Former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R) expressed surprise at a statement published on The Heritage Foundation’s website Tuesday, in which Thomas A. Saunders III, chairman of the Board of Trustees, revealed that he was ousted from the organization “by a unanimous vote.”
“After a comprehensive and independent review of the entire Heritage organization, the board determined there were significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation,” wrote Saunders, adding, “While the organization has seen many successes, Jim DeMint and a handful of his closest advisers failed to resolve these problems.”
Ed Feulner, founder of the Heritage Foundation, was elected to take DeMint’s place as president and CEO while they search for a replacement.
DeMint defended his four-year track record at the organization in a statement posted to his Facebook page:
“The public statement released earlier is puzzling given that the board of trustees has praised our work for four years and approved performance bonuses for the entire management team each year for a job well done. It also stands in stark contrast to the independent review by the University of Pennsylvania which publicly recognized advances in Heritage’s scholarship, management and integrity over the last 4 years, and improved Heritage’s rankings in virtually every category. In fact, Heritage was recognized as the 13th Best Managed Think Tank in the world in 2016.”
DeMint listed several accomplishments which took place under his leadership, including the creation of a new fellowship program for Capitol Hill staffers and four new research institutes, highlighting the Heritage Founding having partnered “with the Federalist Society to create a list of possible Supreme Court judicial nominations that led to the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch.”
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