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Foundation History 1

About us

Through our Jackson Fellows Leadership program, grantmaking, and partnerships, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation seeks to make a lasting impact with a focus on climate, human rights, international affairs education, and values-based civic leadership.

Our Vision:

To empower visionary leaders to advance the public good, inspire action, and promote a civil, sustainable, and just society

Our Mission:

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation fosters and amplifies effective leadership and tackles key issues of national and global importance based on the following core values and principles.

Our Values:

  • Inquisitive: Seeking knowledge and understanding the issues
  • Visionary: Focused on the long term
  • Diligent: Hard work and persistence
  • Pragmatic: A bipartisan, results-oriented approach to problem solving
  • Open: Seeking and respectful of diverse views
  • Honest: Integrity and high moral standards
  • Determined: Setting goals and following an effective process to reach them
  • Inspiring: Motivating others for the public good

Our Goals:

  • Invest in values-based leadership in public and private life
  • Push to limit global temperature rise to 1.5o C to address the climate crisis, in order to preserve life and the global environment
  • Advance human rights and international affairs education, with special emphasis on Russia and China
  • Continuously improve operations for staff and board to support our mission while emobodying the Jackson leadership values
  • Incorporate anti-racist practices in all aspects of the Foundation’s work to ensure that the Foundation advances equity, inclusion, and justice

Our History

Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson represented Washington State in the United States Senate for over 30 years, and is still considered one of the most effective and capable legislators of the past century. For him there was no higher calling than public service, and he worked tirelessly to develop and pass legislation especially in the areas of the environment, energy, national security, and human rights. Understanding the need for consensus and bipartisanship, Senator Jackson built effective, bipartisan coalitions to support and pass some of the most important pieces of legislation that are still with us today, including the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), Wilderness Act, Youth Conservation Corps Act, and the Jackson-Vanik Amendment (which led to the current Global Magnitsky Act).

Senator Jackson also understood the need for educated, informed, compassionate leaders. He never tired of encouraging those who worked for him to enter public life and run for office. He understood the connection between academic knowledge and policy making, and the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington is named in his honor and in remembrance of his emphasis on creating policies based on the most current factual information rather than emotions and perceptions.

Upon Senator Jackson’s death in 1983, The Henry M. Jackson Foundation was founded to continue Senator Jackson’s unfinished work in the areas in which he played a key leadership role. Our work is guided today by Senator Jackson’s skills as a leader, including integrity, civility, and fact-based decision making, as we develop and support leaders and organizations that tackle some of the toughest problems that humanity faces.