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John P. Walters

President and CEO

John P. Walters is president and chief executive officer of Hudson Institute.

From 2009 through 2020, Walters served as chief operating officer of Hudson, in which role he oversaw Hudson’s research staff and operations. He was appointed president and CEO in January 2021.

Walters also directs Hudson Institute Political Studies—an undergraduate summer fellowship program.

From December 2001 to January 2009, Walters was director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and was a cabinet member during the Bush administration. As the nation’s “Drug Czar,” Walters guided all aspects of federal drug policy and programs—supporting efforts that drove down teen drug use 25 percent, increased substance abuse treatment and screening in the healthcare system, and dramatically dropped the availability of cocaine and methamphetamine in the US.

From 1996 until 2001, Walters served as president of the Philanthropy Roundtable, a national association of charitable foundations and individual donors. His prior government service includes work at ONDCP, at its founding in 1989 as chief of staff, and later as deputy director of supply reduction. He was assistant to the secretary and chief of staff at the US Department of Education during the Reagan administration. He also served in the Division of Education Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1982 to 1985.

Walters has taught political science at Michigan State University’s James Madison College and at Boston College. He holds a BA from Michigan State University and an MA from the University of Toronto.

Featured Research

American Security Twenty Years After 9/11

John P. Walters

The September 11th attacks were launched by radical Islamists to demonstrate the vulnerability of the United States and to radicalize and galvanize th...

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Media Coverage

John Walters was mentioned in Dallas Morning News about recent accusations that a former Mexican officials received millions from a violent cartel.

John Walters was mentioned in The News-Gazette about marijuana legalization.

John Walters is quoted in POLITICO on what could have been done to lessen the damage of the opioid crisis.

John Walters is quoted in Washington Post on whether we’re dedicating enough resources to fighting the opioid epidemic.

John Walters is interviewed by USA Today on how the drug addiction issues across the country are impacting the workplace.

John Walters is interviewed by The Detroit News on why a border wall could enhance our ability to stop drugs.

John Walters is interviewed by The Washington Post on why the fentanyl crisis is due to a massive institutional failure.

John Walters is interviewed by USA Today on the resignation of Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

John Walters discusses China’s pledge to designate fentanyl as a controlled substance with Sinclair Broadcasting.

John Walters quoted by WJLA on the global opioid epidemic

John Walters quoted by Circa on the new Mexican president and the U.S. drug crisis

John Walters quoted in USA Today on the Trump administration’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic

John P. Walters quoted in WJLA on President Trump’s proposal for stricter drug rules

John P. Walters quoted in The LA Times on enforcement and interdiction of drug trafficking

John Walters quoted by AP on reducing the opioid death rate

John Walters quoted in the Washington Post about America’s fentanyl crisis

Letter to the editor by John P. Walters and David W. Murray published in The Wall Street Journal

John P. Walters quoted by WJLA on the necessary strategy to deal with the opioid epidemic

John Walters quoted by WBUR on the topic of Supervised Injection Facilities (SIF)

John P. Walters, Brian Blake, and David Murray’s Weekly Standard article on the increase production of Mexican heroin cited in USA Today

John Walters quoted by the Associated Press on overhauling the nation’s criminal justice system

John P. Walters, David W. Murray, and Brian Blake’s article on President Obama’s Drug Policies quoted in an editorial written in The Oklahoman

John Walters article on Obama commuting sentences of 46 convicts quoted in NBC News

John Walters quoted in Washington Times on the U.S. Supreme Court and the marijuana suit brought by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado

John Walters quoted in New York Times on keeping illicit substances from entering the country

John Walters quoted in The Washington Times on the marijuana legalization movement