The Palm Center, founded in 1998, originally was known as the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military [CSSMM] and was housed at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2006, in recognition of a $1 million dollar endowment gift from the Michael D. Palm Foundation, the Center was renamed. From 1998-2012 the Palm Center's "don't ask, don't tell" project sponsored state of the art scholarship on the impact of the DADT policy on military effectiveness.
The Palm Center's research has been cited on the floor of Congress and covered by newspapers and radio and television stations throughout the world. Palm scholars have delivered briefings and lectures at the British Ministry of Defence, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the Army War College and the National Defense University.