David Muhlhausen

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Titles and Organizations

Adjunct Faculty
Schar School of Policy and Government

Contact Information

Phone: 202-608-6209


David Muhlhausen is a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank that promotes conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

He has emerged as one of the top experts in Washington on criminal justice programs, particularly law enforcement grant programs administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. He has been called on to testify before Congress on the new challenges and needs of local enforcement as they take the lead in homeland security, as well as on the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program and other initiatives that fall under the Department of Justice.

In an appearance before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs in March 2002, Muhlhausen testified that “given the nation’s continuing susceptibility to future terrorist attacks, the federal government has the responsibility to assist state and local law enforcement in their efforts to detect, prevent, and respond to terrorism.” To find funding for such assistance, he advised Congress to should shift dollars away from ineffective and wasteful law enforcement grant programs like the COPS program.

In 2001, U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs Chairman Joseph Biden called a hearing specifically to discuss a Muhlhausen analysis of the COPS program that found the program to be ineffective in reducing violent crime. “I want my motive straight out front so everybody understands,” Biden at the hearing. “I want to have a hearing on what has been, from The Heritage Foundation and other places, criticism that the COPS program does not work.”

An expert in not only criminal justice policy but in evaluating the performance of government programs, Muhlhausen came to Heritage from the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where he specialized in crime and juvenile justice policy. Before that, he served as a manager at a juvenile correctional facility in Baltimore.

Opinion articles by Muhlhausen have appeared in the Washington Post, Forbes, and the Washington Times. His television appearances include the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, NBC’s Nightly News, and FOX News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor and Special Report with Brit Hume.

He holds a PhD in public policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science, justice studies from Frostburg State University.