The Hoover Institution is an American public policy think tank and research institution located at Stanford University in California. Its official name is the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. It began as a library founded in 1919 by Republican Herbert Hoover, before he became President of the United States. The library, known as the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, houses multiple archives related to Hoover, World War I, World War II, and other world history. According to the 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), Hoover is #18 (of 90) in the "Top Think Tanks in the United States".[2]

The Hoover Institution is a unit of Stanford University[3] but has its own board of overseers.[4] It is located on the campus. Its mission statement outlines its basic tenets: representative government, private enterprise, peace, personal freedom, and the safeguards of the American system.[5] The institution is generally described as conservative,[6][7][8] although directors and others associated with it resist this description, saying that the institution is not partisan and that its goal is "to advance ideas of supporting freedom and free enterprise".[9]

The institution has been a place of scholarship for individuals who previously held high-profile positions in government, such as George Shultz, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Boskin, Edward Lazear, John B. Taylor, Edwin Meese, and Amy Zegart—all Hoover Institution fellows. In 2007, retired U.S. Army General John P. Abizaid, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, was named the Institution's first annual Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow.[10] Current Secretary of Defense General James Mattis served as a research fellow at Hoover before being appointed by the Trump administration.[11]

The institution is housed in four buildings on the Stanford campus. The most prominent facility is the landmark Hoover Tower, which is a popular visitor attraction. The tower features an observation deck on the top level that provides visitors with a panoramic view of the Stanford campus and surrounding area. Additionally, the institution has a branch office in the Johnson Center in Washington, DC.


The Institution was set up by Herbert Hoover, one of Stanford's first graduates, who would later become the 31st President of the United States. He had been in charge of American relief efforts in Europe after World War I. Hoover's express purpose was to collect the records of contemporary history as it was happening. Hoover's helpers frequently risked their lives to rescue documentary and rare printed material, especially from countries under Nazi or Communist rule. Their many successes included the papers of Rosa Luxemburg, the Goebbels Diaries, and the records of the Russian secret police in Paris. Research institutes were also set up under Hoover's influence, though inevitably there were to be clashes between the moving force, Hoover, and the host university.[12]

In 1919, Hoover donated $50,000 to Stanford University to support the collection of primary materials related to World War I, a project that became known as the Hoover War Collection. Supported primarily by gifts from private donors, the Hoover War Collection flourished in its early years. In 1922, the Collection became known as the Hoover War Library. The Hoover War Library was housed in the Stanford Library, separate from the general stacks. By 1926, the Hoover War Library was known as the largest library in the world devoted to the Great War. By 1929, it contained 1.4 million items and was becoming too large to house in the Stanford Library. In 1938, the War Library revealed building plans for Hoover Tower, which was to be its permanent home independent of the Stanford Library system. The tower was completed in 1941, Stanford University's fiftieth anniversary.[13]

By 1946, the agenda of the Hoover War Library had expanded to include research activities; thus the organization was renamed the Hoover Institution and Library on War, Revolution and Peace. At this time, Herbert Hoover was living in New York City but remained integrally involved in the Hoover Institution and Library as a benefactor, fundraiser, and consultant.

In 1956 former President Hoover, under the auspices of the Institution and Library, launched a major fundraising campaign that allowed the Institution to realize its current form as a think tank and archive. In 1957, the Hoover Institution and Library was renamed the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace—the name it holds today.[14]

In 1960, W. Glenn Campbell was appointed director and substantial budget increases soon led to corresponding increases in acquisitions and related research projects. In particular, the Chinese and Russian collections grew considerably. Despite student unrest in the 1960s, the institution continued to thrive and develop closer relations with Stanford.[15]

John Raisian served as director from 1989 to 2015. Thomas W. Gilligan succeeded him in 2015.


Below is a list of Hoover Institution directors and prominent fellows, former and current.


Honorary Fellows

Distinguished Fellows

Senior Fellows

Research Fellows

Distinguished Visiting Fellows

Media Fellows

National Fellows

Senior Research Fellows


The Hoover Institution's in-house publisher, Hoover Institution Press, produces multiple publications on public policy topics, including the quarterly periodicals Hoover Digest, Education Next, China Leadership Monitor, and Defining Ideas. The Hoover Institution Press previously published the bimonthly periodical Policy Review, which it acquired from The Heritage Foundation in 2001.[31] Policy Review ceased publication with its February–March 2013 issue.

In addition to these periodicals, the Hoover Institution Press publishes books and essays by Hoover Institution fellows and other Hoover-affiliated scholars.


The Hoover Institution receives nearly half of its funding from private gifts, primarily from individual contributions, and the other half from its endowment.[32]

Funders of the organization include the Taube Family Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the Howard Charitable Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Walton Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the William E. Simon Foundation.[33]


Funding sources and expenditures, 2014–2015:[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Annual Report 2015". Hoover Institution. August 31, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ James G. McGann (Director) (January 26, 2017). "2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report". Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Stanford Legal Facts". Office of the General Counsel. Stanford University. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Board of Overseers". Hoover Institution. Stanford University. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Hoover Institution – Mission Statement". hoover.org. 
  6. ^ "Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace". Encyclopaedica Brittanica. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  7. ^ McBride, Stewart (May 28, 1975). "Hoover Institution: Leaning to the right". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  8. ^ Nau, Henry R. (2013). Conservative Internationalism: Armed Diplomacy under Jefferson, Polk, Truman and Reagan. Princeton University Press. p. xi. ISBN 978-0-691-15931-7. 
  9. ^ "Business Dean Seizes Rare Opportunity to Lead Hoover Institution, and Other News About People". Chronicle of Higher Education. March 23, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Former U.S. Central Command Chief General John Abizaid Appointed Hoover Distinguished Visiting Fellow". 
  11. ^ "General Jim Mattis Biography, Hoover Institution". Hoover Administration. June 14, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2017. 
  12. ^ Peter Duignan, "The Library of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Part 1: Origin and Growth", Library History 2001 17(1): 3–19
  13. ^ "Hoover Institution Library and Archives: Historical Background". hoover.org. 
  14. ^ "Hoover Institution – Hoover Institution Timeline". hoover.org. 
  15. ^ Peter Duignan, "The Library of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Part 2: the Campbell Years", Library History 2001 17(2): 107–18.
  16. ^ "Yacht club to host celebration of Virginia Rothwell". Stanford Report. September 1, 2004. Retrieved March 25, 2008. 
  17. ^ Trei, Lisa (November 28, 2001). "Glenn Campbell, former Hoover director, dead at 77". Stanford Report. Retrieved March 25, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Honorary Fellow". Hoover Institution Stanford University. 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Distinguished Fellow". Hoover Institution Stanford University. 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Senior Fellows". Hoover Institution Stanford University. 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  21. ^ "David Brady". 
  22. ^ "Research Fellows". 
  23. ^ "Distinguished Visiting Fellows". Hoover Institution Stanford University. 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  24. ^ "William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellows". Hoover Institution Stanford University. 2010. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  25. ^ a b "William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellows by year". hoover.org. 
  26. ^ "William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellows by year". hoover.org. 
  27. ^ "Stephen Kotkin". Hoover Institution. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Robert Hessen". Hoover Institution. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  29. ^ "Charles Wolf Jr". Hoover Institution. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Edward Teller". Hoover Institution. Retrieved March 7, 2018. 
  31. ^ "Policy Review Web Archive". 
  32. ^ "Hoover Institution 2010 Report". Hoover Institution. p. 39. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  33. ^ Ade Adeniji (April 21, 2015). "How the Hoover Institution Vacuums Up Big Conservative Bucks". Inside Philanthropy. 

Further reading

  • Paul, Gary Norman. "The Development of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace Library, 1919–1944". PhD dissertation U. of California, Berkeley. Dissertation Abstracts International 1974 35(3): 1682-1683-A, 274p.

External links

Coordinates: 37°25′38″N 122°09′59″W / 37.4271°N 122.1664°W / 37.4271; -122.1664