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.


Cascade’s mission is to develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity. Cascade promotes property rights, incentives, markets and decentralized decision making. Cascade advances these values by sharing its research with the public, the media, and state and local lawmakers through publications, educational programs, community forums, and special events.

Publications, Events, and Programs

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

Cascade hosts events throughout the year 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 opportunities to research, analyze, and publish their findings on current Oregon policy issues.

Cascade facilitates the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Oregon program, which provides privately funded partial scholarship assistance to low-income Oregon families to send their children to the tuition-based schools of their choice.

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 happiness, prosperity, and social harmony require a limited government that upholds property rights and leaves individuals 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 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.

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 fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by state and federal law.


John A. Charles, Jr.

President and CEO


Kathryn Hickok

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


Eric Fruits

Vice President of Research