South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, known as one of the most conservative senators on the Hill, will leave office in January to take a position as the President of the Heritage Foundation next fall. Current Heritage President Ed Feulner, who helped build the conservative think tank, will step down in April and serve as Chancellor of the Foundation and Chairman at the Heritage Asian Studies Center.

Feulner has been associated with Heritage from its inception. Indeed, it was he and conservative activist Paul Weyrich, who first came up with the idea of creating an independent institute able to inform Washington’s policy debates with well-researched policy recommendations reflecting conservative principles. He was a founding trustee when Heritage opened its doors in 1973.

Four years later, Feulner was named president, taking charge of a staff of 25 who toiled cheek by jowl in a ramshackle two-story townhouse. Under his leadership, Heritage has become an internationally-recognized research institution with a staff of 250, state-of-the-art offices on both sides of the Capitol and an annual budget of more than $80 million.