From The Heritage Foundation:

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) will leave the U.S. Senate next year to become president of The Heritage Foundation, succeeding Edwin J. Feulner, the man who first envisioned the think tank in 1973 and has led it as president for the past 36 years.

Heritage’s Board of Trustees unanimously chose DeMint as the organization’s next leader, starting April 3. DeMint will resign from the Senate and start as president-elect in early January, so he and Feulner can ensure a smooth transition. After April, Feulner will continue serving as Chancellor of the Foundation and Chairman of our Asian Studies Center.

As reported at the Wall Street Journal:

Sen. DeMint’s departure means that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, will name a successor, who will have to run in a special election in 2014. In that year, both Mr. DeMint’s replacement and Sen. Lindsey Graham will be running for reelection in South Carolina.

Mr. DeMint was reelected to a second term in 2010. The 61-year-old senator had announced earlier that he would not seek a third term.

More from the Heritage Foundation announcement: (emphasis added)

Throughout his time in Congress, DeMint has consistently stood for policies that make our country prosperous, strong, and free, even when speaking up for these principles was not the easy path. Along the way, he created a movement of principled conservatives that consistently make the right decisions. The so-called DeMint caucus includes such names as Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and now Ted Cruz”“a group that could be called the 1927 Yankees of conservatism. Now DeMint will lead this effort from an intellectual powerhouse”“Ronald Reagan’s favorite think tank.

What this means is that the intellectual rigor and innovative ideas of our scholars and researchers, as well as our strong membership base, will now be united with the most effective, principled political leader on Capitol Hill. As everyone knows, this is a crucial time for conservatism, and Heritage must seize the moment.

Despite what you may hear, conservative philosophy hasn’t failed, but we need to help all Americans connect the dots so they can see why bad progressive policies ruin their lives. …

(DeMint and Feulner via Heritage Foundation)