American Security Project




Tax ID:


Budget (2016):

Revenue: $859,666
Expenses: $608,712
Assets: $412,433

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American Security Project (ASP) is a nonprofit think tank focused on national security, foreign policy, and climate change issues. ASP was founded in May 2007 by then-U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE), who later became former President Barack Obama’s Secretaries of State and Defense respectively. 12 John Kerry, who continues to sit as an ASP board member, is as of 2021 President Joe Biden’s climate envoy. 3

ASP describes itself as bipartisan and has both Republicans and Democrats on its board of directors. However, ASP was often sharply critical of the Trump administration and places special emphasis on advocating for left-progressive environmentalist and energy policies. 4 Its climate-related work has received funding from the left-leaning Rockefeller Foundation, which donated $500,000 in 2020 to support ASP’s partnership with John Kerry’s carbon reduction campaign, World War Zero. 56

ASP had a total revenue of $613,000 in 2018.  It also has a sister 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, the American Security Action Fund, that engages in lobbying and advocacy efforts related to ASP’s work. The Fund spent a total of $50,000 on lobbying in 2020. 78

National Security and Foreign Policy

ASP employs a range of scholars who conduct research on issues related to national security and foreign policy, including American economic competitiveness, space security, Cuba engagement, the U.S.-Russia relationship, and nuclear security. 9

Between 2007 and 2011, ASP published annual reports evaluating the War on Terror, titled “Are We Winning?”10 Since President Donald Trump left office, ASP’s nuclear security program has supported the revival of the Iran nuclear deal, from which President Trump withdrew, and the development of an arms control agreement with North Korea. 1112

ASP founded the Consensus for American Security, an initiative consisting of 78 “influential military and national security leaders” across the political spectrum, which is intended to promote bipartisan consensus on issues like nuclear weapons, energy and climate security, terrorism, economic competitiveness, public diplomacy, and the development of a comprehensive security strategy. 13

Climate and Energy Policy

ASP focuses much of its efforts on climate and energy policy. Of the 13 issue areas listed on ASP’s website, five are directly related to climate or energy—American Security and the Oceans, Climate Security, Energy Security, Fusion Energy, and Arctic—and most of the others regularly touch on climate issues. 14

In 2009, ASP ran a series of radio and television advertisements about the security implications of climate change as they related to terrorism, migration, and global stability. 15

ASP operates the website, where it details various risks posed by climate change to U.S. military installations. 16 It has also published research on the national security implications of climate change in Florida. 17

In March 2021, ASP published a report assessing the policies of former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump on how well they recognized the purported national security threat of climate change. The report was particularly critical of President Bush and President Trump. 18

ASP board members John Kerry and Chuck Hagel published a joint op-ed in The Washington Post in November 2019 that criticized President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, calling the withdrawal a sign of a “dark time for America.” 19

Leadership and Board of Directors

The CEO of American Security Project is retired Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney. Its board of directors is chaired by former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (R) and is comprised of other notable Democratic and Republican figures, including former U.S. Senator Gary Hart (D-CO), former U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich, Democratic political advisor Nelson Cunningham, former Maryland State Senator Ed Reilly (R), and journalist David Wade. 20


  1. “ASP: The US’s New Think Tank Powerhouse?” January 28, 2013. Accessed March 16, 2021.
  2. “ASP Launch and Press Conference.” May 16, 2007. Accessed March 16, 2021.
  3. Siddique, Ashik. “Could Biden’s Climate Policy Invite More Militarism?” InTheseTimes. February 22, 2021. March 18, 2021.
  4. Holland, Andrew. “58 Senior Military and National Security Leaders Denounce National Security Council’s Climate Panel.” Mar 05, 2019. Accessed March 18, 2021.
  5. “Our Grants: American Security Project.” Accessed March 16, 2021.
  6. “ASP Partners with World War Zero to Support Climate Action.” Accessed March 16, 2021.
  7. “Related organizations and unrelated partnerships.” IRS Form 990 for American Security Project. Page 39. 2018. Accessed March 16, 2021.*1j89a19*_ga*NjM1NzQzNi4xNjEyMzg2MjQ5*_ga_0H865XH5JK*MTYxNTkxOTM4NC43LjEuMTYxNTkxOTQxNi4w*_ga_5W8PXYYGBX*MTYxNTkxOTM4NC43LjEuMTYxNTkxOTQxNi4w&_ga=2.131639631.1943249051.1615919384-6357436.1612386249
  8. “Client Profile: American Security Action Fund.” Accessed March 16, 2021.
  9. Issues tab of homepage. Accessed March 18, 2021.
  10. “Are We Winning.” Accessed March 18, 2021.
  11. Cooke, Landon. “Arms Control Agreement with North Korea Could be the Path Forward.” Mar 12, 2021. Accessed March 18, 2021.
  12. Cooke, Landon. “Who Will Make the First Move to Revive the JCPOA?” Mar 12, 2021. Accessed March 18, 2021.
  13. “The Consensus for American Security.” March 18, 2021.
  14. Pond, Amy. “ASP Launches Ad Campaign in Indiana Focusing on the Security Implications of Climate Change.” Nov 30, 2009. Accessed March 16, 2021.
  15. Pond, Amy. “ASP Launches Ad Campaign in Indiana Focusing on the Security Implications of Climate Change.” Nov 30, 2009. Accessed March 16, 2021.
  16. Holland, Andrew. “As Climate Envoy, John Kerry will lead Climate Action from the National Security Council.” Nov 24, 2020. Accessed March 16, 2021.
  17. Adam Despang, Katherine Seevers and Adam VanGorder. “Perspective – National Security Implications of Climate Change in Florida.” Mar 16, 2021.
  18. “Perspective – Presidential Views of Climate Change as a National Security Concern.” March 2, 2021. Accessed Mar 16, 2021.
  19. Kerry, John; Hagel, Chuck. “Opinion: Trump has formally pulled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. This is a dark time for America.” The Washington Post. November 4, 2019. Accessed March 16, 2021.
  20. “About.” Accessed March 16, 2021.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 2006

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $859,666 $608,712 $412,433 $9,530 N $859,666 $0 $0 $327,103
    2015 Dec Form 990 $798,790 $704,397 $160,386 $8,437 N $798,790 $0 $0 $171,500 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $805,046 $920,763 $60,502 $2,946 N $805,036 $0 $10 $252,011 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,041,323 $1,089,930 $179,892 $6,619 N $1,041,132 $0 $170 $265,044 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,046,053 $940,379 $241,467 $19,587 N $1,045,250 $0 $803 $256,021 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $829,365 $1,093,590 $127,919 $11,713 N $828,125 $108 $1,132 $177,212 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Security Project

    WASHINGTON, DC 20005-3934