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The Lexington Institute is a public-policy think tank headquartered in Arlington, Virginia that focuses mainly on security-related issues, including defense spending, military technology, economic competitiveness, energy policy and logistics.[2] It is organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which means it is a tax-exempt, non-profit foundation that does not engage in lobbying.[3] The Institute's main sources of funding are corporations, other foundations, and individual donors.

Lexington Institute
Logo Lexington Institute.png
Key peopleMerrick Carey
Loren Thompson
Daniel Goure
Constance Douris
Rathna Muralidharan
BudgetRevenue: $2,136,371
Expenses: $2,066,977
(FYE December 2015)[1]
1600 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia


History and philosophyEdit

The Lexington Institute was founded in 1998 by former James Courter (R-NJ), former congressional aide Merrick Carey, and former Georgetown University professor Loren Thompson. As of July 2018, they are respectively the chairman, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of the Institute.[4]

The institute's political philosophy is center-right, peace through strength, defense of U.S. economic interests, energy independence, and market-driven solutions to social needs. Although the organization's mission statement does not describe it as "conservative" or "libertarian,"[5] it opposes tax increases, the creation of entitlements, and federal intervention in the daily lives of citizens.

The Institute's employees are frequently cited in national media and generate numerous commentaries on public policy matters. One survey of think tank visibility ranked the institute number two in the nation relative to its budget size.[6] Loren Thompson is a longstanding contributor to, having written over 600 commentaries.[7] Daniel Gouré’s opinion pieces frequently appear in outlets such as The National Interest,[8] Defense News, and RealClearDefense.[9] Constance Douris writes frequently on energy policy,[10] Rathna Muralidharan writes on regional security, [11] and Paul Steidler writes on logistics.[12]

Defense policyEdit

The Lexington Institute has been called the "defense industry's pay-to-play ad agency", since it receives funding from military contractors and issues stream of reports, usually favorable, about the performance and status of weapons programs.[13] However, institute staffers are frequently critical of particular weapons or policies, assailing (among other things) the Navy's next-generation destroyer, the Army's future troop carrier, a proposed joint replacement for the Humvee light tactical vehicle and most of the acquisition reform measures proposed during the Obama Administration.[citation needed] Media citations frequently note that Lexington staffers have ties to military contractors. Thompson stated, "I'm not going to work on a project unless somebody, somewhere, is willing to pay. This is a business. My bottom line is that if what I write and say is true, it doesn't really matter what my motives are."[13]

Daniel Goure and Thompson are two Lexington defense analysts. Goure was formerly associated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Thompson was deputy director of Georgetown University's Security Studies Program and taught there for two decades, during which time he received a Ph.D. from the university. Thompson argued in favor of continued C-17 production in 2009 and against this production in 2010.[14] He also taught briefly at Harvard. Thompson has said that the United States is likely to engage in war against Vietnam again and so needs the EFV to storm its beaches.[15] He has also called for a shift in American defense spending towards items such as the Littoral Combat Ship and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II that can be exported to allies.[16] Thompson has said that "The United States cannot continue to spend, especially on defense, the way it has been over the past decade."[17] Despite being funding by defense contractors, Goure has argued that the use of these contractors is a sign of an army in decline.[18]


The Institute also covers purely political topics. For example, Thompson wrote that most of the candidates in the Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2012 are "unsuited to high office".[19]


The Lexington Institute’s energy efforts focus on improving the resiliency and reliability of the U.S. electricity grid. Constance Douris, Vice President of the Lexington Institute, manages the energy portfolio and regularly writes about this subject in her Forbes column.[20]

Most recently, Douris has published articles about how electric vehicles impact the electric grid. She has spoken about this on CBS Radio[21] and RealClearEnergy has featured her work.[22] Douris also gave a speech on cybersecurity of the grid at EnergySec's Distribution Security Forum in March 2018.

The Institute hosted a "Cybersecurity of the Electric Grid" Capitol Hill Forum on June 8, 2018.[23]

Lexington analyzed California’s decision to provide a financial reward when utilities adopt distributed energy resources. A white paper titled "California Aims To Incentivize Utilities To Adopt Third-Party Energy Resources" written by Douris was released in March 2017.[24] Articles about distributed sources have been published in Forbes and other media outlets.[25][26][27][28]

With the aim of identifying a reasonable balance between access to and privacy of data generated from the smart grid, Lexington hosted a Capitol Hill event titled "Securing Smart Grid Data" in May 2017.[29] Lexington published "Balancing Smart Grid Data and Consumer Privacy" in July 2017.[30] Lexington has also published articles on how to balance privacy and smart grid data access.[31] [32]

To improve the cybersecurity of the electric grid, the think tank released "Cyber Threat Data Sharing Needs Refinement" in August 2017.[33] Past articles written on this topic were published by Forbes and The National Interest.[34] [35] [36] [37]

In 2014, a Lexington white paper was published, "Keeping the Lights On: How Electricity Policy Must Keep Up With Technology."[38]

A 2013 Lexington report, "Ensuring the Resilience of the U.S. Electric Grid," argued for strategies to minimize the impact of disruptions to the power grid.[39]


  • Jim Courter, Chairman
  • Merrick Carey, CEO
  • Loren B. Thompson, Chief Operating Officer
  • Dan Goure, Senior Vice President
  • Ms. Constance Douris, Vice President
  • Ms. Rathna Muralidharan, Program Director


  1. ^ "The Lexington Institute" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Lexington Institute". Lexington Institute. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  3. ^ 26 U.S. Code Section 501.
  4. ^ Lexington Institute "Lexington Institute" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  5. ^ "Lexington Institute". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  6. ^ "Cost Effectiveness of the Most Widely Cited Think Tanks" (PDF). Center for Economic and Policy Research. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  7. ^ "Forbes" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  8. ^ The National Interest "The National Interest" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  9. ^ RealClearDefense "RealClearDefense" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "Lexington Institute". Lexington Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "Lexington Institute". Lexington Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "Lexington Institute". Lexington Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Mad men: Introducing the defense industry's pay-to-play ad agency". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  14. ^ "About the FlightGlobal Group - Blogs Announcement -". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Beach-storming drill returns Marines to roots". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  16. ^ Korb, Lawrence; Thompson, Loren (18 August 2010). "The U.S. can't afford unilateral military moves abroad". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  17. ^ Spires, Shelby G. "Expert: Federal spending freeze beats alternative." The Sun, 7 February 2011.
  18. ^ Goure, Daniel (July 6, 2012). "The Sun Has Finally Set On The British Army And We Are Next". Lexington Institute.
  19. ^ Thompson, Loren B. (November 10, 2011). "If Republicans Don't Pick Romney, Obama Will Win Reelection In A Landslide". Arlington, Virginia: Lexington Institute.
  20. ^ Douris, Constance. "Constance Douris". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Constance Douris' KCBS Interview on Electric Vehicle Chargers". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Tesla Joins a Growing Trend: Electric Buses and Trucks". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Videos: Cybersecurity of the Electric Grid". Arlington, Virginia: Lexington Institute. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  24. ^ Douris, Constance (20 March 2017). "California Aims To Incentivize Utilities To Adopt Third-Party Energy Resources". Arlington, Virginia: Lexington Institute. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  25. ^ Douris, Constance (14 September 2017). "California Presses Grid Operators To Substitute Non-Traditional Sources For New Investment". New York City: Forbes Media. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  26. ^ "California Approves Pilot Program For More Reliable Electricity". 11 January 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  27. ^ "Third Party Resources Are The Future Of The Electric Grid". Lexington Institute. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  28. ^ Douris, Constance (13 December 2016). "California To Decide Fate Of Independent Energy Providers". Lexington Institute. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Lexington Institute". 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Balancing Smart Grid Data and Consumer Privacy". Lexington Institute. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Lexington Institute". 25 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  32. ^ "Lexington Institute". 9 May 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Lexington Institute". 2 August 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  34. ^ Douris, Constance. "Utilities Will Spend Billions On Cybersecurity As Threat Grows". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  35. ^ Douris, Constance. "Cyber Threats to the U.S. Electric Grid Are Real". The National Interest. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  36. ^ Douris, Constance. "Why the Pentagon Needs to Leverage National Guard Cyber Skills". The National Interest. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  37. ^ Douris, Constance. "How California Is Protecting Its Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats". The National Interest. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  38. ^ "Lexington Institute". Lexington Institute. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  39. ^ Thompson, Loren B. "Ensuring The Resilience Of The U.S. Electrical Grid." Lexington Institute, 22 January 2013.

External linksEdit