Conservative author Reihan Salam's selection as the next president of the Manhattan Institute is being met with widespread praise, with observers saying he is an excellent choice to lead the influential think tank.
Salam, born and raised in Brooklyn by Bangladeshi immigrants, has been the executive editor of National Review since 2014. Salam is also a contributing editor for the Atlantic and National Affairs, and he has been published in numerous outlets, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Slate and Financial Times.
His book Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream, co-written with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, called in 2009 for the GOP to focus on the forgotten people of blue-collar America.
Salam expressed gratitude for his selection and praised the Manhattan Institute's ideas that helped revitalize New York City.
I’m enormously grateful to the selection committee and MI’s board for entrusting me with such an important job. I was born and raised in New York, and so I lived through the extraordinary urban revival that MI helped my city—and cities across the country—achieve. I know not only that ideas matter, in other words, but also that MI’s ideas can change lives for the better. For decades, the Institute has been an intellectual powerhouse, with an unmatched record for putting its scholars’ thought into practice. MI’s scholars aren’t afraid to take risks, ask hard questions, and challenge the received wisdom. It is an honor for me to help shape the Institute’s next chapter, and to lead an organization with such an impressive track record and so much promise for the future.
He replaces Lawrence J. Mone, who has served as the president for 24 years.
National Review editor Rich Lowry, in an article praising the selection of Salam, called MI an "indispensable conservative institution."
"Anyone who knows Reihan understands why he’s such a great pick for this job — he’s brilliant and creative, with a knack and passion for finding and developing new talent, and he has an abiding interest in the quality-of-life and urban issues at the core of MI’s mission," Lowry wrote. "He’s also a born-and-bred New Yorker who cares deeply about the city. On top of all this, he’s a wonderful human being who commands the admiration of people across the political spectrum."
"He’s eager to engage not just conservatives but the whole range of US society — exactly the proper attitude for a righty in this town," the New York Post editorial board wrote.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) tweeted, "The Manhattan Institute helped save New York City in the ‘90s. Today its conservative solutions can help the whole country, & @Reihan is the right leader to help them do it."
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 20, 2019
New York Times columnist Bari Weiss called it a "brilliant choice," and New York Magazine‘s Josh Barro praised the "great hire."
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) February 20, 2019
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 20, 2019
Numerous writers, politicians and think-tank members tweeted warm words about Salam upon the news he would take the helm of the prestigious think tank.
Manhattan Institute has made a brilliant choice, selecting @reihan Salam as its new chief. He's a New Yorker to his marrow, and urban policy is his serotonin. Now if he could only learn how to pronounce my last name.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) February 20, 2019
Our favorite think tank, the Manhattan Institute, just got a new president: the brilliant, heterodox writer @reihan.
NYPost editorial has the scoop on new leadership at MI. https://t.co/lDoDAa478u
— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) February 20, 2019
Sometimes conservatism seemed destined to become a rural ideology. No danger of that now. https://t.co/r5KrVsWsu6
— David Brooks (@nytdavidbrooks) February 20, 2019
Those discouraged by the cluelessness of nonprofit conservatism, take heart. Reihan Salam to run the Manhattan Institute. One of the smartest people I’ve ever known. He will singlehandedly raise your opinion of think tanks. Great news. https://t.co/vanBcIfcHe
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 20, 2019
— Walter Olson (@walterolson) February 20, 2019
— Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) February 20, 2019
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) February 20, 2019
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 20, 2019
The club of people @reihan has discovered/promoted/encouraged before we deserved it (and without taking credit for it) points to how transformative he might be at MI.
— Scott Winship (@swinshi) February 20, 2019
— Campbell Brown (@campbell_brown) February 20, 2019
What a perfect fit. Reihan is so immensely talented and cares so deeply for ideas and people and talent. https://t.co/AIecpeXZEA
— Kathryn Jean Lopez (@kathrynlopez) February 20, 2019
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) February 20, 2019
— Michael Needham (@MikeNeedham) February 20, 2019
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) February 20, 2019
Amazing news. @reihan is not only one of the smartest thinkers of my generation, he is also one of the savviest community builders out there. The @ManhattanInst has hit it out of the park with this choice. https://t.co/8ChOGrLFI7
— Damir Marusic (@dmarusic) February 20, 2019
Hats off to @reihan, an absolutely phenomenal choice to head @ManhattanInst. And hats off to MI trustees for making such a bold choice: an unconventional thinker and a dynamic leader needed for this critical moment in NYC history. Stay tuned!
— Kenneth Weinstein (@KenWeinstein) February 20, 2019