Intellectual Independence Policy
By The Atlantic Council
The Atlantic Council embodies a nonpartisan network of leaders who:
- recognize that closer transatlantic cooperation cannot solve all global challenges, but it is often a precondition for dealing with them effectively;
- are committed to ensuring the Atlantic community remains a powerful catalyst for global cooperation and a cornerstone of US engagement in the world; and
- believe that today's most pressing challenges can most effectively be addressed by bipartisan and multinational solutions.
The Council as an organization does not adopt or advocate positions on particular matters. The Council's publications, including reports, issue briefs, blog posts, etc., always represent the views of the author or authors rather than those of the Council. Each task force report, for example, specifies the degree to which members of the task force agree with the views represented in the report.
The Council maintains strict intellectual independence for all of its projects and publications. Council staff and directors, and those the Council engages to work on specific projects, are responsible for generating and communicating intellectual content resulting from Council projects. The Council requires all funders and donors to agree to the Council maintaining independent control of the content and conclusions of any products resulting from sponsored projects.
Council staff and others working on Council projects should be mindful that accuracy, forthrightness, and dignity befit association with the Atlantic Council, and that the public may judge the Council by the individual's conduct and statements. Therefore, when speaking, writing, or acting on behalf of the Council, Council staff should be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, and show respect for the opinions of others. The Council's directors, staff, fellows, and members are encouraged to offer their own views on current policy issues as Council experts, but without implying Council endorsement of those views. When writing in external publications, posting to social media, and speaking to media on issues related to their work, Council staff are free to identify themselves as affiliated with the Council, but should make clear that their views represent their personal opinions, not council positions. External publications by staff members are not subject to Council editorial review. Similarly, Council staff members are free to adopt political positions, endorse candidates, and sign petitions in their personal capacities, but must follow the guidelines specified in the Atlantic Council Policy on Election-Related Activity.
Council staff are encouraged to engage in external substantive activities that reinforce their programs and the Council's mission. When signing off on products of these efforts, including public letters, statements, task force reports, etc., Council staff should endeavor to make clear that they are signing in a personal capacity rather than representing the views of the Council as a whole. Consistent with the Council's commitment to transparency, Council staff members who intend to affiliate themselves with such public documents addressing policy matters should inform the president and executive vice president in advance.