TOC Moves to DC, Names Hudgins Executive Director

An announcement from The Objectivist Center Founder David Kelley:
Next February will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ayn Rand, the writer and thinker who gave us Objectivism, and the 15th anniversary of the Objectivist Center, which I created to promote that philosophy through independent thought and open debate?a promise we have carried through our seminars, conferences and publications, thanks to our dedicated staff and supporters.
In this anniversary year, we will take our organization to a new level of impact in the marketplace of ideas by making major changes in the Center?s location and management.
First, we will move our headquarters to Washington, D.C. Washington is the center of the think-tank world, where cultural as well as political issues are actively debated?and covered in the media. The Center is already well known?and well respected?within the network of pro-freedom organizations in the capital, which can help us leverage our efforts. With several major universities, Washington is an academic center as well. This move will also allow us to explore new fundraising sources.
Second, the current Washington director, Edward Hudgins, will assume the responsibilities of executive director. I will continue at the Center as ?chief intellectual officer? as well as a member of the board. With Ed as executive director, I will able to devote most of my time to my strengths ­ writing, research, and working with students and other scholars. Ed shares my commitment to Objectivism, and as a veteran of Capitol Hill, the Heritage Foundation, and the Cato Institute, he knows what it takes to succeed as an intellectual advocate. In the past two years he has shown tremendous energy and entrepreneurial vision in promoting our ideas through his writing, TV and radio appearances, and the conferences he?s organized.
With these changes, the Center will be better able to integrate its scholarly, academic and advocacy functions and focus on its strong comparative advantages in today?s intellectual battles.
One program focus will be the defense of capitalism as a moral ideal, not merely an economic one. Ed has received a good response using unique Objectivist arguments in defense of capitalism: the moral right of individuals to their own lives; entrepreneurs as creators who should take pride in their creations; the moral virtues manifested by entrepreneurs; and the need for them to stop apologizing for creating the richest country on Earth.
A second focus will be the culture wars over religion, values, and the clash of civilizations. We will continue to expose the false dichotomies between the religious values of cultural conservatives and the secular but socialistic values of the left. We will promote our distinctive cultural values?reason, individualism, and achievement?by applying to them to the issues of public debate.
We will continue the programs that have served our members well over the years, including publications and the Summer Seminar. We have also strengthened our student-training programs during the past year, and we?ll continue to make that investment in talent.
With our move and management changes we will be able to promote Objectivism more aggressively in the larger marketplace of ideas.