New America (organization)

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New America
The Tyranny of Algorithms (23796058525).png
New America's event space in the Union Trust Building in Washington, D.C.
New America's logo since 2014
Formation 1999; 19 years ago (1999)
Type Public policy think tank
Headquarters 740 15th Street NW, Ste 900
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Revenue (2016)
Expenses (2016) $37,245,071[1]
Formerly called
New America Foundation (1999-2014)

New America, formerly the New America Foundation, is a non-partisan, nonprofit think tank in the United States.[2][3][4] It focuses on a range of public policy issues, including technology, education, national security, political reform, and economics. The organization has a staff of approximately 150 employees, and approximately 200 non-resident fellows, and is based in Washington, D.C., with additional offices in New York City, California, Chicago, and Indianapolis.[5][6] Its stated mission is "renewing America by continuing the quest to realize our nation's highest ideals, honestly confronting the challenges caused by rapid technological and social change, and seizing the opportunities those changes create."[7]

New America has been led by President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter since 2013.[8] Lenny T. Mendonca, a senior partner emeritus at McKinsey & Company, is the chairman of its board of directors.[9]

History and Mission

Founding and Name

New America was founded in 1999 by Ted Halstead, Sherle Schwenninger, Michael Lind, and Walter Russell Mead as a non-profit, public policy institute whose stated mission is to "invest in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States".[10] At the time, it began as a fellows program that named eight fellows in its first year.[11] Newsweek's Howard Fineman called it a "hive of state-of-the-art policy entrepreneurship".[12]

In late 2014, the organization removed "foundation" from its name, and is now known only as New America.[13]

Anne-Marie Slaughter became New America president and CEO in September 2013.


Ted Halstead served as the organization’s founding president and CEO from 1999 to 2007. Steve Coll was named New America’s second president in July 2007 and served in the role until he announced his resignation in June 2012 in order to take up the position of Dean of the Columbia Journalism School.[14]

Anne-Marie Slaughter assumed the role of president and CEO on September 1, 2013, after serving on the organization’s board of directors since 2003.[8][15]


New America's main office is located in the Union Trust Building in Washington, D.C.

New America’s main office in Washington, D.C. is located at 740 15th St. NW in the Union Trust Building.[16]

New America has three offices outside Washington. New America NYC is located at 18 W 21st Street, New York. New America CA is located at 414 Brannan St. in San Francisco. New America Chicago and New America Indianapolis do not list addresses.[17]

Policy Issues

At any given time, New America has dozens of programs and initiatives working across a broad spectrum of policy issues. There are currently 16 major programs focused on issues including education policy, technology, cybersecurity, international security, and social policy. New America also houses several fellowship programs.[18]


New America's Education Policy program comprises scholars on pre-k to K-12 through higher education and into the workforce. The program is led by higher education writer and policy analyst Kevin Carey.[19][20] The policy staff produce the EdCentral blog.[21]


New America has several programs working on the intersection of policy and technology. New America's Open Technology Institute (OTI) led by Kevin Bankston is one of the largest programs within the organization. OTI’s research areas include broadband adoption and digital literacy, broadband competition, community broadband and technology, consumer privacy, encryption, and net neutrality.[22]

In 2017, New America launched a Public Interest Technology program, led by former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz.[23]

New America is also a founding partner of Future Tense, a partnership with Arizona State University and Slate, which explores emerging technologies and their effects on society and public policy through a public event series and a column on Slate.[24]

Economics and Social Policy

Historically, New America has housed policy programs exploring ways to improve the social safety net and studying the U.S. economy. Up until 2016, New America’s Economic Growth program, directed by New America co-founders Sherle Schwenninger and Michael Lind, studied U.S. and global economic problems in the wake of the recession.[25]

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget was a part of New America until it separated to become the Fix the Debt campaign.[26]

From 2003-2017, the Asset Building program incubated policy proposals that enable low- and middle-income families in the U.S. and around the world to accumulate savings. In 2009 the program helped formulate the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings bill,[27] which would give workers who did not have an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan the option to create a retirement savings account that would move with them from job to job. The bill was signed into law in 2012.[28] The program’s work is now produced under the Family-Centered Social Policy program.[29]

New America’s social policy work also includes the Better Life Lab.[30] The initiative focuses on family policy, work-life balance, and gender equality, and is led by former Washington Post journalist and author Brigid Schulte.[30]

New America received the Prospect Magazine award for Best U.S. Social Policy Think Tank in 2015[31] and 2017.[32]

International Security

President Barack Obama and New America vice president Peter Bergen discuss the fifth anniversary of the Osama bin Laden raid on CNN.

New America's International Security program is led by Peter Bergen, a CNN national security analyst and author of several best-selling books, including The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda.[33] The program produces research on homegrown American terrorism, the development and nature of ISIS networks in the West, the United States’ drone wars abroad, the collapse of the American monopoly on armed drones, and the proliferation of drones around the world.[34] New America helped found the Arizona State University Center on the Future of War in the 2014-15 academic year, and the two institutions collaborate on a Future of War Project to study the changing nature of war and conflict.[35]


New America’s National Fellows Program selects a class of fellows annually and supports their work for one or two years. Fellows produce books, films, articles or other works that “enhances the public conversation about the most pressing issues of our day,” during their fellowships.[36]

Many of New America’s fellows are journalists. Notable past and present fellows include:

New America also has fellowships for Millennials,[40] California-based social entrepreneurs,[41] public interest technologists,[42] learning science professionals,[43] and cybersecurity experts.[44]

Political Stance

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, New America describes itself as independent and nonpartisan.[45] The institution’s founders termed the think tank as residing in the “radical center.”[46] The organization has since been referred to as “left-leaning,”[47][48][49] “center-left,”[50][51] and “centrist”[52] by news outlets.

Board of Directors

New America is chaired by Lenny T. Mendonca, who succeeded Reihan Salam and Jonathan Soros in 2017. The board’s current members include:


New America is funded by more than 250 different foundations, individuals, and corporations.[53] The organization operates without an endowment and raises its annual budget every year. In 2016, New America reported revenue of $37,973,732, and expenses of $37,245,071; 48% of the revenue came from foundations, 30% from individuals, 12% from corporations, 3% from U.S. government, and 7% from other sources.[53][1]

Funders that contributed more than $1 million in 2016-2017 include Aphorism Foundation, Arizona State University, 11th Hour Project and Schmidt Family Foundation, Florida International University, Ford Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, Inc., William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Todd Park, Eric Schmidt and Wendy Schmidt, Open Society Foundations, and Skoll Global Threats Fund.[54]


The New York Times reported in late August 2017 that pressure from Google led to the ousting of Barry Lynn[55] who had criticized Google as a monopoly and called for it to be broken up.[56] It was reported that Google and Eric Schmidt had pressured New America into the dismissal of a whole group of researchers who lauded the EU's antitrust ruling against Google.[57] Reportedly, the President and CEO, Anne-Marie Slaughter, wrote an email to Lynn shortly before dismissing him saying "We are in the process of trying to expand our relationship with Google... just THINK about how you are imperiling funding."[55] The emails sent by Slaughter "clearly show the influence that Google wields over New America’s operations,” stated the Open Markets team in a statement provided to The Intercept.[58] Slaughter denied the allegations, but refused to speak to New York Times reporters about why they might be wrong.[55][59] A collective letter signed by New America’s former and current fellows, including journalists such as George Packer of The New Yorker and scholars such as Evgeny Morozov of Harvard University was delivered to Slaughter and New America’s directors. The letter highlighted that the handling of the situation by Slaughter has damaged the think tank’s reputation.[60][61]

Lynn has founded an as yet unnamed nonprofit to continue the Open Markets Program's work terminated by New America.[62]


  1. ^ a b c "New America 990 Financial Statement" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "New America Organization". 
  3. ^ Nissenbaum, Dion (June 28, 2015). "Author Warns U.S. Military to Focus on China". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Steve Coll, New America President, Stepping Down, Writing 'Ghost Wars' Sequel". The Huffington Post. 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  5. ^ "Our People". Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  6. ^ "Molly G. Martin". 
  7. ^ "Our Story". 
  8. ^ a b Krystal Knapp, "Anne-Marie Slaughter Named President of New America Foundation", Planet Princeton, April 4, 2013
  9. ^ "Lenny Mendonca to Chair New America Board of Directors". 
  10. ^ New America Foundation, About New America, accessed June 23, 2010
  11. ^ "Ted Halstead Keynote Address, Annual Conference 2016". Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  12. ^ Howard Fineman, "Living Politics: Election Gave '04 Brokers More Clout", Newsweek, November 13, 2002
  13. ^ Christine Rosen, "The Do-Not-Think Tank", Weekly Standard, September 8, 2017
  14. ^ Ariel Kaminer, "Columbia Picks New Journalism Dean", New York Times, March 18, 2013
  15. ^ "Board of Directors". Archived from the original on 2003-08-10. 
  16. ^ "Think tank lured to historic Union Trust Co. site near the White House". Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  17. ^ "Contact New America". Retrieved 2018-02-02. 
  18. ^ "Fellowships". Retrieved 2018-02-02. 
  19. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2018-02-02. 
  20. ^ "Kevin Carey". Retrieved 2018-02-02. 
  21. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2018-02-02. 
  22. ^ "OTI, Our Research Areas". Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  23. ^ "Cecilia Muñoz to Lead New Public Interest Technology Work at New America". Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  24. ^ "What is Future Tense?". Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  25. ^ "About Us". New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  26. ^ "Fix The Debt Campaign Drove New America Foundation To Split Off Affiliate". 
  27. ^ "Can CalPERS aid private sector retirement?". Calpensions. April 16, 2009. 
  28. ^ Senate Bill No. 1234, September 28, 2012
  29. ^ "Family Centered Social Policy". 
  30. ^ a b "Better Life Lab". New America. 
  31. ^ "Think Tank Awards 2015 Winners". 
  32. ^ "Think Tank Awards 2017: Who won?". 
  33. ^ "Peter Bergen's "The Longest War"". The Washington Post. 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  34. ^ "Research Areas". New America. Retrieved 2018-02-01. )
  35. ^ "Center on the Future of War". Arizona State University. Retrieved 2018-02-01. )
  36. ^ "About Us". New America. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "Alumni Roster". New America. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  38. ^ "A Chat With MacArthur Genius Nikole Hannah-Jones". New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  39. ^ "Michael Lind". New America. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  40. ^ "Millennials". New America. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  41. ^ "Current Roster". New America. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  42. ^ "Public Interest Tech Team at New America Welcomes First Class of Fellows". New America. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  43. ^ "About LSX". New America. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  44. ^ "Cybersecurity Fellows". New America. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  45. ^ "Our Funding". New America. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  46. ^ "Silicon Valley's New Think Tank Stakes Out 'Radical Center'". New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  47. ^ "A New Betsy DeVos Proposal Would Make It Much Tougher For Students To Get Loan Forgiveness". BuzzFeed. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  48. ^ "Public Higher Ed Skews Wealthy". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  49. ^ "Talking Trumpism: A New Political Journal Enters the Fray". New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  50. ^ "Nearly 5 Million Americans in Default on Student Loans". Fox Business. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  51. ^ "Is Trump Wrecking Both Parties?". New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  52. ^ "Kelly gives McMaster cover in West Wing battles". Politico. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  53. ^ a b "New America 2016 Annual Report". New America. Retrieved February 1, 2018. 
  54. ^ "New America Our Funders". New America. Retrieved February 1, 2018. 
  55. ^ a b c Vogel, Kenneth (August 30, 2017). "Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant". The New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  56. ^ Lynn, Barry (June 27, 2017). "Open Markets Applauds the European Commission's Finding Against Google for Abuse of Dominance". New America. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  57. ^ Rushe, Dominic (August 30, 2017). "Google-funded thinktank fired scholar over criticism of tech firm". The Guardian. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  58. ^ Dayen, David (September 1, 2017). "New Think Tank Emails Show "How Google Wields its Power" in Washington". The Intercept. Retrieved September 2, 2017. 
  59. ^ "The New America Foundation falls into a familiar trap". The Economist. September 7, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  60. ^ Vogel, Kenneth (September 1, 2017). "New America, a Google-Funded Think Tank, Faces Backlash for Firing a Google Critic". The New York Times. Retrieved September 8, 2017. 
  61. ^ Kuwin, Noah (September 5, 2017). "Google critic's firing sparks backlash within New America ranks". Vice News. Retrieved September 8, 2017. 
  62. ^ "Tell Google: Stop Killing Monopoly Research". Retrieved August 31, 2017. 

External links

  • New America webpage
  • VIDEO – See Elizabeth Carpenter speak at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health – Health Care Reform: A Nonpartisan Look at the Issue Under Debate
  • Interactive Demographic: Home Grown Terrorist Study [1]
  • "Letter to the New America Board and Leadership signed by 25 New America's former and current fellows". September 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2017. 
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