About DMI

Our Mission

The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy is a non-partisan, non-profit think tank generating the ideas that fuel the progressive movement. From releasing nationally recognized studies of our increasingly fragile middle class to showcasing progressive policies that have worked to advance social and economic justice, DMI has been on the leading edge of the public policy debate. DMI is also noted for developing new and creative ways to bring its work to the advocates and opinion leaders that need it, from starting one of the first public policy blogs to pioneering the use of Google Adwords to hold elected officials accountable for their votes on issues of importance to their constituents.

Originally called the Drum Major Foundation, DMI was founded by Harry Wachtel, lawyer and advisor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the turbulent years of the civil rights movement. DMI was relaunched in 1999 by New York attorney William Wachtel, Harry’s son, Martin Luther King III, and Ambassador Andrew Young.

DMI’s approach is unwavering: We do not issue reports to see our name in print or hold forums for the sake of mere talk. We seek to change policy by conducting research into overlooked but important social and economic issues, by leveraging our strategic relationships to engage policymakers and opinion-leaders in our work and by offering platforms to amplify the ideas of those who are working for social and economic fairness. The goal: progressive public policy to strengthen and expand our ever-more squeezed middle class and aspiring middle class. From releasing an almost instantaneous analysis of the President’s State of the Union Address to launching a fellows program that highlights the unique insights of activists, DMI consistently demonstrates that its reach extends far beyond the tired orthodoxies of both the right and the left.

Board of Directors

Click here to read about the Drum Major Institute Board of Directors.

DMI Staff

Eric Schnurer
President