HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION
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.
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 is the intellectual predecessor 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 Senator’s wife, Helen Jackson, his staff and colleagues were inspired to continue the Senator’s unfinished work in the areas in which he played a key leadership role, and founded the Henry M. Jackson Foundation to do just that. Our work is guided by his skills as a leader, the values he modeled, and the core areas that he cared about deeply. Today, we use all of this to develop and support leaders and organizations that tackle some of the toughest problems that humanity faces.