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John P. Walters

Chief Operating Officer

John P. Walters is Chief Operating Officer of Hudson Institute and Director of Hudson Institute Political Studies.

As COO, Mr. Walters oversees the Hudson Institute’s operations, including staff and research management. From December 2001 to January 2009, he was director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and a cabinet member during the Bush Administration.

As the nation’s “Drug Czar,” Mr. 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 U.S. He also helped build critical programs to counter narcoterrorism in Colombia, Mexico, and Afghanistan.

From 1996 until 2001, Mr. Walters served as President of the Philanthropy Roundtable, a national association of charitable foundations and individual donors. His prior government service included 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 U.S. Department of Education during the Reagan Administration. He also served in the Division of Education Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1982-1985.

Mr. 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 a MA from the University of Toronto.

Featured Research

Jailbreak: Obama's Mass Release Hits the Streets

Brian Blake, David W. Murray & John P. Walters

There are genuine risks to society with this early release of prisoners that must be factored into the decision....

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Media Coverage

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