As the John Locke Foundation prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary with new programs and initiatives, the free-market think tank is also announcing the promotion of Executive Vice President Kory Swanson to the post of president and CEO.

Longtime president John Hood is taking a new job as president of the John William Pope Foundation, a Raleigh-based grantmaker, but will remain chairman of the JLF board of directors. Hood helped found JLF and has served as president for most of the organization’s nearly 25-year history.

Swanson’s appointment as president takes effect Jan. 5, 2015. He joined JLF in January 2000 after serving as executive manager of the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, a research institute at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University, from 1988 to 1999. Swanson earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Bowling Green in 1986 and a law degree from the University of Toledo in 1993.

“I’m delighted to see Kory Swanson step into the president’s role at the John Locke Foundation, as I take on new responsibilities as president of the John William Pope Foundation,” Hood said. “The organization will be in excellent hands. As executive vice president, Kory has already been serving as JLF’s chief operating officer for many years and has a thorough understanding of its programs, services, and values.”

Swanson will be assuming the president’s job as the organization marks its 25 years of work promoting free markets, limited government, and personal responsibility in North Carolina. Syndicated columnist and Fox News analyst Dr. Charles Krauthammer will help JLF mark its milestone anniversary during a Feb. 7 dinner event at the Sheraton Imperial in Research Triangle Park.

In addition to Krauthammer’s featured remarks and the presentation of JLF’s annual award for public service, the Feb. 7 event will preview some of the work the John Locke Foundation will pursue throughout its anniversary year.

That includes a new “First In Freedom” project, which aims to help assess and publicize how well North Carolina stacks up against other states in promoting policies that maximize personal freedom. Freedom is a key component in promoting economic growth and adding jobs to the state’s economy.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to lead the John Locke Foundation into a second quarter-century of outstanding work,” Swanson said. “Through our policy research, events, outreach programs, and journalism projects, including Carolina Journal, the Locke Foundation has played a critical role in setting the stage for recent reforms of North Carolina’s tax code, regulatory process, education system, and other critical institutions.”

“New initiatives in our 25th anniversary year, especially the ‘First In Freedom’ project, will help ensure that research-based, fact-driven analysis continues to inform North Carolina’s important public policy debates,” Swanson added.

North Carolinians will still read Hood’s articles in state and national newspapers and magazines, as well as seeing or hearing his regular appearances on “NC Spin” and other TV and radio programs. “I was writing a syndicated column on North Carolina politics and public policy even before there was a John Locke Foundation, and I look forward to continuing my print and broadcast work,” he said.

“As president of the Pope Foundation,” Hood explained, “I will have just as strong an interest as I had before in advancing policies and programs — be they public or private — that maximize economic opportunity and personal freedom for all,” he said. “And as JLF chairman, I will naturally have a strong interest in seeing our organization continue to play a major role in identifying and promoting these beneficial policies and programs.”

More details about the John Locke Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration will be released as the Feb. 7 event approaches. Tickets are available now online at