Institute for Contemporary Studies

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The Institute for Contemporary Studies (ICS) describes itself as a "a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research institute."

Mission Statement

"Vast experience and evidence demonstrate that we have the capacity to govern our lives. The information age is ushering in exciting new possibilities for people everywhere to expand their self-governing capabilities. The challenge is to make it happen. ICS believes that men and women who control their lives through self-governing institutions live more productive lives. These possibilities will only be realized when we have the necessary knowledge, practical information and leadership. ICS is committed to promoting self-governing ways of life by working on all three of these important components."[1]

President and CEO

Robert B. Hawkins, Jr., is currently president and CEO of the Institute for Contemporary Studies (ICS). "Appointed chairman of the prestigious bipartisan U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in 1982, Hawkins worked closely with national leaders on such issues as constitutional reform, education, transportation, and empowerment in the federal system. He chaired the Commission until 1993.

"From 1987 to 1991, Hawkins co-hosted the San Francisco public policy television program 'That's Politics' and a weekly radio show, 'California Political Review.' In 1987 he commissioned Denis P. Doyle of the Hudson Institute and David Kearns, CEO of Xerox, to write the book Winning the Brain Race, an ICS bestseller that helped set the agenda for education reform throughout the country.

"As director of the American Public Policy Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Hawkins conducted national seminars on such issues as education, federalism reform, environmental policy, and transportation.

"Hawkins is the author of American Federalism: A New Partnership for the Republic and Self-Government by District: Myth and Reality, and has also written numerous articles and editorials focusing on the need for a new American politics in today's Information Age.

"Hawkins received his Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Washington. After active duty in the Army, he spent four years in the California state government, where he was one of the youngest appointed department heads in the history of the state.

"A fourth-generation Californian, Hawkins is known nationally for his provocative and innovative views on public policy issues in business and education. His ideas about federalism and self-governance in the 21st century are at the cutting edge of reform. Hawkins believes strongly that men and women have the capacity, the right, and the responsibility to make fundamental choices for themselves and their communities: the key to building healthy societies and dynamic markets is to take control of our lives and institutions."


Between 1985 and 2001, the Institute received $7,492,880 in 94 separate grants from only four foundations:


Institute for Contemporary Studies
1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 406
Latham Square, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone:(800) 326-0263; (510) 238-5010
FAX: (510)238-8440