AIR: Celebrating 75 Years


I believe for AIR to be effective, it’s not only the generation of the evidence, but it’s getting people to engage with the evidence, to actually own the evidence … We would like them to see that evidence can make a difference in their lives.

David Myers,
President and CEO

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) was founded in 1946 by John Flanagan, who had a vision to use research and evidence to help improve people’s lives and make the world a better place. While AIR has changed and grown throughout its 75-year history, that core mission remains the same.

At the heart of AIR’s success is its people, from researchers and technical assistance experts to those who provide the foundational support and services needed to achieve mission. For the past 75 years, AIR’s staff has worked with governments, organizations, and communities to confront some of the world’s biggest challenges by conducting rigorous research and evaluations to find what works and then helping people put that evidence into action.

As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, we are deepening our commitment to generating and using evidence to create a better, more equitable world. The AIR Equity Initiative is our five-year, $100M+ investment in behavioral and social science research and technical assistance to address the underlying causes of systemic inequities and increase opportunities for people and their communities. Working together and rooted in evidence, AIR will continue to realize the vision that John Flanagan had in 1946 and improve lives throughout the nation and across the globe.

Advancing Evidence. Improving Lives. We are AIR.

Our History

View our interactive timeline for highlights of our work since 1946.

AIR 2021: A Year of Growth and Commitment Amid Challenges

Explore our mission-focused work by scrolling through this “year-in-review” report.

AIR Equity Initiative

Read about our landmark commitment to make a substantive improvement in the lives of workers, students, and communities.

New Look, Enduring Commitment

Learn about AIR's new website and brand.