About Cascade Policy Institute


Oregon’s Premier Public Policy Think Tank: 

Promoting Freedom and Opportunity in Oregon for 30 Years

Founded in 1991, Cascade Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization that focuses on state and local issues in Oregon.

Mission and Values

Cascade Policy Institute develops and promotes public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity.

Cascade promotes incentives, decentralized decision-making, and market solutions to public policy dilemmas. Through its work, Cascade seeks to foster a society of free and responsible individuals and to reduce government intrusion in the lives of Oregonians.

The principles of classical liberalism guide Cascade’s work. Among these principles are:

  • The recognition of inalienable individual rights and the dignity and worth of every person.
  • Protection of those rights through the institutions of private property, contract, and the rule of law.
  • The advocacy of the ideal of voluntarism in human relations, including support for the virtues of the market economy.

Policy, Not Politics

Those who subscribe to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets call themselves by many names, including conservative, liberal, and libertarian.

Cascade combines an appreciation for private enterprise and the market process with a respect for civil liberties. In short, we believe that human flourishing, prosperity, and social harmony require a limited government that respects individual freedoms, upholds property rights, and leaves people free to pursue their dreams.

As a policy research organization, Cascade necessarily examines many issues that one day will be decided at the ballot box or in the state legislature. That said, the Institute focuses on ideas, not politics. Cascade is independent; it is not affiliated with any political party or organization. Further, Cascade does not endorse candidates. Instead, the Institute takes a long-range approach to its mission, working to stimulate debate on questions of policy and the proper role of government in a free society.


Cascade Policy Institute advances the values of a free and responsible society by sharing its research with the public, the media, and state and local lawmakers through publications, educational programs, community forums, traditional and social media, and special events.

Cascade publishes policy reports, commentaries and op-eds, radio spots, podcasts, donor updates, print newsletters, and e-newsletters covering a variety of topics: education, fiscal policy, the environment, growth management, transportation, rural issues, health care, social services, and more.

Cascade hosts events featuring local and national experts and provides volunteer and internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Cascade interns receive a strong foundation in the philosophy of freedom and the chance to research, analyze, and publish their findings on current Oregon policy issues.

Cascade hosts the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Oregon, the Oregon partner of the New York-based Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF). CSF and independent local partners like CSF-Oregon provide children of low-income families with tuition assistance in grades K-8 and support expanding educational opportunities for all children. Offering privately funded scholarship assistance to lower-income families, to send their children to the tuition-based schools that they choose, is part of Cascade’s ongoing focus on promoting educational opportunity for Oregon families.

Funding Sources 

Cascade Policy Institute is supported by the generous, voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, and foundations. Cascade does not solicit or accept any government funding.

Cascade is a 501(c)(3)(h) nonprofit educational organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by state and federal law.

Kathryn Hickok CPI 300x300 2

Kathryn Hickok

Executive Vice President and Director of the Children's Scholarship Fund-Oregon