It is with great anticipation that I announce an exciting new direction for Heritage today: the creation of the Center for Policy Innovation. This has long been a dream of our colleague Stuart Butler and others here at Heritage, and we are excited to finally make it a reality.

Dr. Butler, who has led our domestic and economic research team since 1982, will become Director of the Center he has envisioned. He will also remain a member of our Senior Management team and serve as a Distinguished Fellow.  He has been a dear friend, loyal mentor and courageous leader for over 31 years here at Heritage and his continued drive to improve the way we generate big ideas is greatly appreciated.

Dr. Butler has been a font of ideas that have transformed the conservative movement. Whether it was Enterprise Zones, Welfare Reform, School Choice or—the subject of his most recent attention—healthcare, he has dedicated his life to thinking how to make American lives better. 

Dr. Butler will lead a virtual team of insiders and outside individuals to think through and devise innovative breakthrough policy ideas – essentially a “think tank within a think tank.” One of the first challenges the Center will take on is how to break the paralysis on fixing the long-term fiscal crisis facing America. Learning from the nation’s most innovative companies, it will form specialized teams drawn from Heritage researchers and outside experts to work on these policy design projects.

As Dr. Butler leaves his current day-to-day role to concentrate full-time on this new effort, he will be replaced as Vice President for Domestic and Economic Policy Studies by David Addington.

Mr. Addington is a brilliant policy expert with over twenty years of senior experience at all levels and branches of governance. As a trusted advisor to two White Houses, the Defense Department and four congressional committees, Mr. Addington understands Washington and how policy ideas become law.  Most recently, Mr. Addington served in the Office of the Vice President, first as Dick Cheney’s counsel and later as his chief of staff.

These are exciting times at Heritage. This year, we launched Heritage Action for America, opened up our new offices on the House of Representatives side of Capitol Hill and have led the conservative fight for good public policy in America like never before.

Many people, especially liberals, misread conservatism as a force that strives to slow down change, a mere speed bump on the road to progress. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the great Russell Kirk wrote, “Change in society is natural, inevitable and beneficial; the statesman should not try vainly to dam the whole stream of alteration, because then he would be opposing Providence.”

Leading “the waters of novelty into the canals of custom,” as Kirk put it, has been the lifework of Stuart Butler, and we’re lucky to have him keeping us on the cutting edge. Great organizations continue to improve from within, and that is exactly what Heritage continues to do. Please join me in congratulating Stuart on his new role, and welcome David to the Heritage family.