About Us

We envision a future when Americans can travel abroad safely without fear of hostage-taking.

Diane Foley speaking at a Hostages & Wrongful Detainees events

To secure freedom for Americans held unjustly captive abroad, prevent future hostage taking, and promote journalist safety.

Inspired by the life, work, and moral courage of American journalist, educator, and humanitarian James W. Foley, we advocate for the freedom of innocent US nationals held captive abroad and promote journalist safety.

To do this, we conduct unique and authoritative research about hostage-taking. We use data about issue and structured interviews that capture the lived experiences of hostage families and those who have returned from captivity to inform the public and policymakers. We make legislative and policy recommendations for reforms that will bring more Americans home more quickly, support victims, and ultimately deter and prevent the scourge of hostage-taking.

To promote journalist safety – specifically for freelancers and aspiring journalists – the Foley Foundation has developed and made freely available a safety curriculum for use by schools of journalism and communication, newsrooms, and professional associations. We collaborate with partner NGOs to continuously improve safety techniques, refine best practices, and deliver this important content innovatively and in ever more accessible ways.

James W. Foley envisioned a world that respected the dignity and life of each person, regardless of socioeconomic status, cultural background, or nationality. His life demonstrated an uncompromising commitment to the freedom of the press and advocacy for basic human rights.

Jim was known for his caring and joyful spirit, commitment, and bold idealism in a cynical world. He gave a voice to those marginalized by poverty and conflict. Jim befriended them, listened to their stories, and advocated for them. Jim was driven by a deep compassion for those without a voice. He challenges all of us to act with moral courage on behalf of others.

Moral Courage

In a world where we face tough decisions about our humanity, our environment and our democracy, we believe in honoring and empowering those who are willing to take action for the good of others, even when those actions come with personal and political costs.


We believe in working with families, partners and the US government in ways that are transparent, honest, credible and accountable. To this end, we use personal experience and evidence gained from research to support our work to shape policy and actions that bring Americans home.


We care for the lives of hostages, detainees and their families, and we are motivated by our shared experiences to channel our energy and capacity into real change that benefits those who need it most.


Time in captivity is time lost for those held hostage or wrongfully detained and for their loved ones. We use our strength, resolve and resources to stay the course, putting pressure where required to keep the focus on bringing Americans home. We will not give up or stop until all are brought home.