- The Washington Times
Monday, March 22, 2021

Leaders of the Heritage Foundation announced their resignations Monday, allowing the influential conservative think tank to chart a new direction in a post-President Donald Trump Washington. 

Heritage Foundation president Kay James and executive vice president Kim Holmes said they would leave their posts, with Mr. Holmes departing on April 16 and Ms. James remaining for up to six months until her replacement is found. 

“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 Ms. James in a statement. “We accomplished everything we set out to do. Now it’s time to let someone else take the reins.”

As the search for Ms. James’ replacement gets underway, the Heritage Foundation may find several capable candidates within its own ranks.  Former Vice President Mike Pence, for example, joined Heritage as a visiting fellow last month.  

Ms. James, who took the reins of Heritage after the departure of former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, is also not expected to stray far and will remain on Heritage’s board of trustees. 

During her tenure, Heritage created a new policy institute, the Edwin J. Feulner Institute; developed the Center for Technology Policy; and published more content from its media and research teams than ever before, according to Ms. James. 

She also clashed with some on the political right, including prominent disputes with Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, who criticized Ms. James directly last year and told his viewers he hoped they would not donate to Heritage.  

Such criticism may have amped up the pressure on Ms. James but did not appear to change Heritage’s focus or result in a change of direction for the foundation. Heritage board of trustees chairman Barb Van Andel-Gaby praised Ms. James’ work in a statement on Monday that said Ms. James’ continued affiliation with Heritage is “great news for everyone.”

With Democrats now in control of both the White House and Congress, Heritage appears to increasingly have set its sights on countering liberals’ agenda in tandem with other conservatives.  

“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,” said Ms. Van Andel-Gaby. “Heritage’s board stands with them as they continue to fight.”

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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