Brookings Institution

Brookings Institution

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The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

s, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development.

Its stated mission is to "provide innovative and practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: strengthen American democracy; foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans; and secure a more open, safe, prosperous, and cooperative international system."

Brookings states that its scholars "represent diverse points of view" and describes itself as non-partisan.

1916–1979


Brookings was founded in 1916 as the Institute for Government Research (IGR), with the mission of becoming "the first private organization devoted to analyzing public policy issues at the national level."

The Institution's founder, philanthropist
Philanthropist
A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; that is, someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes...

 Robert S. Brookings
Robert S. Brookings
Robert Somers Brookings was an American businessman and philanthropist, known for his involvement with Washington University in St. Louis and his founding of the Brookings Institution.-Biography:Brookings grew up on the Little Elk Creek in Cecil County, near Baltimore, Maryland...

 (1850–1932), originally financed the formation of three organizations: the Institute for Government Research, the Institute of Economics, and the Robert Brookings Graduate School affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named for George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all fifty U.S. states and more than 110 nations...

. The three were merged into the Brookings Institution in 1927.

During the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 economists at Brookings embarked on a large scale study commissioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 to understand the underlying causes of the depression. Brookings's first president Harold Moulton and other Brookings scholars later led an effort to oppose President Roosevelt's New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 policies because they thought such measures were impeding economic recovery. With the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Brookings researchers turned their attention to aiding the administration with a series of studies on mobilization.

In 1948, Brookings was asked to submit a plan for the administration of the European Recovery Program. The resulting organization scheme assured that the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948...

 was run carefully and on a businesslike basis.

In 1952, Robert Calkins succeeded Moulton as president of the Brookings Institution. He secured grants from the Rockefeller Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a prominent philanthropic organization and private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. The preeminent institution established by the six-generation Rockefeller family, it was founded by John D. Rockefeller , along with his son John D. Rockefeller, Jr...

 and the Ford Foundation
Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is a private foundation incorporated in Michigan and based in New York City created to fund programs that were chartered in 1936 by Edsel Ford and Henry Ford....

 that put the Institution on a strong financial basis. He reorganized the Institution around the Economic Studies, Government Studies, and Foreign Policy Progams. In 1957, the Institution moved from Jackson Avenue to a new research center near Dupont Circle
Dupont Circle
Dupont Circle is a traffic circle, park, neighborhood, and historic district in Northwest Washington, D.C. The traffic circle is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue NW, Connecticut Avenue NW, New Hampshire Avenue NW, P Street NW, and 19th Street NW...

 on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC.

Kermit Gordon
Kermit Gordon
Kermit Gordon was Director of the United States Bureau of the Budget during the administration of John F. Kennedy. He continued to serve in this capacity in the Lyndon Johnson administration. He oversaw the creation of the first budgets for Johnson's Great Society domestic agenda...

 assumed the presidency of Brookings in 1967. He began a series of studies of program choices for the federal budget in 1969 entitled "Setting National Priorities." He also expanded the Foreign Policy Studies Program to include research in national security and defense. After the election of Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 to the presidency in 1968, the relationship between the Brookings Institution and the White House deteriorated – in the report that became known as the Huston Plan
Huston Plan
The Dolphin Plan was a 43 page report and outline of proposed security operations put together by White House aide Tom Charles Huston in 1970. It first came to light during the 1973 Watergate hearings headed by Senator Sam Ervin ....

 (also referred to sometimes as the White House Horrors
White House horrors
The White House Horrors is a term attributed to Richard Nixon's former United States Attorney General, John N. Mitchell to describe the crimes and abuses committed by Nixon's staff during his presidency. The revelation of their existence and scope is among the many events of the Watergate scandal...

), Nixon's aide Charles Colson
Charles Colson
Charles Wendell "Chuck" Colson is a Christian leader, cultural commentator, and former Special Counsel for President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973....

 proposed a firebombing of the Institution. Yet throughout the 1970s, Brookings was offered more federal research contracts than it could handle.

1980–2009



By the 1980s, the Institution faced an increasingly competitive and ideologically charged intellectual environment. The need to reduce the federal budget deficit became a major research theme as well as investigating problems with national security and government inefficiency. Bruce MacLaury, fourth president of Brookings, also established the Center for Public Policy Education to develop workshop conferences and public forums to broaden the audience for research programs.

In 1995, Michael Armacost
Michael Armacost
Michael Hayden Armacost is a fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute. He previously was the president of the Brookings Institution from 1995-2002.-Diplomatic career:...

 became the fifth president of the Brookings Institution and led an effort to refocus the Institution's mission heading into the 21st Century. Under Armacost's direction, Brookings created several interdisciplinary research centers such as the Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy (now the Metropolitan Policy Program, led by Bruce J. Katz
Bruce J. Katz
Bruce Katz Katz was born in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated with a B.A. from Brown University in 1981. He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1985. Currently he is a Vice President at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C...

), brought attention to the plight of cities and metropolitan areas, and the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, which brings together specialists from different Asian countries to examine regional problems.

Strobe Talbott
Strobe Talbott
Nelson Strobridge "Strobe" Talbott III is an American foreign policy analyst associated with Yale University and the Brookings Institution, a former journalist associated with Time magazine and diplomat who served as the Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001.-Early life:Born in Dayton, Ohio...

 became president of Brookings in 2002. Shortly thereafter, Brookings launched the Saban Center for Middle East Policy
Saban Center for Middle East Policy
The Saban Center for Middle East Policy is a center within the Brookings Institution focused on the United States' involvement in the Middle East...

 and the John L. Thornton China Center. In October 2006, Brookings announced the establishment of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center in Beijing. In July 2007, the Institution announced the creation of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform to be directed by senior fellow Mark McClellan
Mark McClellan
Mark Barr McClellan is currently the Director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies and Leonard D. Schaeffer Director's Chair in Health Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. McClellan served as Commissioner of the United States...

, and then in October 2007, the creation of the Brookings Doha Center
Brookings Doha Center
Brookings Doha Center is a project of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy within the Brookings Institution, started in 2007. In its own words, it conducts "research on the socio-economic and geopolitical issues facing Muslim-majority states and communities, and encourages increased dialogue...

 directed by fellow Hady Amr
Hady Amr
Hady Amr has served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Middle East at the United States Agency for International Development since October 2010. He is a policy analyst and author known for his work in the area of U.S. relations with the Muslim world and his focus on the Arab-Israeli...

 in Qatar.

Publications


Brookings as an institution produces an Annual Report. The Brookings Institution Press publishes books and journals from the institution's own research as well as authors outside the organization. The books and journals they publish include Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy, Globalphobia: Confronting Fears about Open Trade, India: Emerging Power, Through Their Eyes, Taking the High Road, Masses in Flight and Stalemate to name a few. In addition, books, papers, articles, reports, policy briefs and opinion pieces are produced by Brookings research programs, centers, projects and, for the most part, by experts.

Policy influence


Brookings traces its history back to 1916 and has contributed to the creation of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948...

, and the Congressional Budget Office
Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office is a federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States government that provides economic data to Congress....

, as well as influenced policies of deregulation
Deregulation
Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or...

, broad-based tax reform, welfare reform
Welfare reform
Welfare reform refers to the process of reforming the framework of social security and welfare provisions, but what is considered reform is a matter of opinion. The term was used in the United States to support the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act...

, and foreign aid. It is ranked the number one think tank in the U.S. in the annual think tank index published by Foreign Policy, of the 200 most prominent think tanks in the U.S., the Brookings Institution's research is the most widely cited by the media. In a 1997 survey of congressional staff and journalists, Brookings ranked as the second-most influential and first in credibility among 27 think tanks. Moreover, “Brookings and its researchers are not so concerned, in their work, in affecting the ideological direction of the nation” and rather tend “to be staffed by researchers with strong academic credentials.” Along with the American Enterprise Institute
American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research is a conservative think tank founded in 1943. Its stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and...

 and The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

, Brookings is generally considered one of the three most influential policy institutes in the U.S.

Political stance


As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Brookings describes itself as independent and non-partisan. The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

has referred to the organization as liberal, liberal-centrist, centrist, and conservative. In 2008, The New York Times published an article where it referred to the "conservative Brookings Institution,". The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

has described Brookings as centrist and liberal. The Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

described Brookings as liberal-leaning and centrist before concluding these labels made no sense. In 1977, Time Magazine described it as the "nation's pre-eminent liberal think tank." Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

has described Brookings as centrist while Politico
Politico (newspaper)
The Politico is an American political journalism organization based in Arlington, Virginia, that distributes its content via television, the Internet, newspaper, and radio. Its coverage of Washington, D.C., includes the U.S. Congress, lobbying, media and the Presidency...

has used the term "center-left." In addition, the organization is described as centrist by the liberal media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting is a progressive media criticism organization based in New York City, founded in 1986.FAIR describes itself on its website as "the national media watch group" and defines its mission as working to "invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity...

.

Some liberals argue that despite its left-of-center reputation, Brookings foreign policy scholars were overly supportive of Bush administration policies abroad
Foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration
During his campaign for election as President of the United States, George W. Bush's foreign policy platform included support for a stronger economic and political relationship with Latin America, especially Mexico, and a reduction of involvement in "nation building" and other small-scale military...

. Matthew Yglesias, for example, has pointed out that Brookings's Michael O'Hanlon
Michael O'Hanlon
Michael Edward O'Hanlon is a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, specializing in defense and foreign policy issues. He began his career as a budget analyst in the defense field.-Education and early career:...

 frequently agrees with—and appears on stage with—scholars from conservative organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute
American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research is a conservative think tank founded in 1943. Its stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and...

, The Weekly Standard
The Weekly Standard
The Weekly Standard is an American neoconservative opinion magazine published 48 times per year. Its founding publisher, News Corporation, debuted the title September 18, 1995. Currently edited by founder William Kristol and Fred Barnes, the Standard has been described as a "redoubt of...

, and the Project for a New American Century. Similarly, Brookings fellow and research director Benjamin Wittes
Benjamin Wittes
Benjamin Wittes is a fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he is Research Director in Public Law. Wittes is also a member of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law...

 is a member of the conservative Hoover Institution
Hoover Institution
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by then future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, an early alumnus of Stanford....

's Task Force on National Security and Law. A number of Brookings scholars have served in Republican and Democratic administrations, including Mark McClellan, Ron Haskins and Martin Indyk.

The Brookings Board of Trustees include prominent Republicans such as Kenneth Duberstein
Kenneth Duberstein
Kenneth M. Duberstein served as U.S. President Ronald Reagan's White House Chief of Staff from 1988 to 1989.A native of Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and American University . He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Franklin and Marshall in 1989...

, a former chief of staff to Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and prominent Democrats, such as Laura Tyson, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. Its scholars include former government officials hailing from both Democratic and Republican administrations, as well as many who have not served in government and do not advertise a party affiliation.

Saban Center for Middle East Policy


In 2002, the Brookings Institution established the Saban Center for Middle East Policy
Saban Center for Middle East Policy
The Saban Center for Middle East Policy is a center within the Brookings Institution focused on the United States' involvement in the Middle East...

 in order "to promote a better understanding of the policy choices facing American decision makers in the Middle East". The Center is named after Haim Saban
Haim Saban
Haim Saban is an Egyptian born Israeli-American television and media proprietor. With an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 104th richest person in America.-Biography:...

, an Israeli-American media proprietor, who donated $13 million toward its establishment and directed by Ken Pollack.

21st Century Defense Initiative


The 21st Century Defense Initiative (21CDI) is aimed at producing research, analysis, and outreach that address three core issues: the future of war, the future of U.S. defense needs and priorities, and the future of the U.S. defense system.

The Initiative draws on the knowledge from regional centers, including the Center on the United States and Europe, the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, the Thornton China Center, and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy
Saban Center for Middle East Policy
The Saban Center for Middle East Policy is a center within the Brookings Institution focused on the United States' involvement in the Middle East...

, allowing the integration of regional knowledge.

P. W. Singer, author of Wired for War
Wired for War
Wired For War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century is a best-selling book by P. W. Singer. It explores how science fiction has started to play out on modern day battlefields, with robots used more and more in war...

, serves as the Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative and Dr. Michael E. O'Hanlon, serves as the Director of Research. Senior Fellow Stephen P. Cohen
Stephen P. Cohen
Stephen P. Cohen is an American political scientist. He is an expert on Pakistan, India, and South Asian security. He is a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution and an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.-Books:* The Idea of Pakistan...

 and Vanda Felbab-Brown are also affiliated with 21CDI.

Brookings Executive Education


Under Brookings President Bruce MacLaury's leadership in the 1980s, the Center for Public Policy Education (CPPE) was formed to develop workshop conferences and public forums to broaden the audience for research programs. In 2005, the Center was renamed the Brookings Center for Executive Education (BCEE), which was shortened to Brookings Executive Education (BEE) with the launch of a partnership with the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named for George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all fifty U.S. states and more than 110 nations...

.

Funders


At the end of 2004 the Brookings Institution had assets of $258 million and spent $39.7 million, while its budget has grown to more than $80 million in 2009. Its largest contributors include the Ford Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein is the senior U.S. Senator from California. A member of the Democratic Party, she has served in the Senate since 1992. She also served as 38th Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988....

 and her husband Richard C. Blum
Richard C. Blum
Richard C. Blum is an investment banker and the husband of United States Senator from California Dianne Feinstein. He is the Chairman and President of Blum Capital, an equity investment management firm that acts as general partner for various investment partnerships and provides investment...

, Bank of America
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization. The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina...

, ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas...

, Pew Charitable Trusts, the MacArthur Foundation
MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. Based in Chicago but supporting non-profit organizations that work in 60 countries, MacArthur has awarded more than US$4 billion since its inception in 1978...

, the Carnegie Corporation; and the governments of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

, the District of Columbia, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

.

External links