The announcement comes several months after Jim DeMint, a former senator from South Carolina, was ousted in May as president of the influential think tank. The organization’s founder Edwin J. Feulner has served as acting president ever since. James, 68, will officially begin as president on Jan. 1.
What did the Heritage Foundation say?
Thomas A. Saunders III, chairman of Heritage’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement that Heritage’s Board of Trustees unanimously selected James as the organization’s next president.
“All of us at Heritage are looking forward to continuing working with Kay Coles James developing and advancing conservative policy solutions and principles that are in the best interest of the American people,” Saunders said.
Who is Kay Coles James?
James, a member of Heritage’s board of trustees since 2005, has worked in government, academia, and the conservative movement during her career, the Heritage Foundation said. James worked as a member of the National Commission on Children under former President Ronald Reagan, as well as roles in the administrations of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
This year, James and former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese led President Donald Trump’s transition team for the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management, and General Services Administration.
In a statement, James said, “For more than four decades, The Heritage Foundation has been a vital force in American conservatism, producing the research, analysis, and solutions that inform and influence policymaking.”
“I’m honored that the board would ask me to lead this important work,” James said. “What we believe, what we develop, what we fight for — these are the policies that help people. I look forward to expanding the conservative movement in a positive, inclusive way as we build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish.”
Editor’s note: The author of this story once worked for The Daily Signal, the news organization of The Heritage Foundation.