James, who has been president for the past three years, is joined by executive vice president Kim Holms, a three-decade Heritage veteran, who will also step down.
“We accomplished everything we set out to do. Now it’s time to let someone else take the reins,” James said in a statement.
James took the helm of the think tank after former President Jim DeMint was fired in 2018 after the organization’s leadership determined he had veered too far from its conservative principals and too close to then-President Donald Trump’s White House.
James said at the time that she would stay for three to five years, the Heritage Foundation said. She will remain president for up to six months while a replacement is found, and will remain on the foundation’s board of trustees.
The foundation shapes policy in Rebublican administrations and congressional districts, and many members of the Trump White House were affiliates.
After Trump lost the 2020 election, former Vice President Mike Pence and Department of Homeland Security officials Chad Wolf, Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Morgan joined the think tank as visiting fellows.
In a March opinion article for the foundation, Pence warned of “significant voting irregularities” in the 2020 election, despite dozens of lawsuits alleging these irregularities being tossed by judges nationwide for lack of proof.
A new voting rights bill proposed by Democrats would “forever dilute the votes of legally qualified eligible voters,” Pence wrote.
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