Spotlight Exclusives

New Manhattan Institute President Brings a Focus on Opportunity

Spotlight Staff Spotlight Staff, posted on

The Manhattan Institute (MI) has chosen Reihan Salam as its next president. He currently serves as the executive editor of the National Review and a contributing editor at The Atlantic and National Affairs.

Salam has been a longtime advocate for a family-oriented conservative policy vision that prioritizes the interests of low- and middle-income Americans. His 2008 book “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream,” coauthored with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, provided a potential new blueprint for the Republican Party. The son of Bangladeshi immigrants, Salam’s 2018 book “Melting Pot or Civil War” drew from his own experience growing up in New York to propose reforms to the current immigration system.

“Reihan has a long track record of championing smart policy ideas and raising their profile through exceptional journalism. I have no doubt MI will accomplish great things under his leadership,” commented outgoing MI President Lawrence J. Mone.

MI focuses on promoting individual responsibility and free market ideas and reforms. Salam will serve as its fifth president since its founding in 1977.

The heterodox thinker could be seen as a surprising choice given his nontraditional background for leading a think tank. But his longtime focus on policy, connection to New York, and interest in urban policy seem to align with MI’s mission.

Salam is “eager to engage not just conservatives but the whole range of US society,” noted the New York Post in its announcement of the decision. “Exactly the proper attitude for a righty in this town.”

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