Claremont Institute

James Denton

Senior Consultant

Mr. James Denton joined the Claremont Institute as Senior Consultant in September of 2015. Mr. Denton is the publisher and editor of World Affairs and the online editor of Both are published by the World Affairs Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank established to promote public education and awareness on international issues related to the advance of political and economic freedom.

Mr. Denton previously served as the director of Heldref Publications, founded by the late Jeane and Evron Kirkpatrick. During his time there, Heldref was reorganized and restored to fiscal solvency.

He was the executive director of Freedom House (1997-2001) and president of the National Forum Foundation (1984-1997). Mr. Denton negotiated and directed the merger of the two organizations in June 1997. During these years, Mr. Denton designed, developed, and implemented an extensive portfolio of democratization programs that were active in over 30 countries, mostly in the former communist bloc. He managed a staff of eighty, based in six offices around the world.

In a consulting capacity, Mr. Denton has represented Lech Walesa, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Serbia’s Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. He has consulted to the OSCE, ABC News, North Carolina Ballet, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Twentieth Century Foundation (Budapest), the National Democratic Institute, and the Open Society Institute.

Mr. Denton was awarded the Merit of Order by the President of Romania, the highest award given to foreigners. The Prime Minister of Poland awarded Mr. Denton a special commendation in Poland’s parliament. He was one of three foreigners to receive a commendation from the Coordinating Group of the Serbian Opposition for his support of their successful effort to overthrow Slobodan Milosevic.

He has authored, edited, and published books, reports, and articles on human rights, democratic development, and terrorism, and he served as a speechwriter for Senator Robert Dole’s presidential campaign. On the lighter side, Mr. Denton is the author of Grinning with the Gipper (Atlantic Monthly Press), which showed how Ronald Reagan popularized his views with humor.

Mr. Denton served as an active duty Communications and Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer on a U.S. Navy warship from 1974-77. In the reserves from 1979-84, he served in a Special Warfare unit and later at the Command Center for the Commander of the Atlantic Fleet.

He has two daughters, Kathryn Elizabeth, who works at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington D.C., and Caroline Fontaine at Pandora in San Francisco.

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