The Henry L. Stimson Center is a not-for-profit institution focused on "practical, creative, non-partisan solutions to enduring and challenging problems of national and international security. "  It may be considered a “think-tank” with a mission focused on a "a world in which instruments of security cooperation and peace overtake historic tendencies toward conflict and war. A think tank (also called a policy institute) is an organization institute corporation or group that conducts Research and engages in advocacy in areas such "
Founded as a not-for-profit institution in 1989 by Barry Blechman and Michael Krepon, the Henry L. Stimson Center is focused on rigorous, non-partisan analysis and results-oriented outreach. The Center draws much of its stated mission of "Pragmatic Steps Toward Ideal Objectives" from the life and work of Henry L. Stimson whose service to five presidents included appointments as Secretary of War for Presidents William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Henry Lewis Stimson ( September 21, 1867 – October 20, 1950) was an American Statesman, who served as Secretary of Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, and Secretary of State for President Herbert Hoover.  He believed strongly in “pragmatic idealism,” the notion that progress toward peace is only possible through practical steps and strong US engagement in the world.
Initially focused on arms control, the Center’s research agenda has evolved to include a broad range of security issues. The Center’s work is now focused on three priorities:
The Center focuses on research and analysis of the capabilities of key institutions along with practical recommendations for improvement. The Stimson Center’s regional security program focuses on the multi-dimensional security challenges confronting Asia. Combining the expertise of seasoned regional specialists with functional experts, Stimson Center programming spans the continent from the Persian Gulf nations of Southwest Asia to Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Finally, Stimson continues its work in the realm of preventing the spread of nuclear and biological weapons has assumed new and even more critical importance as our nation responds to the spread of global terrorism, Working closely with the private sector in the US and the former Soviet Union, as well as Pakistan and India.
The Future of Peace Operations program was designed with the idea of focusing on the two key components of peace operations: peacekeeping - the provision of temporary post-conflict security by internationally mandated forces - and peacebuilding - those efforts undertaken by the international community to help a war-torn society create a self-sustaining peace. During 2006, the Future of Peace Operations program will report on the role of the military in protecting civilians in conflict, on ways to improve the availability of international law enforcement personnel in peace operations, on best practices for fighting corruption in post-conflict settings, and on measures to reduce spoilers and promote accountability in peace operations. The program will also run a workshop series looking at these issues with a focus on Africa and issue a report on US military concerns with the International Criminal Court.
The program is co-directed by Dr. William Durch and Victoria K. Holt, both senior associates with the Stimson Center.
The Domestic Preparedness & Homeland Security program focuses on building the capacity of government and society to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from catastrophic incidents. The program currently provides analytical support to Lessons Learned Information Sharing (http://www.LLIS.gov), the national network of Lessons Learned, Best Practices, and innovative ideas for homeland security and emergency response professionals.
The Domestic Preparedness & Homeland Security program is directed by senior associate Dr. Peter Roman.
The Security for a New Century (SNC) project is designed to inform and enhance the dialogue within Congress on international security issues across political lines. The project has Democratic and Republican sponsors from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In this sponsored capacity, The Stimson Center’s SNC congressional fellows coordinate an ongoing briefing series intended to educate Congressional staff about the complex security challenges confronting US policymakers. The goal of SNC is to provide a “safe,” off-the-record forum featuring experts on international security issues that are important to policymakers in the long-term.
SNC is directed by Dr. Elizabeth Turpen, with assistance from Senate Fellow Geneve Mantri and House Fellow Michael Maughan.
The Southwest Asia program looks at security issues in the Middle East, with particular focus on Iran, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula. The program’s work examines security in all its dimensions, from strategic issues in the region and beyond, to managing security at the national level and also considers human security issues that have important implications for political stability. The program also examines US policies in the region, the policies of the states in the area, the views of non-state and other outside actors, including the rising Asian powers.
The program is directed by the Center’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Ellen Laipson.
The East Asia program seeks to illuminate and fashion practical solutions to many of the complex security challenges confronting East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region today. The program’s PRC and Taiwan-related work focuses heavily on US-PRC and cross-Strait relations, as well as US policy toward Taiwan and the region more broadly. The Program's Japan-centered work examines the implications of Japan's evolving security policy and seeks to strengthen US-Japan cooperation on a number of regional and global strategic issues. The Program also deals closely with the Korean Peninsula, exploring everything from North Korean nuclear issues to inter-Korean relations. 
The program is directed by senior associate Alan Romberg with assistance from research fellow Yuki Tatsumi.
The goal of the Southeast Asia program is to promote greater understanding within the US government, the business sector, academia, and the general public of the region's complexity and importance to US interests. Specifically, the program closely follows events and policy relating to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Burma. 
The program is directed by senior associate Dr. Richard Cronin.
The South Asia program seeks to nurture confidence-building measures and nuclear risk reduction in Pakistan, India, and the Kashmir region. The program achieves its objectives through a host of activities including: workshops for policy makers in Pakistan, India and the United States; hosting Visiting Fellows from Pakistan and India; and through publications relating to a variety of regional issues. 
Recognizing the importance of effective global governance of disease detection and prevention, the Henry L. Stimson Center is poised to launch a new project to help develop practical and effective model policy mechanisms for strengthening global health security.
This program, to begin in Fall 2006, will be directed by Dr. Julie Fischer.
The Space Security program aims to increase public awareness about the dangerous consequences of flight testing and deploying space weapons; provide policy makers, legislators, negotiators, and NGOs with information to construct wise space security choices; and offer a pragmatic alternative to space weapons. In 2006 the Space Security program engaged international partners to expand and particularize the Code of Conduct for Responsible Space-Faring Nations. Capitalizing on the Center's work in the past drafting a model code, the project seeks to popularize the ideas of cooperation, debris mitigation, and rules of the road in space amongst foreign diplomats and leaders. It has since been endorsed by The Economist.  It was also endorsed by the countries of Italy and Switzerland.  . The European Union has also endorsed the Code. 
The program is directed by Stimson co-founder and senior associate Michael Krepon.
In January 2005, the Henry L. Stimson Center launched the multifaceted Cooperative Nonproliferation program designed to accelerate existing efforts, and design new projects aimed at more rapidly and sustainably securing dangerous weapons, materials and expertise in the former Soviet Union and around the globe. Currently, the program is in the process of initiating its second year of the Pathogens for Peace Initiative (P4P), which aims to find sustainable employment for former Soviet Union biotech and nuclear scientists while also addressing neglected diseases, promoting economic development, and sustained scientific engagement.
The program is directed by Brian Finlay.
The Stimson Center regularly publishes in-depth analysis relating to its many programs and research areas, most of which is online accessible.  The Center publishes books, book chapters, commentary and analysis, and background papers.