Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James and VP Kim Holmes Announce Resignation From Conservative Think Tank

WASHINGTON — After serving as The Heritage Foundation’s leadership team for the last three years, President Kay C. James and Executive Vice President Dr. Kim R. Holmes have announced their resignations. James will be staying on as president for up to six months until a replacement is found, after which she will become a Heritage distinguished visiting fellow. She will also remain on Heritage’s board of trustees. Holmes’ resignation is effective April 16.

“When we came on board as the executive leadership team three years ago, we set several goals and told Heritage’s board of trustees that we would serve for three to five years to see them through,” said James. “We accomplished everything we set out to do. Now it’s time to let someone else take the reins.”

James has served as the president of The Heritage Foundation, America’s premier conservative think tank, since 2018 and as a trustee of Heritage’s board since 2005. Throughout her service at Heritage, she has been dedicated to helping develop and promote solutions to the issues Americans face that are based on the principles of individual freedom, limited government, free enterprise, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

With an unwavering commitment to Heritage’s members, to its board and staff, and to the American people, James has pushed the organization to new heights. One of her great passions has been guiding Heritage to reach out and share its message with young people, minorities, and women who don’t necessarily consider themselves conservative but who practice conservative principles in their daily lives.

During her time at Heritage, James has been instrumental in the organization playing a major role in influencing public policy in areas such as the economic and health recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, election integrity, immigration, China’s increasing global influence, Big Tech, improving education, tax reform and deregulation, strengthening America’s civil society, and more.

She also created Heritage’s newest policy institute, the Edwin J. Feulner Institute, which seeks to reinvigorate every American’s appreciation for this exceptional nation and its founding principles. Under her leadership, Heritage also created its Center for Technology Policy, which deals with high-level policy solutions for the ever-increasing roles the internet, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies have in government, business, and national defense, as well as their impact on public speech and personal privacy.

“I am incredibly grateful to Kay James and Kim Holmes for their leadership of The Heritage Foundation over the past three years,” said Barb Van Andel-Gaby, chairman of Heritage’s board of trustees. “Their tireless dedication to Heritage has taken the organization to new heights, led to numerous accomplishments, and positioned the Heritage team to be ready for the battles ahead. Heritage today is the most important conservative organization in America because of their leadership.

“Working alongside Kay, I have come to know a caring and compassionate leader whose love for America is evident in all that she does. That’s why I am so excited she will be staying closely connected to Heritage as a distinguished visiting fellow after the board hires her successor. It is important that we have a successful transition and having Kay remain affiliated with Heritage is great news for everyone.”

Van Andel-Gaby added: “Today, the Heritage leadership team and staff are as focused as ever on the Heritage mission. The fabric of our republic is being threatened, and the talented scholars at Heritage are working harder than ever to push back on the progressive left in America. Heritage’s board stands with them as they continue to fight.”

James said serving as Heritage’s president was the pinnacle of a long career.

“I have enjoyed leading such an astounding group of professionals who truly care about the future of this country and who come to work every day to develop solutions for the issues that Americans face,” said James. “I am proud of the many things we have accomplished together, including reaching out to new, nontraditional audiences of women, minorities, and young people and showing them how conservative solutions provide the best outcomes for all Americans.

“We helped America get through the coronavirus pandemic by forming the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission and bringing experts together from across the country to devise ways to save the lives and livelihoods of Americans and of people all around the world. I am also proud that we led Heritage through the pandemic while keeping us on strong financial footing and ensuring the organization continued to provide desperately needed policy solutions to governments and the American people even as our employees worked remotely. We made sure our employees were always safe and had the resources they needed to carry out their critical work. We also helped other conservative organizations survive the COVID storm by offering help with fundraising, communicating with constituencies, and managing during times of crisis.

“When I became president in 2018, I brought with me a strong management agenda, including creating a multiyear strategic plan with measurable goals, zero-based budgeting, succession planning for senior management, an annual employee survey to assess our strengths and opportunities, senior leadership training, enterprise-wide risk management, and customer service training. I believe that agenda has made Heritage a stronger organization and will ensure that it continues developing solutions for America for years to come.

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Source: Heritage Foundation