Holmes directs the Heritage Foundation’s team of foreign and defense policy experts in four centers on the front lines of international affairs: the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, the Asian Studies Center, the Center for International Trade and Economics and the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
Many of Holmes’ recommendations have become U.S. policy. His widely published works include the internationally acclaimed Index of Economic Freedom, produced annually with The Wall Street Journal, and his 2008 book Liberty’s Best Hope: American Leadership for the 21st Century.
Recognized around the globe as one of Washington’s foremost foreign and defense policy experts, Holmes is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he formerly served on the Washington Advisory Committee. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Center for International Private Enterprise. On August 1, 2019, Dr. Holmes was confirmed by the Senate to the National Council on the Humanities.
While at the State Department, Holmes was responsible for developing policy and coordinating U.S. engagement at the United Nations and 46 other international organizations. Important goals achieved at that time included the U.N. mandates enabling Iraq to make the transition to democracy; the Security Council’s first binding nonproliferation resolution; the U.N.’s first mandate requiring the Office of Internal Oversight Services to release reports to member states; an international outcry over Libya’s assuming chairmanship of the Commission on Human Rights, which culminated in that body’s refashioning; and establishment of the U.N. Democracy Caucus and U.N. Democracy Fund.
Holmes earned his doctoral and master’s degrees in history from Georgetown University. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He was a research fellow at the Institute for European History in Germany and adjunct professor of European security and history at Georgetown University.
His published works include Defending the American Homeland, a post 9-11 task force report; Defending America: A Near and Long Term Plan to Deploy Missile Defenses; and Restoring American Leadership: A U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy Blueprint. His scholarly articles have appeared in such journals as National Interest, Journal Aspenia (Italy), Harvard University’s International Security, and Columbia University’s Journal of International Affairs.