John Hood

President of the John Locke Foundation

The Institute for Humane Studies has named John Hood the winner of the second annual Charles G. Koch Outstanding IHS Alum Award. John is President of the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, North Carolina, and has a successful record of promoting individual liberty and innovative, market-oriented solutions as a think tank entrepreneur, policy analyst, book author and syndicated columnist, and radio and television commentator. Former North Carolina state representative J. Arthur Pope, the first chairman of the board of the John Locke Foundation, noted that “John Hood has been a key figure in its growth and success as an effective state-level think tank.” John’s involvement goes all the way back to the planning stages, he reported. And less than two years after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in journalism, he was there as the Foundation opened its doors in early 1990.

Working alongside the Foundation’s first executive director, John led the fledgling organization’s research and publishing strategy. By 1996 the think tank had grown and prospered and John was promoted to president and several years later made chairman of the board, as well.

In addition to his role as president of the Foundation and publisher of their monthly newspaper, John is a syndicated columnist on state politics and public policy for over 30 papers in North Carolina communities. He is also a regular radio commentator and weekly panelist on “NC Spin,” broadcast on stations around the state.

John is the author of two books, Investor Politics: The New Force that Will Transform American Business, Government, and Politics in the 21st Century (Templeton Foundation Press, 2001) and The Heroic Enterprise: Business and the Common Good(Free Press, 1996). The latter was researched and written while John was a Bradley Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., in 1994-95.

John started working to advance liberty even as a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was founder and editor of a monthly opinion magazine,The Carolina Critic, that grew to encompass five campus editions in North Carolina. John further honed his research and writing skills as a summer editorial intern at Reason magazine in 1988 and as a reporter/researcher at The New Republic from 1989 to 1990. He won an Honorable Mention in the IHS Felix Morley Journalism Competition in 1987, a Runner Up Prize in 1988, and First Prize in 1989. Foreshadowing his key role at the John Locke Foundation, John told IHS as a student journalist: “I like to write about such issues as education, the environment, consumer protection, and local regulations -- issues with a tangible, everyday impact on people’s lives.” Even then, when he envisioned a future career as a journalist, he noted, “I’d like to develop a niche. . . . I’m thinking that state and local issues offer me the most latitude to develop that mastery -- especially if I focus on the South, a region I grew up in and one in which liberty and economic dynamism are constantly threatened.” As with Professor David Schmidtz, winner of the 2002 Charles G. Koch Outstanding IHS Alum Award, IHS expects that John has hardly finished with significant contributions to our understanding of liberty and its application to today’s problems.

-- January 2004