The Eisenhower Institute (EI) is a center for leadership and public policy based in Washington, D.C. and in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1983, the EI serves as a presidential legacy organization honoring the legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States. The Eisenhower Institute strives to: "...prepare the successor generations to perfect the promise of the nation through engagement in distinctive programs of leadership and style.."
A program of Gettysburg College, the institute is a non-partisan, non-profit, presidential legacy organization that develops and sponsors civic discourse on significant issues of domestic and international public policy. Its activities include research and scholarship, education and outreach, and recognition and celebration. The EI strives to embody Eisenhower's model of public policy formation and leadership, and its programs aim to encourage greater understanding of core governmental institutions, bridging the perspectives of scholars, policy-makers, students, and citizens.
The institute is governed by a board of directors and has both a campus advisory council and a public advisory board.
The Eisenhower World Affairs Institute
The Eisenhower World Affairs Institute was founded in 1983 by colleagues and confidants of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of the late President, was a founding director and later the first president of the institute. She designed its US-Soviet program and remained with the institute for several years to implement it. She helped build one of the nation's most renowned public policy programs on US-Soviet relations. The successes of the program and its emphasis on international cooperation and dialogue would go on to define the institute's work for the next twenty years. Ms. Eisenhower left the institute in 1989 to found the Center for Political and Strategic Studies in 1991. It was at this time that the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute affiliated with Gettysburg College of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
EI and Gettysburg College
Gettysburg College was founded in 1832 by anti-slavery theologian, Samuel Simon Schmucker, to educate new immigrants to Pennsylvania. It now ranks among the best liberal arts colleges in the United States. The College has long been associated with the life and legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower. When Lieutenant Eisenhower came to Gettysburg in 1918 to command a training base, the College provided housing for the young officer and his new bride. After World War II, Eisenhower returned to accept an honorary doctorate. Following his presidency, Eisenhower retired to his farm in Gettysburg and took an active part in the life of the College, serving on the board of trustees and maintaining a campus officer, where he wrote his memoirs. It was in 1991 that Gettysburg College first became intertwined with the objectives and mission of the Eisenhower Institute, a relationship that is now cemented in a symbiotic and mutually beneficial way.
During the 1990s, the institute worked hard to promote a stronger educational focus on public affairs by sponsoring numerous programs that have linked education, scholarship and public policy. Its goal was to instill a stronger sense of public service. The institute's most prestigious and celebrated program, the Eisenhower Leadership Prize, was first instituted at this time in 1991. The Leadership Prize is an annual award given to honor an individual whose lifetime accomplishments reflect Dwight Eisenhower's legacy of integrity and leadership. The Prize continues to this day and remains the institute's most distinguished award.
EI and CPSS
Nearly a decade later, in 2000, under Ms. Eisenhower's leadership, the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute merged with the programs of the Center for Political and Strategic Studies to create the Eisenhower Institute. Throughout the 1990s, CPSS had built a reputation as a leading organization for promoting informed debate on U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union, and on international security issues. Addressing topics such as nuclear non-proliferation, NATO expansion, and National Missile Defense, the organization also conducted regional studies on such subjects as health and environmental degradation in Russia and the impact of emerging Islam in Central Asia. The Center published a number of landmark books on these topics.
With the merge of these two organizations, the Eisenhower Institute was officially created, and Ms. Eisenhower was named as the president and chief executive officer of the institute. Its goals to this day remain the encouragement, development and sponsorship of civic discourse on significant issues of public policy, both domestic and international, through the rigorous pursuit of facts, respectful dialogue among stakeholders, and a focus on the future.
The institute and Gettysburg College today
Gettysburg College cemented its strong affiliation with the Eisenhower Institute in 2006 when the two entities formally announced a new relationship by combining the programs of the institute under the umbrella of the College's own efforts. The institute is now operated as a program of Gettysburg College with two sites. With offices in the heart of the nation's capital and in an historic home in Gettysburg once occupied by Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, the institute remains an organization for research, discussion and outreach in issues of leadership and public policy. With this new relationship, the institute will also be recognized as sponsoring one of the nation's strongest undergraduate programs in public policy. Today, the institute provides dialogue among policy-makers and a learning experience for undergraduates – by blending the two.
Honoring the legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Eisenhower Institute prepares the successor generations to perfect the promise of the nation through engagement in distinctive programs of leadership and public policy.
Values and methods:
The Eisenhower Institute, a Washington-based program of Gettysburg College, is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that seeks to:
- Honor, memorialize, and promote the legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower in leadership and public affairs through research and scholarship, education and outreach, and recognition and celebration;
- Serve the students, faculty, and alumni of Gettysburg College through curricular and co-curricular programs as well as special events focused on leadership and public policy;
- Encourage, develop, and sponsor civic discourse on significant issues of public policy, both domestic and international, that bridge the perspectives of scholars, policy makers, students, and citizens;
- Embody and advance President Eisenhower's model of public policy formation, including the rigorous pursuit of facts, respectful dialogue among stakeholders, and focus on the future;
- Provide scholarships, fellowships, internships, and other sponsored opportunities for students, our future leaders, to have access to dialogue among prominent figures and to pursue study of public policy and related fields;
- Encourage greater understanding and more responsible oversight of our core governmental institutions by all citizens, along with an appreciation of the intersections of national policy and global issues;
- Make optimal use of the synergistic possibilities of its two locations: Gettysburg, at the campus of Gettysburg College, and Washington, D.C.;
- Make optimal use of the College's extensive alumni network in fields related to leadership and public policy; Partner with like organizations, especially the other Eisenhower legacy organizations, in support of its mission.
Public policy programs
The institute's public policy programs have a strong history in our nation's capital. With President Eisenhower as its model, the institute pursues a domestic and international policy agenda driven by the rigorous pursuit of facts, respectful dialogue among stakeholders, and a focus on the future. Policy themes based on these objectives are chosen on a multi-year basis. Programming events include Washington Roundtables, book events, lectures, policy discussions on Capitol Hill, and frequent outreach publications. Programs are offered on campus in Gettysburg and in Washington. Transportation is provided to students and faculty for events in Washington.
The Eisenhower Undergraduate Fellows
The institute designs programs that capitalize on the synergistic possibilities of its two locations. One such opportunity is the EI Undergraduate Fellows program, which annually gives a select group of Gettysburg College students the chance to develop their leadership skills and grow in their knowledge and understanding of public policy. Fellows are chosen annually; they reside in the historic Eisenhower home above the institute's offices. Students receive a stipend each semester and engage fully in the planning and promotion of specific programs and projects.
The institute provides a number of national scholarships and fellowships for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, our future leaders, to participate in dialogue with prominent figures and to pursue study of public policy and related fields. Since the founding of the institute, it has provided in excess of $3 million to deserving students wishing to further their educational and professional experiences. The institute also offers a semester-based internship program available to all students, giving them an opportunity to take a hands-on approach to domestic and international policy-making.
Prizes and awards
The EI annually awards the Eisenhower Leadership Prize, celebrated by a formal award ceremony and dinner in Washington. Recent recipients have included: U.S. Senator John McCain; Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel; former U.S. Secretary of State, Gen Colin Powell; and former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin. Occasionally, the institute bestows the Eisenhower Public Service Award. The 2002 recipient was Tom Brokaw, former NBC News anchorman.
Since 1992 the institute has annually awarded an Eisenhower Leadership Prize to recognize individuals whose lifetime accomplishments reflect Dwight D. Eisenhower’s legacy of integrity and leadership. The Eisenhower Leadership Prize stands as the institute's most distinguished and celebrated award. It is presented at annual celebratory dinners held in honor of the recipients. Past recipients have been:2007 James A. Baker III
2005 John McCain
2004 Pat Roberts
2001 Sam Nunn and Richard G. Lugar
2000 Robert Rubin (Secretary of the Treasury)
1999 Ted Stevens
1998 William S. Cohen
1997 Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel
1996 George H. W. Bush
1995 Robert J. Dole
1994 Lloyd Bentsen
1993 General Colin L. Powell
1992 Lt. General Brent Scowcroft