Ayn Rand Institute
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Ayn Rand Institute
Ayn Rand Institute
Ari logo header.png
Ayn Rand Institute logo
Formation 1985
Type Research and Education Organization
Legal status 501(c)(3) - Public charity
Focus Ayn Rand and Objectivism
Headquarters 2121 Alton Parkway, S-250
Irvine, CA 92606
  • Worldwide
Coordinates 33°41?40?N 117°50?20?W / 33.6945°N 117.8390°W / 33.6945; -117.8390Coordinates: 33°41?40?N 117°50?20?W / 33.6945°N 117.8390°W / 33.6945; -117.8390
Jim Brown
Revenue: $10,895,393
Expenses: $10,615,858
(FYE September 2015)[1]
Website ARI.AynRand.org

The Ayn Rand Institute: The Center for the Advancement of Objectivism, commonly known as the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), is a nonprofit think tank in Irvine, California that promotes Objectivism, a philosophily developed by Ayn Rand. Its stated goal is to "spearhead a cultural renaissance that will reverse the anti-reason, anti-individualism, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist trends in today's culture".[2] The organization was established in 1985, three years after Rand's death, by Leonard Peikoff, Rand's legal heir. Jim Brown is the CEO of ARI, succeeding Yaron Brook as its operational executive in January 2017.[3]

ARI is mainly an educational organization, but also has "outreach programs." Its various programs include classes on Objectivism and related subjects offered through its Objectivist Academic Center, public lectures, op-ed articles, letters to the editor, competitions for essays about Rand's novels, materials for Objectivist campus clubs, supplying Rand's writings to schools and professors, providing intellectuals for radio and TV interviews, and organizing its annual Objectivist Conference (OCON).[2]


During her lifetime, Rand helped establish The Foundation for the New Intellectual, to promote Objectivist ideas. The Foundation was dissolved some 15 years after her death, as having been made redundant by the Ayn Rand Institute. Although Rand objected to Objectivism to becoming an organized movement, she supported like-minded individuals working toward a common goal.[4] Peikoff, her legal heir, was convinced to start the organization after businessman Ed Snider organized a meeting of possible financial supporters in New York in the fall of 1983.[5] Peikoff also agreed to be the first chairman of the organization's board of directors.[6]

ARI began operations on February 1, 1985, three years after Rand's death. The first board of directors included Snider and psychologist Edith Packer. Snider was also one of the founding donors for the organization.[6] Its first executive director was Michael Berliner, who was previously the chairman of the Department of Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education at California State University, Northridge. ARI also established a board of governors, which initially included Harry Binswanger, Robert Hessen, Edwin A. Locke, Arthur Mode, George Reisman, Jay Snider, and Mary Ann Sures, with Peter Schwartz as its chairman.[7]M. Northrup Buechner and George Walsh joined the board of advisors shortly thereafter.[8]

ARI's first two projects were aimed at students. One was developing a network of college clubs to study Objectivism. The other was a college scholarship contest for high-school students based on writing an essay about Rand's novel The Fountainhead.[8] Later, additional essay contests were added based on Anthem, We the Living and Atlas Shrugged.[9] In 1988 the institute began publishing a newsletter for contributors, called Impact.[10]

In 1989, a philosophical dispute resulted in ARI ending its association with philosopher David Kelley.[11] Board of advisors member George Walsh, who agreed with Kelley, also left.[12] Kelley subsequently founded his own competing institute now known as The Atlas Society, which remains critical of ARI's stance on loyalty.[13]

In January 2000, Berliner retired as Executive Director, replaced by Yaron Brook, then an assistant professor of finance at Santa Clara University. The institute was originally headquartered in Marina del Rey, California, but in 2002, it moved to larger offices in Irvine, California.[14]

Charity Navigator, which rates charitable and educational organizations to inform potential donors, gives ARI four out of four stars. According to the latest data from Charity Navigator, ARI spends 86.7% of its expenses on programs, 8.6% on fundraising, and 4.6% on administration.[15] As of June 2012 the institute's board of directors consists of Brook; Berliner (co-chair); Arline Mann (co-chair), retired attorney, formerly of Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Carl Barney, CEO of several private colleges; Harry Binswanger, long-time associate of Ayn Rand; Peter LePort, a surgeon in private practice; Tara Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin;[16] and John Allison, CEO of the Cato Institute and former CEO of BB&T.[17]

Peikoff retains a cooperative and influential relationship with ARI.[18] In 2006, he remarked that he approved of the work ARI has done[19] and in November 2010 that the executive director "has done a splendid job."[20] Peikoff was a featured speaker at ARI summer conferences in 2007 and 2010.[21] In August 2010, he demanded and received a change to ARI's board of directors.[22]

In January 2017, ARI announced Jim Brown as its CEO, succeeding Yaron Brook as its operational executive.[3]


Logo for AynRand.org

ARI runs a variety of programs, many of which are aimed at students. It sends free books to schools, sponsors student essay contests and campus clubs, and offers financial assistance to students applying to graduate school.[2][9] It also has an online bookstore, offers internships for current and recently graduated college students, and provides speakers for public lectures and media appearances.[23]

Objectivist Academic Center

The Objectivist Academic Center (OAC) is an educational program that conducts classes on Objectivism and related fields. Entry to the program requires admission after application, which requires college transcripts and admission essays. OAC students take classes online. OAC does not offer college credits and is rather intended as a supplement to a college education.[24]

Objectivist Conferences

ARI organizes an annual, week-long Objectivist Conference (OCON) every summer in different cities throughout the United States. OCON consists of lectures, professional mentoring, and social events. Speakers at OCON have included Objectivists as well as like-minded intellectuals, such as Flemming Rose and Dave Rubin. ARI also hosts a three-day Ayn Rand Student Conference (AynRandCon) every fall, aimed at college and graduate school students.

International efforts

In recent years, the Ayn Rand Institute has made a concerted effort to promote Objectivism globally. Institutions affiliated with ARI in countries outside the United States are separate legal entities.

Ayn Rand Center Israel

In October 2012, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Center Israel (ARCI) to promote Objectivism in Israel and the Middle East.[25] The current director of ARCI is Boaz Arad.

In 2016, ARCI started the Atlas Award for the best Israeli start-up, presented annually at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.[26] Judges for the award include Shlomo Kalish and Yaron Brook.[27]Moovit was the first recipient of the award in 2016, and Zebra Medical Vision won the award in 2017.[26]

Ayn Rand Institute Europe

In April 2015, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Institute Europe to promote Objectivism in Europe.[28] The current Chairman of ARI Europe is Lars Seir Christensen, CEO and co-founder of Saxo Bank.[28]


In 2016, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Institute Canada in Burnaby, British Columbia,[29] and in February 2017, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Center Japan.[30] ARI has also helped establish Objectivist clubs at schools throughout the world, including in Mexico, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, India, and China.[31]

ARI has also helped guide the independent Spain-based Objetivismo Internacional, which seeks to spread Objectivism in the Spanish-speaking world.[32]

Ideas promoted

The Ayn Rand Institute promotes Objectivism, the philosophy developed by Ayn Rand. ARI sponsors writers and speakers who apply Objectivism to contemporary issues, including religion, politics, and art.[33]

Since Objectivism advocates atheism, ARI promotes the separation of church and state, and its writers argue that the religious right poses a threat to individual rights.[] They have argued against displaying religious symbols, such as the Ten Commandments, in government facilities[34] and against faith-based initiatives.[35] ARI intellectuals argue that religion is incompatible with American ideals[36] and opposes the teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools.[37]

ARI has taken many controversial positions with respect to the Muslim world. They hold that the motivation for Islamic terrorism comes from their religiosity, not poverty or a reaction to Western policies.[38] They have urged that the U.S. use overwhelming, retaliatory force to "end states who sponsor terrorism", using whatever means are necessary to end the threat.[39] In his article "End States Who Sponsor Terrorism", which was published as a full page ad in The New York Times, Peikoff wrote, "The choice today is mass death in the United States or mass death in the terrorist nations. Our Commander-In-Chief must decide whether it is his duty to save Americans or the governments who conspire to kill them." Although some at ARI initially supported the invasion of Iraq, it has criticized how the Iraq War was handled.[40] Since October 2, 2001, the institute has held that Iran should be the primary target in the war against "Islamic totalitarianism".[39] In response to the Muhammad cartoons controversy, ARI started a Free Speech Campaign in 2006.[41]

ARI is generally supportive of Israel.[42] Of Zionism, Yaron Brook writes, "Zionism fused a valid concern - self-preservation amid a storm of hostility - with a toxic premise - ethnically based collectivism and religion."[43]

ARI is highly critical of environmentalism and animal rights, arguing that they are destructive of human well-being.[44][45] ARI is also highly critical of diversity and affirmative action programs, as well as multiculturalism, arguing that they are based on racist premises that ignore the commonality of a shared humanity.[46][47]

ARI supports women's right to choose abortion,[48] voluntary euthanasia, and assisted suicide.[49]

ARI denounces neoconservatism in general. For example, C. Bradley Thompson wrote an article entitled "The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism",[50] which was later turned into the book, with Yaron Brook, Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea.[51]


  1. ^ "The Ayn Rand Institute The Center for the Advancement of Objectivism" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Overview". Ayn Rand Institute. August 17, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Holleran, Scott. "Jim Brown, new Ayn Rand Institute CEO: 'Culture and society out there can look pretty irrational. Just look at the last election'". LATimes.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ Rand, Ayn (June 1968). "A Statement of Policy (Part I)". The Objectivist. 7 (6). 
  5. ^ Merrill, Ronald E. (2013). Ayn Rand Explained: From Tyranny to Tea Party. Chicago: Open Court. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-8126-9798-8. 
  6. ^ a b "Announcements". The Objectivist Forum. 5 (6): 13-15. December 1984. 
  7. ^ "Announcements". The Objectivist Forum. 6 (1): 13. February 1985. 
  8. ^ a b Berliner, Michael S. (October 1985). "Report from the Ayn Rand Institute". The Objectivist Forum. 6 (5): 14-15. 
  9. ^ a b "Essay Contests". Ayn Rand Institute. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved 2011. 
  10. ^ "Announcements". The Objectivist Forum. 8 (6): 14. December 1987. 
  11. ^ Kelley, David (2000). The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism (paperback ed.). New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. p. 15. ISBN 0-7658-0863-3. OCLC 44727861. 
  12. ^ Walsh, George (November 17, 1989). "A Statement". The Intellectual Activist. 5 (3): 5. 
  13. ^ Thomas, William R. "TAS vs. ARI: A Question of Objectivity and Independence". The Atlas Society. Retrieved 2012. 
  14. ^ Letran, Vivian (June 7, 2002). "Ayn Rand Institute to Move to Orange County". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009. 
  15. ^ "Charity Navigator Rating - The Ayn Rand Institute". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 2013. 
  16. ^ "Professor -- PhD, Johns Hopkins". Retrieved 2012. 
  17. ^ McDuffee, Allen (June 26, 2012). "Koch brothers, Cato Institute announce terms of settlement". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012. 
  18. ^ Brook, Yaron. "The Ayn Rand Institute: A Statement from ARI about the Resignation of John McCaskey from Our Board of Directors". Retrieved 2011. 
  19. ^ Leonard Peikoff (2004). Leonard Peikoff: In His Own Words (DVD). Northern River Productions. ISBN 0-9734653-2-8. 
  20. ^ Peikoff, Leonard (November 5, 2010). "Peikoff vs. an ARI Board Member". Archived from the original on December 18, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Objectivist Conferences". 
  22. ^ McCaskey, John P. (September 3, 2010). "My resignation from the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute and of the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship". Retrieved 2013. 
  23. ^ "Student Clubs". Ayn Rand Institute. August 17, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Objectivist Academic Center". AynRand.org. Retrieved 2017. 
  25. ^ Elis, Niv. "Ayn Rand-inspired start-up award debuts in Israel, but carries controversy". JPost.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  26. ^ a b Shapira, Ariel. "Tech Talk: Israel's Fortune 500 companies". JPost.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  27. ^ "In spirit of Ayn Rand, Israeli entrepreneurship to get a boost". TimesofIsrael.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  28. ^ a b "The Ayn Rand Institute Europe". AdamSmith.org. Retrieved 2017. 
  29. ^ https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-ayn-rand-institute-canada-the-centre-for-the-advancement-of-objectivism-in-canada/
  30. ^ http://aynrandjapan.org/english.html
  31. ^ https://www.aynrand.org/students/campus-clubs
  32. ^ "About Us". Objetivismo.org. Retrieved 2017. 
  33. ^ "Ayn Rand Center: Op-Eds". Retrieved 2012. 
  34. ^ Binswanger, Harry (October 25, 2004). "The Ten Commandments vs. America". Ayn Rand Institute. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009. 
  35. ^ Epstein, Alex (February 4, 2003). "Faith-Based Initiatives Are an Assault on Secular Government". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  36. ^ Peikoff, Leonard (November 11, 2002). "Religion vs. America". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009.  Reprint of a speech delivered by Peikoff at the Ford Hall Forum in 1986.
  37. ^ Lockitch, Keith (December 11, 2005). ""Intelligent Design" Is about Religion versus Reason". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  38. ^ Epstein, Alex (July 26, 2005). "The Terrorists' Motivation: Islam". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  39. ^ a b Peikoff, Leonard (October 2, 2001). "End States Who Sponsor Terrorism". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  40. ^ Epstein, Alex (May 28, 2006). "What We Owe Our Soldiers". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  41. ^ "Highlights from the first 25 years" (PDF). Impact. The Ayn Rand Institute. 16 (2). February 2010. 
  42. ^ Tracinski, Robert (April 1, 2002). "We Are Either With Israel, Or We Are With the Terrorists". Ayn Rand Institute. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009. 
  43. ^ Arfa, Orit (July 12, 2007). "You don't fight a tactic". Jerusalem Post Online Edition. Retrieved 2009. 
  44. ^ Schwartz, Peter (April 23, 1999). "Man vs. Nature". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  45. ^ Locke, Edwin. "Animal 'Rights' and the New Man Haters". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  46. ^ "Multiculturalism: The New Racism". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  47. ^ "Racism and Diversity". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  48. ^ Woiceshyn, Glenn (April 24, 2000). "Supreme Court Should Protect Right to Abortion in Current Partial-Birth Case". Capitalism Magazine. Retrieved 2009. 
  49. ^ Epstein, Alex (April 1, 2005). "A Culture of Living Death". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved 2009. 
  50. ^ Thompson, C. Bradley (Fall 2006). "The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism". The Objective Standard. 1 (3). Retrieved 2011. 
  51. ^ Laughlin, Burgess (Fall 2010). "Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea by C. Bradley Thompson with Yaron Brook". The Objective Standard. 5 (3). Retrieved 2011. 

External links

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