Cato Institute

1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W
Washington, D.C. 20001-5403, United States
Phone: 202-842-0200
Fax: 202-842-3490
Areas of Practice
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Civil Rights
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Communications & Media Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Education
  • Elections & Politics
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law & Trade
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Military Law
See more
Number of Attorneys
2-10 Attorneys

Practice/Organization Description

The Cato Institute was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane. It is a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Institute is named for Cato's Letters, a series of libertarian pamphlets that helped lay the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution.


The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. Toward that goal, the Institute strives to achieve greater involvement of the intelligent, concerned lay public in questions of policy and the proper role of government.


The Cato Institute undertakes an extensive publications program dealing with the complete spectrum of public policy issues. Books, monographs, briefing papers and shorter studies are commissioned to examine issues in nearly every corner of the public policy debate. Policy forums and book forums are held regularly, as are major policy conferences, which Cato hosts throughout the year, and from which papers are published thrice yearly in the Cato Journal. All of these events are taped and archived on Cato's Web site. Additionally, Cato has held major conferences in London, Moscow, Shanghai, and Mexico City. The Institute also publishes the quarterly magazine Regulation and a bimonthly newsletter, Cato Policy Report.


The Cato Institute’s nationally and internationally recognized Centers and Projects tackle a wide range of topics, including health care, education, environment and energy, foreign policy, and international human rights. Scholars in these Centers and Projects vigorously apply America’s founding principles to key issues of the day, and are committed to countering the continued expansion of government beyond its constitutional constraints, and to confronting escalating attacks on individual rights.

Center for Constitutional Studies

Center for Educational Freedom

Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity

Center for Promotion of Human Rights

Center for Representative Government

Center for Trade Policy Studies

Downsizing the Federal Government

Project on Social Security Choice


In order to maintain its independence, the Cato Institute accepts no government funding. Cato receives approximately 75 percent of its funding from individuals, with lesser amounts coming from foundations, corporations, and the sale of publications. The Cato Institute is a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational foundation under Section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Cato's 2005 revenues were over $22.4 million, and it has approximately 95 full-time employees, 70 adjunct scholars, and 20 fellows, plus interns.

Support the Cato Institute's mission of advancing liberty

Sponsorship is one way you can defend, in a concrete way, America's heritage of individual liberty, free markets, and constitutionally limited government. Cato depends solely on tax-deductible contributions from Sponsors who share our commitment to a free and prosperous society. When you support the Cato Institute, you are not just a contributor, you are a colleague. You'll be sent the latest Cato publications, reports, newsletters, and invitations to Cato events. You aren't merely supporting our mission, you become a part of Cato.

Professional Associations & Memberships

Praise for Cato

"Both friends and ideological foes praise [Cato] for its integrity and independence."

--National Journal

"From privatizing Social Security to condemning corporate welfare, Cato seems to have moved firmly into the forefront of contemporary thought."


"The Cato Institute is one of the most effective at lobbying the media on behalf of 'traditional American principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.'"

--Gannett News Service

Honors and Awards

The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. Previous winners of the prize include the late British economist Peter Bauer in 2002, the Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto in 2004 and former prime minister of Estonia Mart Laar in 2006. The prize, a cash award of $500,000, will be presented to the winner on May 15, 2008 at the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty’s Biennial Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria hotel in New York City.

The prize will go to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advancing human freedom. Nominees may be from any and all walks of life. Scholars, activists, and political leaders have been among the hundreds of nominations submitted for the first three prizes. The International Selection Committee vote by ballot for the winner.

Please go to to make your nominations for the fourth biennial Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty.

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