The American Enterprise Institute is a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world. The work of our scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in our belief in democracy, free enterprise, American strength and global leadership, solidarity with those at the periphery of our society, and a pluralistic, entrepreneurial culture.


The American Enterprise Institute’s governance is overseen by our Board of Trustees, composed of leading business and financial executives. The Institute’s external development and outreach activities are bolstered by entrepreneurs from across the country who serve on our National Council.

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Organization and Purposes

In all our endeavors, AEI trustees, scholars and fellows, and officers and staff are responsible for maintaining the highest standards of integrity, intellectual rigor and excellence–and for sustaining AEI’s founding commitment to open inquiry, lucid exposition, vigorous debate and continuous improvement in the institutions of American liberty.

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AEI's Annual Report

Over the past year, AEI scholars engaged in new research and developed innovative reform ideas designed to solve some of America’s greatest challenges: leveraging the right tools in US trade policy; addressing the scourge of opioids in communities across the country; narrowing America’s skills gap; thwarting transnational threats emanating from China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia; and undergirding American national defense.

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Our Scholars

AEI scholars are committed to making the intellectual, moral, and practical case for expanding freedom, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening the free enterprise system in America and around the world. Our work explores ideas that further these goals, and AEI scholars take part in this pursuit with academic freedom. AEI operates independently of any political party and has no institutional positions. Our scholars’ conclusions are fueled by rigorous, data-driven research and broad-ranging evidence.

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Policy Areas

AEI scholars not only engage in research that focuses on today’s most critical challenges but also look ahead to ideas and issues that have yet to be widely recognized. AEI scholars pursue innovative, independent work across a wide array of subjects. From economics, education, health care, and poverty to foreign and defense studies, public opinion, politics, society, and culture, our experts drive the competition of ideas.

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Board of Trustees

AEI is governed by a Board of Trustees, composed of leading business and financial executives.

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AEI’s headquarters are located in historic Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. Learn more about our building, how to contact us, and departmental points of contact.

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