Our Mission

The mission of Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality is to connect the practical truths of economics with the perennial truths of ethics. We are building a sustained and accessible defense of free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and stewardship in the moral categories consonant with most Americans.

What We Do

  • Provide a multifaceted defense of the practical and moral necessity of free markets through the publication of books, articles, and research by Institute scholars.
  • Foster a discussion of current events and top issues in economics, public policy, and culture at our blog, Wealth and Poverty Review.
  • Engage the academic, business, student, and faith communities in meaningful dialogue about the free enterprise system through public lectures and debates held nationwide.
  • Offer a summer seminar program to inspire, train, and mentor young leaders in business, politics, and religion.
  • Inform policy and thought through a targeted outreach to policymakers and opinion leaders.
  • Bring our defense of free enterprise to the public sphere through radio and television interviews and originally produced media.

Our Team

George Gilder


is co-founder of Discovery Institute and chair of the Center. A key advocate of supply side economics in the 1980s, he has long championed the free market as a source of wealth creation and prosperity.  His defense of free enterprise, Wealth and Poverty, was a New York Times bestseller in 1981. According to a study of presidential speeches, Mr. Gilder was President Reagan’s most frequently quoted living author. In 1986, President Reagan gave George Gilder the White House Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence. He has since authored several seminal books predicting and then cataloguing the growth of the high-tech economy. Read more…

Michael Medved


is a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow, a nationally syndicated radio host, best-selling author, and veteran film critic. His daily three-hour broadcast reaches more than 3.5 million listeners on more than 200 stations across the country, which makes his show one of the top ten political talk shows in the United States. Mr. Medved has been a frequent guest on all the major TV talk shows, including Larry King Live, Nightline, Oprah, David Letterman, Good Morning America, and countless others. His latest book, The 5 Big Lies About American Business, offers an ardent defense at a time when the business sector is under sustained attack. Read more…

Scott S. Powell


Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow of the Center. Prior to joining Discovery Institute, Mr. Powell worked for six years as a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.  While there, he authored a Hoover monograph titled The Entrepreneur as the Mainspring of Economic Growth. He is also the author of the book Covert Cadre, written during an earlier association with the Heritage Foundation.  His research and writing has resulted in over 100 published articles on economics, business, and regulation in newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, and the New York Post, among others. Read more…

Jay Richards


Ph.D., Senior Fellow of the Center, is author of the New York Times bestseller Infiltrated: How to Stop the Insiders and Activists Who Are Exploiting the Financial Crisis to Control Our Lives and Our Fortunes (2013), co-author with James Robison of Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It’s Too Late (2012), and author of Money, Greed, and God, which received a Templeton Enterprise Award in 2010. Richards is also executive producer of two PBS-broadcast documentaries defending the morality of entrepreneurship and free enterprise and a popular DVD church curriculum entitled Effective Stewardship (Zondervan). Read more…

Christopher Rufo

Christopher Rufo

Christopher Rufo is Discovery Institute Research Fellow, filmmaker, and writer focused on cities, inequality, and social capital. He’s directed four documentaries for PBS and has appeared on NPR, CNN, ABC, CBS, HLN, and FOX News. Christopher is the Executive Director of the Documentary Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to producing and distributing documentaries about the American experience. Christopher is active in Washington State public policy, both as a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the City of Seattle’s income tax and as a board member for the Washington Policy Center Young Professionals. His writing has appeared in National Review, The Federalist, Seattle Times, Crosscut, Puget Sound Business Journal, Filmmaker, and Indiewire. Read More…

Bill Walton


Senior Fellow of the Center, is chairman of Rappahannock Ventures LLC and has an extensive background in business, finance, and entrepreneurship. Previously, he served as chairman of the board and CEO of Allied Capital Corporation from 1997 to 2009, and as chairman until 2010. Bill has also worked as a managing director of Butler Capital Corporation, a private equity firm; the personal investment advisor to William S. Paley, founder of CBS; and senior vice president in Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb’s Merger and Acquisition Group. He also founded two education service companies.  Mr. Walton has written about and been quoted widely in the national media as an expert in private equity and the private sector education industry, and is actively engaged in public policy and the arts. Read more…

About Us

The Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality is a program of Discovery Institute, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and non-partisan educational and research organization based in Seattle. We are supported entirely by the generosity of private foundations and individual donors committed to a vibrant public life infused with faith and freedom.