s capacity to address complex societal issues and realize their highest…