Brookings Institution

Brookings Institution

infobox Organization
name =

caption = The Brookings Institution building near Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.
abbreviation = Brookings
motto = Quality. Independence. Impact.
formation = 1916
type = Public Policy Think Tank
headquarters = 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW
location = Washington, D.C.
leader_title = President
leader_name = Strobe Talbott
website = []
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. [ About Brookings] ] One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development. [ [ Brookings Institution] "Encyclopedia Britannica".] Their 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. [ Brookings Research] ]

Media descriptions of Brookings range from liberal to centrist; however, despite its left-of-center reputation, some U.S. pundits have criticized the work of Brookings' foreign policy scholars for being too supportive of Bush administration positions. [ Very Serious Indeed] by Matthew Yglesias, ‘’Atlantic Monthly,’’ August 24, 2007] [ The Truth Behind the Pollack-O'Hanlon Trip to Iraq] by Glenn Greenwald,]

The organization's president, Strobe Talbott was United States Deputy Secretary of State under President Clinton. Brookings employs five research vice presidents: Carlos Pascual (former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and senior director on the National Security Council staff), Lael Brainard (a former White House Deputy National Economic Adviser and Chair of the Deputy Secretaries Committee on International Economics during the Clinton Administration), William Gale (a former senior staff economist for the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bush), Bruce Katz, and Pietro Nivola.


Brookings as an institution produces an Annual Report. [ Brookings Annual Report] ] The Brookings Institution Press publishes books and journals from the institution's own research as well as authors outside the organization. [ [ Brookings Institution Press] ] 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. [ [ Brookings Press Blog] ] [ [ Brookings Institution Press: Books] ]

Policy influence

Brookings claims to have contributed to the creation of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, the Congressional Budget Office, as well as influencing policies of deregulation, broad-based tax reform, welfare reform, and foreign aid.

Of the 200 most prominent think tanks in the U.S., the Brookings Institution's research is the most widely cited by the media, [ "A Measure of Media Bias"] by Tim Groseclose and Jeff Milyo, December 2004.] [ Study Finds First Drop in Think Tank Cites] by Michael Dolny, ‘’FAIR’’, May/June 2006] and the third most-cited of all public policy institutes by Members of Congress, behind only the Heritage Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union. [ [ "A Measure of Media Bias"] by Tim Groseclose and Jeff Milyo, September 2003.] In a 1997 survey of congressional staff and journalists, Brookings ranked as the second-most influential and first in credibility among 27 think tanks. [ War of Ideas: Why Mainstream and Liberal Foundations and the Think Tanks they Support are Losing in the War of Ideas in American Politics] by Andrew Rich, Stanford "Social Innovation Review", Spring 2006] More over, “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 more conservative American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation, Brookings is generally considered one of the three most influential policy institutes in the U.S. [ Happy Birthday, Heritage Foundation] by Jacob Weisberg, "Slate", January 9, 1998]

Political stance

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Brookings describes itself as independent and non-partisan. [ [ Obama repudiates ex-pastor] by Joseph P. Williams, ‘’Boston Globe’’, April 30, 2008] Media descriptions of Brookings range from liberal to centrist. The "New York Times" has referred to the organization as liberal, liberal-centrist, and centrist. [ [ Next Generation of Conservatives (By the Dormful)] by Jason DeParle, ‘’New York Times’’, June 14, 2005] [ [ Silicon Valley's New Think Tank Stakes Out 'Radical Center'] by Neil A. Lewis, ‘’New York Times’’, May 15, 1999] [ [ ECONOMIC VIEW; Friedman And Keynes, Trading Pedestals] by Tom Redburn, ‘’New York Times’’, September 24, 2000] [ [ Marshall A. Robinson, 83, Former Foundation Chief, Dies] by Wolfgang Saxon, ‘’New York Times’’, January 13, 2006] [ [ Air Force's Newest Jet Fighter Is in Fierce Fight, in Capitol] by Elizabeth Becker, ‘’New York Times’’, September 8, 1999] [ [ The Way to Save] ‘’New York Times’’, February 20, 2006] "The Washington Post" sometimes describes Brookings as liberal. [ [ Stumping for Attention To Deficit Disorder] by Lori Montgomery, ‘’The Washington Post’’, June 21, 2007] [ [ The Unbelievable Karl Rove] by Dan Froomkin, ‘’’’, November 13, 2006] [ [ 2003 Budget Completes Big Jump in Spending] by Glenn Kessler, ‘’The Washington Post’’, April 15, 2002] The "Los Angeles Times" describes Brookings as liberal-leaning and centrist. [ [,0,2412219.story?page=1 Parties Suggest They'd Yield for Stimulus Pact] by Maura Reynolds and Richard Simon, ‘’Los Angeles Times’’, January 17, 2008] [ [ U.S. Won't Say Who Killed Militant] by Josh Meyer, ‘’Los Angeles Times’’, February 2, 2008] [ [ A green light to genocide] by Goldberg, ‘’Los Angeles Times’’, July 24, 2007] In 1977, "Time Magazine" described them as the "nation's pre-eminent liberal think tank." [ [,9171,915490,00.html The Other Think Tank] "Time Magazine", September 19, 1977] The organization is described as centrist by the progressive media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.Sam Husseini, " [ Brookings: The Establishment's Think Tank] ," "Extra!", Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (November/December 1998).] Lawrence Soley, " [ Brookings: Stand-In for the Left] ," "Extra!", Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (1991).] Michael Dolny, " [ Think Tanks in a Time of Crisis] ," "Extra!", Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (March/April 2002).]

Some liberals argue that despite its left-of-center reputation, Brookings foreign policy scholars have been overly supportive of Bush administration policies abroad. "The Atlantic's" Matthew Yglesias, for example, has pointed out that Brookings' Michael O'Hanlon frequently agrees with—and appears on stage with—scholars from conservative organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute, "The Weekly Standard", and the Project for a New American Century. Similarly, Brookings fellow and research director Benjamin Wittes is a member of the conservative Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law. [ [ Yoonited States of America ] ] The Brookings Board of Trustees include prominent Republicans such as Kenneth Duberstein, a former chief of staff to Ronald Reagan, and prominent Democrats, such as former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. [ [ About Brookings Trustees] ] 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.

aban Center for Middle East Policy

In 2002, the Brookings Institution established the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in order “to promote a better understanding of the policy choices facing American decision makers in the Middle East”. [ [ About Us, Saban Center for Middle East Policy] , Brookings Institution] The Center is named after Haim Saban, an Israeli-American media proprietor, who donated $13 million toward its establishment [ [ Saban Family Foundation Announces $100 Million in Charitable Gifts] Find Articles 2003-06-23] and directed by Martin Indyk, a former US diplomat and a former director of research at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The Center’s political slant has been described as “pro-Israel” by US foreign policy scholars John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. [ [ The Israel Lobby] John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt The London Review of Books] A U.S. government indictment alleges that the Center’s Director of Research, Kenneth Pollack, provided information to former AIPAC employees Steve J. Rosen and Keith Weissman during the AIPAC espionage scandal. [ [ Bush officials subpoenaed in AIPAC trial] , N Guttman, Jerusalem Post, 13 March 2006]


Brookings was founded in 1916 as the Institute for Government Research (IGR), which they claim was "the first private organization devoted to analyzing public policy issues at the national level." [ [ Brookings Institution History] Brookings Institution.]

The Institution's founder, philanthropist Robert S. Brookings (18501932), originally financed the formation of three organizations: the Institute for Government Research, the Institute of Economics, and the Robert Brookings Graduate School. The three were merged into the Brookings Institution in 1927.

During the Great Depression economists at Brookings embarked on a large scale study commissioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to understand the underlying causes of the depression. Brookings' first president Harold Moulton and other Brookings' scholars later led an effort to oppose President Roosevelt's New Deal policies because they thought such measures were impeding economic recovery. [ [ Brookings History: The Depression] .] With the outbreak of World War II, 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 was run carefully and on a businesslike basis. [ [ Brookings History: War and Readjustment] .]

In 1952, Robert Calkins succeeded Moulton as president of the Brookings Institution. He secured grants from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations 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 on Massachusetts Avenue. [ [ Brookings History: Academic Prestige] .]

Kermit Gordon 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 to the presidency in 1968, the relationship between the Brookings Institution and the White House deteriorated. Yet throughout the 1970s, Brookings was offered more federal research contracts than it could handle. [ [ Brookings History: National Doubts and Confusion] .]

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. [ [ Brookings History: Setting New Agendas] .]

In 1995, Michael Armacost 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, which has brought attention to the plight of cities, and the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, which brings together specialists from different Asian countries to examine regional problems.

Strobe Talbott became president of Brookings in 2002. Shortly thereafter, Brookings launched the Saban Center for Middle East Policy 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, and then in October 2007, the creation of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.

Named to Nixon's "Enemies List"

During the administration of President Richard M. Nixon, Brookings was named to Nixon's famous enemies list, due to its criticism of Nixon's domestic and foreign policies. Nixon-administration advisor Charles Colson even proposed firebombing the Brookings Institution and stealing politically damaging documents while firefighters put the fire out. [ [ Democracy Now! interview with John Dean and Daniel Ellsberg] ] [ [ 'Insanity' in Nixon's White House] "Los Angeles Times", February 18, 2003.] [ [ LA Times Archives] - Insanity' in Nixon's White House Presidential scholars hear about 1971 plan to firebomb a think tank, from John Dean.] [Dean, John. "Blind Ambition", 1976, ISBN 0-671-81248-3. p 35–39.]


Brookings focuses on five main areas of research: Economic Studies, Foreign Policy, Governance, Global Economy and Development, and Metropolitan Policy.

The five main research programs are:
* [ Economic Studies Program]
* [ Governance Studies Program]
* [ Foreign Policy Studies Program]
* [ Global Economy and Development Program]
* [ Metropolitan Policy Program]

Policy centers include the following:
* [ Brown Center on Education Policy]
* [ Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies]
* [ Center for Children and Families]
* [ Center on Social and Economic Dynamics]
* [ Center on the United States and Europe]
* [ Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform]
* [ John L. Thornton China Center]
* Saban Center for Middle East Policy
* [ Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center]
* [ The Wolfensohn Center]

Operational centers include the following:
* [ Brookings Doha Center]
* [ Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy]

Non-research programs include the following:
* [ Brookings Center for Executive Education]
* [ Brookings Institution Press]

In 2006, Brookings announced the founding of The John L. Thornton China Center, a major new center focused on the study of Chinese politics and policy, with support from former President and COO of Goldman Sachs John L. Thornton. In 2006, Brookings announced the opening of its first-ever overseas center, the Brookings-Tsinghua Center at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and then its first center in the Muslim world, the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar directeed by Hady Amr in 2007. In 2007, the Institution announced the creation of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform to be directed by senior fellow Mark McClellan.


Brookings currently has over 140 resident and nonresident scholars. [ [ List of Brookings Experts] ] Some of Brookings' notable resident scholars:
* [ Ivo H. Daalder] , Foreign Policy Studies
* [ Kenneth Dam] , Economic Studies
* [ E.J. Dionne] , Governance Studies
* [ Gregg Easterbrook] , Economic Studies, Governance Studies
* [ Joshua M. Epstein] , Economic Studies, Center on Social and Economic Dynamics
* [ William G. Gale] , Economic Studies, Tax Policy Center
* [ Philip H. Gordon] , Foreign Policy Studies
* [ Ron Haskins] , Economic Studies
* [ Stephen Hess] , Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University
* [ Bruce Katz] , Metropolitan policy
* [ Mark McClellan] , Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform
* [ Michael O'Hanlon] , expert on terrorism and foreign affairs
* [ Carlos Pascual] , Foreign Policy Studies
* [ Alice Rivlin] , United States budget process
* [ Susan E. Rice] , Foreign Policy Studies
* [ Peter Rodman] , Foreign Policy Studies
* [ David B. Sandalow] , Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, former Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
* [ Darrell M. West] , electronic government, vice president and director of Governance Studies

Previous scholars include Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Political Affairs at the UN Ibrahim Gambari. Stéphane Dion, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition also served as a senior research fellow.


At the end of 2004 the Brookings Institution had assets of $258 million. It spent $39.7 million in that year. According to its annual report, [ [ Brooking's Annual Report] ] the largest contributors in that year included the Pew Charitable Trusts, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation; the governments of the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Others can be found listed at [] .

ee also

*List of Brookings Institution scholars
*American Institute for Economic Research
*Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
*Heritage Foundation
*Hoover Institution
*Tax Foundation
*Urban Institute


External links

* [ Brookings Institution Official Web Site] .
* [ Brookings Institution Press]
* [ Opportunity 08]
* [ Blueprint for American Prosperity]
* [ Brookings' Tax Policy Center]
* [ "Brookings: The Establishment's Think Tank", Extra!, FAIR, November/December 1998]
* [ "The Brookings Institution: a Think Tank of Good Feelings", Voltaire Network, June 30, 2004 (Critic of Brookings)] .
* [ Second Statement on Post-War Iraq]
* [ "...credible Iraq experts O'Hanlon and Pollack]

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