Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Congress Continues Assault on Think Tanks

With think tanks the new whipping boy of Congress, they may have to start hiring lobbyists.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) has just floated a proposal that would require witnesses that appear before congressional committees, including think tankers, to disclose the amount and source of any money received during the current fiscal year or either of the two previous fiscal years by the witness or an entity the witness has been paid to represent.

Eric Lipton of The New York Times, who first reported the story, said that the proposal came in response to his NYT story on foreign government funding of US think tanks.  Here is more:
Witnesses who appear before the House, under the so-called “Truth in Testimony” rule, are already required to disclose if they or the organization they work for has received financial support from the federal government that relates to the topic they are discussing. But there is no such requirement for donations from foreign governments.
The chairman of the House Rules subcommittee, Representative Rich Nugent, Republican of Florida, and the ranking Democrat, Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, both expressed support for the new requirement, making it more likely that it will be adopted as of next year.

Think tank responses to Rep. Speier's proposal can be found here.

Here is Transparify's statement on Rep. Speier's proposal.

The disclosure proposal comes on the heels of Rep. Frank Wolf's (R-VA) demand to the Brookings Institution that it end the practice of accepting money from all foreign governments.

Here is a fairly large list that Think Tank Watch has put together on various responses to the New York Times report on foreign government funding of US think tanks.

So, will think tanks fight this proposal?  Outside lobbying of internal Congressional procedure is rare but not unheard of.  And there are certainly a lot of former members of Congress at think tanks, so think tanks could use those former lawmakers to fight the proposal instead of hiring outside lobbyists.  Bonus!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stephen Colbert Parody of NYT Think Tank Piece

Comedian Stephen Colbert has just done a parody of the recent New York Times piece on foreign government funding of US think tanks.

The video can be viewed here.  Washington Post's Eric Wemple has just written a brief post about the video clip.

Mr. Colbert said that he has "always been suspicious of Washington think tanks" and that there is "too much think and not enough tank."

He went on to call think tankers "chin-stroking intellecta-nerds" and goes on to single out Qatar's funding of Brookings, and funding of US think tanks by Japan and Norway.

The latest reactions to the NYT think tank piece can be found here (there are more than three dozen).

Monday, September 15, 2014

Think Tank Quickies #142

  • CAP founder John Podesta likely to be Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman; CAP president Neera Tanden will likely play a role as an informal outside adviser.
  • New think tank taking a DIY approach.
  • Think tanks envious as Harvard receives $350 million (largest donation ever)? 
  • Think tank waving the white flag on assault weapons ban.
  • Bill Gates has financed an "army" of think tanks to advocate for Common Core.
  • Little-known think tank shapes Alaska policy.
  • Israeli think tank website tainted with malware; hackers targeting think tank not interested in state secrets.
  • Why think tank really matter.
  • Bill Maher bashes Heritage Foundation; NAF fellow Rabia Chaudry writes open letter to Maher in Time magazine. 
  • Centre for Research on Globalization "CSIS is a key part of the nexus of gov't and military officials and national security think tanks that actually shapes the life-and-death decisions, including going to war, that impact the American and world population."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Congressman Targets Brookings for Qatar Funding

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) wrote a strongly-worded letter to Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott this week, saying he was "deeply concerned" by last Sunday's New York Times piece on think tank funding by foreign governments which said that Brookings has accepted $14.8 million from Qatar.

Rep. Wolf says that Qatar is a country with a "troubling human rights record as well as a history of funding terrorist groups, including al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria and Libya, the Taliban and Hamas."

He called on Brookings to "end the practice of accepting money from Qatar and other foreign governments."

Eric Lipton, co-author of the New York Times piece on think tank funding by foreign governments, has an article today on Rep. Wolf's letter titled "Lawmaker Assails Foreign Donations to Think Tanks."

According to Lipton, Brookings receives about 12 percent of its annual budget from foreign governments.  [If Brookings were to institute a new policy of not taking foreign government money, it would be a big blow, but the venerable think tank would still have plenty of money to operate and thrive.]

Brookings is currently seeking to raise $600 million in a fundraising initiative called the Second Century Campaign for the think tank's centenary in 2016.

The NYT investigation from last week found that at least 64 governments, state-controlled entities, or government officials had given a minimum of $92 million to a group of 28 major US-based think tanks in the last four years.

Here is Think Tank Watch's list of how people reacted to the NYT piece on think tank funding.

Friday, September 12, 2014

New America Foundation to Host Iran President Hassan Rouhani

The think tank New America Foundation (NAF) has just announced that it will hold an event in New York on September 24 with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.  Here is more about the event:
In his first public remarks ahead of his much anticipated address at the United Nations General Assembly, President Rouhani will share his views on his first year in office, his domestic and international priorities ahead, his vision for stabilizing the Middle East, and his thoughts about the future of Iran’s relationship with the United States.

Fareed Zakaria, host of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, will be the moderator of the event.  Suzanne DiMaggio, Senior Fellow & Iran Initiative Director of NAF, will give welcoming remarks.

As Think Tank Watch has reported before, Rouhani himself is a prolific think tanker.  But it will not be the first US think tank event that Rouhani has attended.  For example, last year, he spoke at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Think Tankers Advise Obama Before ISIS Speech

Major think tank leaders and scholars have been quietly advising President Barack Obama on Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), and those foreign policy experts have helped shaped the tone for his major speech on ISIS tonight.  Among those that President Obama hosted for a White House dinner on Monday include:

Major think tankers often advise top-level government officials, including the President of the United States.  And various think tankers have the ear of the President.  One example is Center for American Progress (CAP) founder John Podesta, who is now Counselor to President Obama. 

Here is a list that Think Tank Watch compiled of what experts at some major think tanks are saying about Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL.

Canadian Think Tanks in Decline; North-South Institute to Close

It was announced today that the Ottawa-based think tank The North-South Institute (NSI) is closing its doors after nearly 40 years in operation.  Here is more from the Ottawa Citizen:

The think tank’s board of directors announced the closing on Wednesday, acknowledging that the institute “has not been successful in diversifying and growing its funding sources to the extent required to ensure financially sustainable operations.”
Operating from a headquarters on Argyle Avenue, the institute billed itself as “Canada’s only independent policy research institution dedicated to foreign policy and international development.” It was established in 1976.
The institute is known for its annual Canadian International Development Report, which contains policy briefs on issues such as fair trade, resource development and the impact of conflict on economic and social structures in the developing world.
In its 2012 annual report, the institute listed a deficit of $61,000 on revenue of $2.4 million.

Here is NSI's statement about is closure.  Interestingly, if you go to the think tank's webpage, it still has a link at the bottom of the page asking for donations.

According to the latest University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings, NSI is the third best think tank in Canada and Mexico.

Here is a Think Tank Watch piece from last year titled "Canada's Think Tank in Decline?"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How Do Think Tanks View ISIS?

What are think tanks thinking about ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State?  Here is a look at what some experts at major think tanks are saying:

  • Elizabeth Pierce of Brookings: ISIS and the Politics of Radicalization.
  • F. Gregory Gause of Brookings: ISIS and the new Middle East Cold War.
  • Lina Khatib of Carnegie Middle East Center: Defeating Islamic State Requires a Saudi-Iranian Compromise; and What is the Logic Behind Islamic State's Media Strategy?
  • Kawa Hassan of Carnegie Middle East Center: Islamic State is a Consequence Not a Cause of the Current Catastrophe.
  • Mona Alami of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP): The Islamic State and the Cost of Govering.
  • Frederic Hof of Atlantic Council: ISIS in Syria - Avoiding Assad's Ambush.
  • Khaled Dawoud of Atlantic Council: ISIS at Egypt's Door.
  • Moshin Khan of Atlantic Council: ISIS and the Iraq Economy.
  • Anthony Cordesman of Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS): Winning the Campaign Against the Islamic State - Key Strategic and Tactical Challenges.
  • Richard Haass of Council on Foreign Relations (CFR): Look to Syria to Halt the Deadly March of ISIS.
  • David Barno of Center for a New American Security (CNAS): ISIS- America's Next War?
  • Justin Logan of Cato: What Sort of Problem Is ISIS?
  • Elizabeth Slattery of Heritage Foundation: Does Obama Have to Notify Congress Before Taking Military Action Against ISIS?
  • Nile Gardiner of Heritage Foundation: Obama Should Talk About ISIS the Way David Cameron Does.
  • Helle Dale of Heritage Foundation: the ISIS Propaganda War.
  • New America Foundation (NAF) maps ISIS activity.
  • The team at American Enterprise Institute (AEI) weighs in on ISIS. 

More will be coming soon...

In the meantime, here is a previous Think Tank Watch post titled "ISIS Acronym Hurting Think Tank's Reputation."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cost Effectiveness of Most Widely Cited Think Tanks

The progressive Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has released an updated version of a study about the cost effectiveness of the most widely cited think tanks.  CEPR, which rates itself as #1 again, describes it as "an analysis that calculates the number of media hits per budget dollar."

Here are the top ten:
  1. Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR): .86 citations per $10,000
  2. Economic Policy Institute (EPI): 0.76
  3. Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP): 0.53
  4. American Enterprise Institute (AEI): 0.37
  5. Cato Institute: 0.35
  6. Brookings Institution: 0.29
  7. Manhattan Institute: 0.25
  8. Center for American Progress (CAP): 0.22
  9. Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE): 0.22
  10. Atlantic Council: 0.22
If you click on the link here, you can also view the top think tanks rated by website traffic per budget dollar.  Topping that list:
  1. CEPR
  2. Cato Institute
  3. Heritage Foundation
  4. EPI
  5. WINEP

CEPR was co-founded in 1999 by economists Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot, and approximately 80 percent of CEPR's funding comes from grants made by foundations.

Foundation support in 2011 included:
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Arca Foundation
  • Atlantic Philanthropies
  • Ford Foundation
  • Moriah Foundation
  • National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)
  • Open Society Foundations
  • Public Welfare Foundation
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • Rockefeller Family Fund
  • Russell Sage Foundation
  • Sloan Foundation
  • Streisand Foundation
The Washington, DC-based CEPR has no connection or relationship whatsoever with the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research.

And in case you missed it, here is the 2013 "Think Tank Spectrum" study by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) which ranks think tanks by media citations.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Think Tanks Rush to Defend Funding Policies Amid NYT Report

It was the story that awoke the think tank world from the quiet end of summer.

I am referring to the major New York Times investigative report titled "Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks," written by Eric Lipton (NYT reporter), Brooke Williams (journalism fellow at Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics), and Nicholas Confessore (political correspondent for NYT).

Rather than list the highlights from the report, Think Tank Watch has put together reaction from the think tank community and beyond:

  • Here is the Brookings Institution response to the New York Times piece. 
  • Rep. Frank Wolfs (R-VA) says Brookings should stop taking funds from foreign governments, including Qatar. 
  • Center for Global Development (CGD) statement in response to the NYT piece; and an updated CGD statement.
  • Here is what David Roodman (formerly of CGD) has to say about the piece.
  • The Star Tribune points out the extra-special attention that Norway received in the piece.
  • The National Law Review weights in on whether think tanks should have to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
  • Daniel Drezner in the Washington Post: "Why I'm not freaking out too much about the foreign funding of American think tanks."
  • Bloomberg View contributor Leonid Bershidsky says that think tanks aren't foreign agents.
  • Technician Online says that lawmakers should know where think tanks get their funds.
  • The Daily Caller headline: "Yikes!: Influential Think Tanks in the Tank for Foreign Governments."
  • Ian Bremmer said that Qatar "giving scads of money to Brookings doesn't mean they're biased as a think tank.  It just means you shouldn't follow them on Qatar." 
  • Lauren Kirchner in The Baffler: Think Tanks for Sale
  • Tevi Troy points out that no conservative think tanks are mentioned in the NYT piece as receiving funding from foreign governments. 
  • InTheCapital: How foreign governments run the show at DC's think tanks.
  • Glenn Greenwald: "NYT think tank story has taken a jingoistic tone for some, as though the problem is foreigners buying influence as opposed to influence-selling." 
  • The American Conservative: "Think Tanks Go Lobbying as Washington Lines Blur." 
  • John Judis in New Republic: "Foreign Funding of Think Tanks Is Corrupting Our Democracy."
  • What Motley Fool had to say about the NYT article and think tanks.
  • Tom Medvetz, author of Think Tanks in America, weighs in
  • Actress-playwright "surprised" by NYT think tank article. 
  • City Paper: "In Washington, influence is a buyer's market." 
  • Inside Philanthropy: How Scary is it When Foreign Governments Give Money to Think Tanks? 
  • Do Israeli officials now mistrust Brookings?
  • Eric Lipton, James McGann, & Joseph Sandler debate foreign government influence at think tanks (KQED radio; Brookings, CGD, Atlantic Council, and CSIS decline appearance). 
  • Brooke Williams interviewed about NYT think tank piece. 
  • Breitbart: NYT think tank article provides proof that Muslim Brotherhood influences operationsin the US? 
  • On Think Tanks weighs in on the NYT think tank piece. 
  • Transparify says it is not involved in the NYT piece.  Till Bruckner of Transparify comments via Huffington Post
  • Robin Davies of Development Policy Centre weighs in.
  • James Gibney in Bloomberg View: Does Your Think Tank Accept Rubles?
  • Economist: Foreign Funding on NGOs. 
  • David Post, Nancy Birdsall's husband, calls the NYT piece a "hatchet job."
  • BloombergBusinessWeek on the NYT think tank piece. 
  • Gawker: Foreign government sure are donating a lot to America's think tanks.
  • Lawmaker assails foreign donations to think tanks.
  • Stephen Walt: Despite NYT piece, there's more discussion of ISIL's funding sources than of most DC's think tanks. 
  • Comedian Stephen Colbert on the whole think tank situation.
  • JNS: How independent is a think tank funded by Hamas-backing Qatar?
  • House proposal would require think tanks to disclose foreign funding.

Here is an information graphic from the report showing which countries give to nine major think tanks:  Atlantic Council, Brookings, Center for Global Development (CGD), Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Middle East Institute, German Marshall Fund, Inter-American Dialogue, Stimson Center, and World Resource Institute.

Think Tank Watch will be updating this post regularly throughout the week.  Stay tuned...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Speaker Boehner to Give Major Economic Speech at AEI

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will give a major economic speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on September 18 on "resetting America's economic foundation."

Rep. Boehner is among a variety of powerful Republicans who have used AEI as a platform to announce new policies and tactics.  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is a frequent speaker at AEI, and so was former Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who recently left Congress.  Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be giving a speech at AEI on September 10 on 9/11 and the future of US foreign policy.

And on September 11, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck Mckeon (R-CA) will give a talk at AEI on how the US can defeat ISIS.

Why not give a speech at the Heritage Foundation?  Speaker Boehner and Heritage haven't exactly been on the best terms as of late.  And Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the think tank, has not been the kindest to Boehner.

Think Tanker Challenges ISIS to Debate About Islam

Barak Barfi, a research fellow at the New America Foundation (NAF), has challenged ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to a debate about the message of Islam.

Mr. Barfi, a friend of the Sotloff family, made the statement this week on behalf of murdered journalist Steven Sotloff and his family.

At NAF, Barfi specializes in Arab and Islamic affairs.  Previously, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Think Tank Watch is quite confident that the Barfi-Baghdadi debate would be much more interesting than any presidential debate...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul Labeled as "One-Man Think Tank"

When one hears the words think tank, it often conjures up images of large buildings housing armies of scholarly-types thinking up brilliant ideas.  And then there is the "one-man think tank."

Politico Magazine has just released its "Politico 50," a list of the most interesting political thinkers/doers, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was labeled as a "one-man think tank."  Here is more:
While he’s consulting widely these days with the think tankers at the Heritage Foundation and the more libertarian-minded Cato Institute, by all accounts his real policy team is still pretty much Paul and his Senate staff. But it’s clear all this studying up is designed with a presidential campaign in mind, and presidential campaigns need a network of policy experts to churn out all those policy papers—especially so with an ideas-minded candidate like Paul.
By all accounts, up until now Paul has been an ideas guy without an ideas team; many of the usual suspects in Republican policy circles haven’t even dealt with him at all, they told me. Brian Darling, a Heritage alum who serves as a Senate counsel and spokesman for Paul, describes him as a “one-man think tank.”

The profile of Sen. Paul notes several think tankers in his "outer circle," including Stephen Moore and James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation, and David Boaz of the Cato Institute.

Other think tankers made the Politico 50 list, including Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America, the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation, as well as Robert Kagan, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution (his wife is State Department's Victoria Nuland)

Should Think Tanks Stop Drafting Briefing Papers?

Justin Kosslyn, Lead Product Manager at Google Ideas, and Robert Muggah, Research Director at Brazil-based IgarapĂ© Institute, just wrote a piece titled "What's Next for Foreign Policy Think Tanks?" suggesting that think tanks need to "upgrade" their products for today's competitive information environment in order to stay relevant.  Here is more:

...There are ways that foreign policy think tanks can spread quality ideas and potentially drive real positive change. They could do worse than following the old aphorism to "show, don't tell." Instead of drafting briefing papers describing policy proposals in the abstract, think tanks can consider building software and data visualizations that demonstrate how these same policies might operate in practice. This is not as hard as it sounds -- there are some tried and tested steps worth considering.

First, engineers should be purposefully integrated into the DNA of think tanks. From the moment they arrive, these experts -- who are not part of the IT department -- should be invited to take part in decision-making meetings and to join research trips. Technology is relevant to every topic; integrate them into every area of the think tank instead of building artificial walls between them and the rest of the organization.

Second, think tank managers might consider taking a crash course in software development. This could begin with some recommended reading, especially classics like The Soul of a New Machine and Crossing the Chasm. They might also consider building out a small technical team of full-time software engineers, as the New America Foundation has done. But they should resist the temptation to outsource contractors who are not invested in the mission of the think tank.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post titled "Does Anyone Actually Read Think Tank Reports?"  And here is another Think Tank Watch post titled "Should Think Tank Reports be Shorter?"

Think Tank Quickies (#141)

  • Former Sen. Richard Lugar has a serious "me-wall" at his new think tank headquarters.
  • James Carafano of Heritage: "My goal is not to work at the most influential think tank in town.  My goal is to live in the most successful, free, safe, and prosperous country on the planet."
  • Would Hillary Clinton choose CNAS CEO Michele Flournoy as her Secretary of Defense?
  • Are rank-and-file think tank staffers treated as poorly as adjunct professors?
  • Think tanks should not be afraid to borrow money, via On Think Tanks. 
  • Think tank to ponder a future for ballet.
  • Arizona State University (ASU) teams up with New America Foundation (NAF) on Future of War project.
  • Think tank softball league quarterfinals taking place.
  • Radio discussion: "The Future of American Think Tanks" - with Robert Samuelson (WPost), Ken Silverstein (First Look Media), James McGann (UPenn), and Carol Platt Liebau (Yankee Inst.)
  • Conservative think tank boycotts Labor Day by working on Monday.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Think Tank Head Ousted for Sexual Misconduct

John Goodman, President and CEO of the Dallas, Texas-based National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), was ousted from his position at the conservative think tank for "sexual misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty," according to new details that have emerged.

Goodman was ousted in June from NCPA, the think tank he founded 31 years ago, and at that time it was unclear exactly why he was let go from what some consider to be Dallas's most prominent conservative think tank. 

Recent news reports indicate that the Board of Directors of NCPA has shrunken from more than a dozen directors to five, with the organization's future "uncertain."

Here are more details from The Raw Story:
“According to documents, emails, and interviews with multiple sources familiar with the situation,” wrote D‘s Glenn Hunter, “Goodman’s firing stemmed from an extraordinary arrangement that was made with an NCPA employee named Sherri Collins, after Collins accused Goodman of assaulting her in a Southern California hotel room in 2012.”
Goodman reportedly promoted Collins from an assistant’s position to director of the firm’s human relations division. She was awarded a salary of $85,000 per year, a guaranteed bonus check each year for at least three years and other benefits, all in an effort by Goodman to stave off legal punishment.
When an employee complained about treatment they’d gotten from Collins, the arrangement was brought to the attention of NCPA’s directors, who felt that the assault in California and Goodman’s handling of it seriously called into question his professionalism.

Here is the NCPA website.  Indeed, it currently lists only five members of the Board of Directors.  The separate Emeritus Board of Directors also has five members.

Here is a piece that Goodman wrote in 2005 titled "What Is A Think Tank."

NCPA is headquartered in Dallas and it also has a Washington, DC office.

Think Tanker to be Named India's Chief Economic Adviser

Indian economist Arvind Subramanian, the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) and Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), is likely to be named as India's chief economic adviser.

Here is more about Subramanian from the CGD site, and here is his biography from PIIE's site.

Although Subramanian may be leaving PIIE, the economic-oriented think tank recently announced it has hired Australian economist Justin Wolfers.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Why Eric Cantor Did Not Join a Think Tank (Yet)

Think Tank Watch is fairly certain that former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) was wooed by several think tanks, but alas, he has chosen to work for investment bank Moelis & Co.

At Moelis, Cantor will have a base salary of $400,000 for this year and next year, as well as $1.4 million in signing bonuses this year and $1.6 million in incentive compensation next year.

Although more than a dozen think tank heads make more than $400,000 per year, very few get sizable signing bonuses like those seen at investment banks such as Moelis.

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, the highest paid think tanker, makes around $800,000 on an annualized basis.  Think tanking was just not lucrative enough for Cantor.

Of course, Cantor could always join a think tank in the future while still holding his investment bank position.  Making that scenario more likely is the fact that he will be helping launch Moelis's first Washington office.

Numerous former members of Congress work at think tanks while simultaneously holding other higher-paid positions.  Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post on think tanks and members of Congress.

Which think tank would Eric Cantor likely join?  One possibility is American Enterprise Institute (AEI).  Think Tank Watch estimates that Cantor could probably pull in another $150,000 to $250,000 as a think tank figurehead.

Here is Think Tank Watch's latest think tank salary list.

ISIS Acronym Hurting Think Tank's Reputation

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) does not have its own think tank as far as we know, but it does share a luckless acronym with a think tank - the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).  And that acronym is causing confusion and possibly harming the think tank's reputation.

Here is more from The Daily Beast:
For some organizations, the emergence of a terrorist group with a similar acronym is a threat to their very existence.
The Institute for Science and International Security is a non-profit group that works on nuclear nonproliferation issues, and the Islamic State could ruin their lives’ work. For example, their Twitter is now continuously receiving messages meant for the terrorist group.
“We’re a non-profit, we’re an NGO. We live off of our visibility, and this really compromises our reputation—not to mention that we work in the national security arena,” said spokeswoman Serena Vergantini. “we’ve never laughed about it.”
In the U.K., the lingerie retailer Ann Summers has chosen the absolute worst time to launch its new line, which is named after the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis. One employee from the company told The Independent that they had just gotten rotten luck, and that the name was finalized months ago. By the time the Islamic ISIS emerged in the news, it was too late to change the name.
Institute for Science and International Security president and former UN arms inspector David Albright said that the ancient goddess, who represented an idealized woman and mother, also inspired his think tank’s name.
Albright’s think tank has reached out to several news organizations, including the Washington Post and New York Times, to ward them off the ISIS acronym, and is planning on reaching out to more.

ISIS (the think tank) was founded in 1993 and is based in Washington, DC.  Here is a list of its board members, and here is a list of its funders.  ISIS was ranked as the 23rd best science and technology think tank in the world by the latest University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.

Other think tank acronyms besides ISIS often cause confusion.  One example is the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which shares an acronym with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada's primary national intelligence service.

Update: Here is what The Washington Post has to say about the "acronym woes."  They point out that ISIS (the think tank) posted a memo on Tuesday asking people to stop using the acronym ISIS for the jihadist terrorist group.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Think Tank Quickies (#140)

  • Should think tanks be concerned about abusing donor intent?
  • Just want to network at think tank events? Why not just do some lobby-conning
  • Ludwig van Mises: Inspiring think tanks across the globe, via Alejandro Chafuen.
  • David Ignatius on the think tanker abundant, off-the-record discussions at Aspen Strategy Group.
  • Flashback: Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo's study on news outlets and which think tanks they favor.
  • Cato Institute encourages Congressional staffers to edit Wikipedia.
  • Who has better job security: A Washington pollster or a Washington think tanker?
  • Ken Silverstein's e-book "Pay to Play Think Tanks: Institutional Corruption and the Industry of Ideas."
  • Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) YouTube channel nearing 15,000 followers.
  • President of Center for the National Interest (CNI) Dimitri Simes and Richard Burt, members of CNI's board of directors, join Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) foreign policy advisory team.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dangers of Think Tanking Revealed With New App

Besides getting a paper cut from a foreign policy white paper, accidentally stabbing yourself with a pen, or being gently shoved while in line to grab a sandwich before a policy speech, attending think tank events is fairly safe.

But a new app may make you think otherwise.  Enter SketchFactor, a new crowdsourced app that lets people identify "sketchy" places so they can be warned of any potential hazards.

Think Tank Watch visits scores of think tank events each year and decided to give SketchFactor a test drive to see how safe the neighborhoods of think tank land really are.  Here are some results:

  • Brookings (Dupont Circle): Reports of "homeless people calling you out for anything you're wearing," as well as "propositions for sex and harassing you for money."  One user also noted that a Starbucks near Brookings has really slow service.  Another user notes the "super loud and annoying" construction going on south of Brookings.
  • American Enterprise Institute (South Dupont): One user complains of loud construction nearby, as well as people hanging out in a nearby cigar shop with "apparently nothing better to do."
  • Center for American Progress (McPherson Square): Users note a few murders nearby.  Another user highlights the "high corruption area" near the White House.  One user mentions that a "gang of prostitutes" propositioned him nearby and that the area "gets sketchy" after 6pm.
  • Heritage Foundation (Union Station): One user was approached for money at a bus station nearby and threatened.  Another user had his/her car broken into nearby.
  • Cato Institute (Mass. Ave.): One user complained of homeless people "panhandling all day."  Another user noted a "really cute bulldog" in the neighborhood.

No one ever said that think tanking was easy, but somebody has do it...

Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Give Major Speech at Heritage Foundation

Today (August 21) Texas Governor Rick Perry will give a speech at the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation at an event titled "The Border Crisis and the New Politics of Immigration."

Here is more from the Heritage Foundation's blog, The Daily Signal:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, under indictment on two felony counts, is in the nation’s capital today to deliver a speech at The Heritage Foundation about the border crisis plaguing his state.
Perry, who has been active and outspoken about immigration, will deliver his remarks at noon (available via live webcast). He’ll also no doubt face questions on the felony charges against him alleging that he abused his power by threatening to veto funding for a Democratic district attorney.
The potential Republican presidential candidate was indicted by a grand jury Friday on charges he abused his office and tried to coerce an elected official to resign.

ABC News says that the think tank speech will give Gov. Perry the opportunity to test his messaging after being indicted on abuse-of-power charges.  The National Interest suggests that Perry is going to Heritage to help his potential presidential bid.

The Heritage Foundation is a popular stop for conservative leaders, politicians, and presidential candidates both inside and outside of Washington.

This year, Heritage Foundation was ranked as the 17th best think tank in the world by the University of Pennsylvania's think tank rankings.  It was rated as the 8th best think tank in the United States.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Think Tank Quickies (#139)

  • Should think tankers be foxes or hedgehogs?
  • If Hillary Clinton had been No. 44, by Wilson Center's Aaron David Miller.
  • Think tanks in China and their role in shaping Chinese policy.
  • Is it correct to label Cato Institute and Atlas Network as neo-liberal?
  • Do think tanks make us stupid?
  • New think tank launched in Turkey; Grover Norquist meets with free-market think tanks in Turkey.
  • India's Narendra Modi backed five-member think tank to replace Planning Commission.
  • How to get ahead in think tanking; Mike Moffat attacks Fraser Institute jobs study.
  • Wilson Center panel: Do friends spy on friends?; Wilson Center's Jane Harman asks: Why do women turn into suicide bombers.
  • New America Foundation's (NAF) International Security Program launches ISIS tracking map; NAF's X-Lab announces inaugural class of fellows to analyze near-future tech breakthroughs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Renowned Economist Justin Wolfers Joins PIIE

It was announced today that renowned Australian economist Justin Wolfers will join the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) as a Resident Senior Fellow effective September 1, 2014.  Here is more from PIIE about his planned research:
Wolfers' planned research includes a new assessment of the world income distribution, and also how inequality and economic growth affect subjective personal views of happiness and life satisfaction. His research will contribute to the Institute's ongoing set of projects on inequality and inclusive capitalism which are partially supported by a major grant from the ERANDA Foundation.

After his 2014-2015 term at the think tank, Wolfers will receive the title of nonresident senior fellow at PIIE.  After the stint at PIIE, Wolfers plans to return to the University of Michigan where he is a professor of public policy and economics.

Wolfers is currently a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He is also an editor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA).

Even outside of Brookings and PIIE, Wolfers is a prolific think tanker.  According to his Brookings biography, Wolfers is also a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research; a Research Fellow with the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn; a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London; an International Research Fellow with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, and a Fellow of the CESifo, in Munich.

In response to a Think Tank Watch post on the top economics think tanks in the world, Wolfers pointed out that he is affiliated with five of the top 10.

Here is what Justin Wolfers had to tell the Washington Post about think tank land when he left Brookings after finishing a stint there as a visiting fellow from 2010-2011.  He rejoined Brookings in 2013.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria Now Accused on Plagiarizing From Think Tanks

CNN's Fareed Zakaria, who in 2012 was accused of plagiarism, is now being accused of even more plagiarism, including from think tanks.  Here is more from Mediaite.
Our Bad Media uncovered no less than twelve instances of plagiarism in CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria's extensive body of work, dated before he was accused of plagiarism back in 2012. Back then, he admitted to lifting sentences from a New Yorker article on gun control, but after suspending him and reviewing his work, his employers at the Washington Post, CNN, and TIME decided to write it off as an “isolated, one-time mistake,” as OurBadMedia characterized it, and continue to publish him to this day.
But according to Our Bad Media’s research, they didn’t actually review Zakaria’s work, and pointed out multiple incidents where he blatantly lifted passages from copy published by major news outlets, think tanks, and even Wikipedia.

More specifically, Our Bad Media says that Zakaria plagiarized from the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress (CAP).  Here is more from Politico.

Plagiarism involving think tanks is alive and well.  Here is a recent Think Tank Watch piece on a BuzzFeed reporter caught plagiarizing from the Heritage Foundation.  Also, it was recently revealed that Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) plagiarized from various think tanks.

Tweet Forces Apology from Top Defense Think Tank

Who says that nothing exciting happens in August in Washington.  Yes, Congress is in summer recess, the president is on vacation, and think tank reports slow to a trickle.  But the usually quiet August in DC got a bit of excitement early this morning due to a provocative tweet from one of Washington's top think tanks.

Here is how Mashable tells the story:
The Twitter account of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), an influential Washington-based think tank, told Amnesty International to "suck it" in response to a tweet arguing that the U.S. needs to "clean up" its human rights record in light of what's happening in Ferguson, according to screenshots taken by multiple people on Tuesday morning.
It's unclear if the tweet was a classic multi-account snafu, in which the operator of the CSIS Twitter feed intended to post with his own personal one but forgot to switch accounts, or if it was intentional. But CSIS seemed to acknowledge the tweet a little bit over an hour later.

This morning, Andrew Schwartz, CSIS's Senior Vice President for External Relations, said it was an intern who sent the tweet.  Here is more from Mashable:
"This tweet was sent by a CSIS intern who had access to our Twitter account," Schwartz said in an email to Mashable. "This intern is not authorized to speak for CSIS and I condemn his words. Apparently, he had meant to send the tweet from his personal account and got confused in the process. The tweet in no way reflects CSIS's views or any views of the scholars at CSIS. I personally apologize to Amnesty and am taking action internally at CSIS to address this incident."

Here is the Twitter apology from CSIS.  Even The Guardian picked up on the story.  Here is what The Raw Story had to say.  Here is what PR Week had to say.  And here is analysis from Muckety.  Here is more from Huffington Post.  And of course, the Twittersphere has had a field day with this tweet.  Some suggest that CSIS's brand has been damaged (doubtful).  Some think that the intern will be fired (possibly).  Others called the situation awkward (definitely).

Thank you interns, for making this Washington summer so much more interesting...By the way, is this the intern who caused all the outrage?  There are a variety of examples of interns being fired for tweets.  And for those who aren't sure about the latest Twitter etiquette, you may want to check out Mashable's "Complete Guide to Twitter Etiquette."

Think Tank Watch should also point out CSIS's joint collaboration with Amnesty.  For example, the think tank hosted a joint event with Amnesty International USA and Women In International Security (WIIS) in 2012 at CSIS's old office.  CSIS has also held events with various people from Amnesty International, such as this one on Syria.

CSIS was ranked as the 4th best think tank in the world by the University of Pennsylvania rankings released earlier this year.  It was also ranked as world's top defense and national security think tank.

Update: CSIS tells BuzzFeed that is has reached out on email to Amnesty and is following up with a phone call of apology.  When asked whether the intern would be fired, CSIS said it was "handling the matter internally."

Huffington Post is now reporting that Dawn Rennie, an Amnesty spokesperson, has said that CSIS has apologized and "no offense has been taken."

Also, the Washington Post has now weighed in, saying that CSIS's Twitter faux pas was worse than an incident in 2011 when a person managing the American Red Cross Twitter account tweeted about a plan to get "slizzerd" (i.e., drunk) on Dogfish Head beer.

Here is more from the Washington Post:
Obviously, there are some limits to the parallels: The Red Cross accidentally tweeted about some off-hour fun. CSIS, on the other hand, accidentally insulted a well respected human rights organization while endorsing a specific (and sometimes controversial) foreign policy tactic as protesters were literally running from tear gas on the streets of Ferguson. So a somber apology probably was the best way for CSIS to handle the situation.
But perhaps what's most damning about the think tank's slip-up is that readers might believe there was a grain of truth in the rogue tweet as far as policy strategy, if not the profane suggestion: While not the most hawkish of think tanks, some CSIS experts do seem to be in favor of an interventionist approach to foreign policy. In fact, the group's Internet home page is currently promoting commentary from Anthony Cordesman, the Burke Chair in Strategy at the institution and a former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, titled "Iraq: A Time to Act."

Time magazine has just weighed in, saying: "technically, it's the intern's human right to tell people to suck it, so maybe we should cut him some slack."  And New York Magazine has some interesting commentary...

CSIS is trying to move on from the whole incident, saying that they have kissed and made up with Amnesty.

Michael Doran, a scholar at Brookings Institution, poked fun of the incident with this tweet.

Ironically, RAND Corporation just announced it is looking for a Social Media Manager.  This could be the perfect time to jump ship...They are looking for someone "passionate about social media" (check), with a "desire to share that passion" (check), with a "working knowledge of principles of reputation management" (check?).

By the way, here is a CSIS job announcement for an External Relations intern, dated July 24, 2014.  It notes that the intern will update Twitter and Facebook.

Here is a press statement from CSIS, calling it an "unconscionable" tweet directed to Amnesty.  It also notes that CSIS is "embarrassed" by the incident.  A tweet by CSIS calls the intern's tweet "abhorrent."

Even Mia Farrow tweeted about the incident.

The Washington Post's In the Loop has now weight in with some entertaining commentary, and so has MTV.

Should CSIS Fire its Intern?
make a poll

Monday, August 18, 2014

Think Tank Quickies (#138)

  • On Norway's women-led think tanks.
  • Former Reagan Transportation Secretary James Burnley joins DC "think tank" (Eno Center for Transportation, which advocates for increased infrastructure spending)
  • New think tank launched to help churches.
  • Groups rally around think tank being sued for global warming views. 
  • Cool map from RUSI on Russia's reliance on Ukraine to design/produce military supplies. 
  • US spies missed urgency of ISIS/ISIL in Iraq threat, but did think tanks?
  • Tweets on Israel cost professor a new job; think tankers take heed.
  • House Liberty Caucus serves as a de facto competitor to the House's conservative think tank, the Republican Study Committee (RSC).
  • Former RAND Corp. scholar Renny McPherson co-founds RedOwl Analytics, which aims to analyze employee communications to identify top performers, flight risks.
  • Secretary of State John Kerry addresses East West Center to talk US vision for Asia-Pacific engagement.

Friday, August 15, 2014

On How Libertarian Think Tanks Party

The New York Times Magazine recently had a piece on the rise of libertarianism and mentions two libertarian think tank grandaddies: Cato Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).  Here is what it had to say about CEI's annual dinner:
She [Fox Business Network host and former MTV host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery] was the M.C. for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual dinner, which, as [Reason magazine editor in chief Matt] Welch put it to me, “in the tallest-dwarf category is considered to be one of D.C.'s best annual galas.” The C.E.I. is a 30-year-old organization that routinely sues federal agencies, often when new and onerous regulations are posted in the Federal Register. Tonight’s banquet had advertised itself as having an ‘80s theme, and so several of the 800 attendees arrived dressed as pop icons of that decade. After being introduced by Kennedy, the institute’s president, Lawson Bader, strode to the stage wearing the decidedly pre-1980s Scottish formal attire of black jacket and kilt. Announcing pending lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act and the N.S.A., Bader thundered, to righteous applause, “C.E.I. will continue to push back!
Between dinner courses, Kennedy informed the audience that there was to be a contest, with a prize awarded to the attendee who had recently flouted the most egregious law or regulation. My tablemates — among them Welch; a longtime member of the libertarian Cato Institute; a French academic; and a woman dressed as Cyndi Lauper — each scribbled their infraction on a piece of paper. One had smoked a joint on the sidewalk with a stranger, while another had traveled to Cuba without authorization.
At the night’s conclusion, Kennedy announced the winner. It was a woman who, despite her lack of veterinary certification, had illegally massaged a pug.

Think Tank Watch should also point out that although CEI likes to sue, it is also being sued.

And, talking of libertarian parties, the Cato Institute will be holding a Cato Congressional Staff Happy Hour on its Ken & Frayda Levy Liberty Garden rooftop on August 20.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

AEI President Interviewed on Think Tanks

Dick Meyer, Chief Washington Correspondent for Scripps News, has just interviewed American Enterprise Institute (AEI) President Arthur Brooks.  Think Tank Watch has listened to the nearly 15-minute broadcast and has picked out its favorite think tank comments:

Quotes from Dick Meyers:
  • Think tanks are "heaven on Earth" for policy wonks.
  • The influence of think tanks is behind-the-scenes but pervasive.
  • Think tanks are quiet places that carry a big stick.
  • Think tanks mostly try to influence Congress.
  • Think tanks feed the need that news media has for instant access to experts.
  • I always thought the phrase "think tanks" was kind of a science-fiction movie where super-thinking brains were suspended in neuro-ooze.
  • There is a nasty nickname for think tank experts: "rentallectuals."
  • AEI PresidentArthur Brooks has become a superstar in the world of Washington brainiacs in the five years he's been running AEI.
  • At 49, Arthur Brooks has already written six books and edited even more.  He is lean and fit with a well-groomed stubble and an aura of intensity.  He wears power suits but they're cut in a skinny, hip style.  He's not exactly what you'd expect as a booster of AEI's conservative philosophy.

Quotes from Arthur Brooks:
  • AEI has 200 full-time scholars and staff; around 60 are full-time scholars.
  • Most of the think tanks in and around Washington, DC have taken public subsidies, but AEI has never taken a dime from the government.
  • Had it not been for conservative think tanks, welfare reform would not have happened under Bill Clinton in 1996...[Brooks then called Clinton a "courageous president"] and said that the welfare idea came from scholars at AEI.  [Mr. Myers noted that Bill Clinton may disagree with that idea.]
  • AEI has a "firewall" between its funding and research.

Can't get enough of Arthur Brooks?  Check out this recent Bill Moyers interview with Brooks.  And of course, check out the multiple posts that Think Tank Watch has done on AEI and Arthur Brooks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Think Tank Quickies (#137)

  • Sino-Japanese ties "at 40 year low" says researchers from China's best-known think tanks.
  • OpenSecrets' Andrew Mayersohn on Ken Silverstein's e-book on think tanks and corruption; says we are in a "drunkard's search" in terms of think tank funding transparency.
  • Experts from the world's leading think tanks will moderate this year's Security Jam 2014, sponsored by Security & Defense Agenda (SDA) and IBM.
  • ASEAN welcomes the First Country Coordinators Meeting of the Network of ASEAN-China Think Tanks (NACT CCM).
  • Chinese think tank hires US talent.
  • What Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer says on the think tank circuit.
  • Premio PODER and On Think Tanks launch second edition of think tank awards for Peru.
  • China-Pakistan think tank seminar concludes in Islamabad.
  • Photos from Atlantic Council Leadership Awards held at the Ritz-Carlton featured in Washington Life Magazine's Summer 2014 edition (includes Chuck Hagel, Colin Powell, and the Huntsman clan).
  • Absence of think tanks "deeply felt" during Indian PM Narendra Modi's visit to Nepal.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Should You Be Able to Sue Think Tanks You Disagree With?

Ilya Shapiro, a Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute and Editor-in-Chief of Cato Supreme Court Review,  has just penned a piece titled "People Shouldn't Be Able to Sue Think Tanks When They Disagree with US," which bashes climatologist and geophysicist Michael Mann for suing the think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) due to some climate change-related disagreements.

Here is more:
What’s worse than a public policy debate that turns bitter and impolite? Well, for one, having the courts step into the marketplace of ideas to judge which side of a debate has the best “facts.”
Yet that’s what Michael Mann has invited the D.C. court system to do. In response to some scathing criticism of his methodologies and an allegation of scientific misconduct, the author of the infamous “hockey stick” models of global warming – because they resemble the shape of a hockey stick, with temperatures rising drastically beginning in the 1900s – has taken the global climate change debate to a record low by suing the Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Review, and two individual commentators. The good Dr. Mann claims that some blogposts alleging his work to be “fraudulent” and “intellectually bogus” were libelous.

The post goes on to say that Cato has filed a brief, joined by three other think tanks, urging the court to "stay out of the business of refereeing scientific debates."  [Those three other think tanks are Reason Foundation, Individual Rights Foundation, and Goldwater Institute.]

Suing a think tank is not unprecedented.  In fact, the libertarian Cato Institute was sued in 2012 by the Koch Brothers.  And suing think tanks is not simply a US phenomenon.  Just last month, philanthropist Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild said she is suing the British think tank The Henry Jackson Society over funds from a summit it held.  More specifically, the summit was the Conference on Inclusive Capitalism, which took place in May and included speeches by Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, and Christine Lagarde.

To be sure, think tanks also sue.  For example, the Institute for Policy Integrity sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an attempt to force cap-and-trade rules.  The think tank CEI has also sued the US Treasury Department for withholding internal carbon tax documents.  CEI recently announced it is suing the National Security Agency (NSA) in order to obtain EPA records they believe are in violation of federal recordkeeping laws.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Best Think Tank Fellowship on Planet Earth?

There are think tank fellowships and there are think tank FELLOWSHIPS.  And one of the most generous fellowships is Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) International Affairs Fellowship (IAF).

IAF, launched in 1967, is targeted toward mid-career scholars and professionals between the ages of 27 and 35.  CFR awards around 10 IAF fellowships annually.

One can apply online between July 1 and October 31 on an annual basis, and finalists are notified between December and January.

Most importantly, the 12-month fellowships awards of stipend of $85,000.  Let me say that again.  A stipend of $85,000!  But don't get too excited, because fellows are considered independent contractors and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health care.

But that is not all that CFR offers.  Even more generous is the Stanton Foundation-sponsored International Affairs Fellowship in Nuclear Security (IAF-NS), which pays $125,000 for 12 months.  But CFR awards only around two of those annually.

CFR also has the International Affairs Fellowship in Japan (sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd.), the National Intelligence Fellowship, the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship (with a $65,000 stipend and a "modest" travel grant), Military Fellowships, and the Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship (which ranges from $50,000 to $100,000),

A list of the 2014-2015 IAF fellows can be found here.  And a historical roster of IAF fellows can be found here.

A list of former CFR fellowships can be found here.

Can't seem to snag a CFR fellowship?  Don't fret.  Plenty of other think tanks offer fellowships.  Third Way says it offers a "competitive" stipend for its 12-month fellowship program.  The US-China Exchange Fellowship at Brookings offers a stipend of $36,000 for its nine-month program.  Among others, Brookings also has a joint visiting fellowship at the Brookings Doha Center and Qatar University.

US Institute of Peace's (USIP) Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship is being redesigned.  RAND Corp. has a Transatlantic Post-Doctoral Fellowship for International Relations and Security (TAPIR), which pays a monthly stipend of 1,800 Euros, a 200 Euro per month health insurance allowance, and a one-time travel allowance of 3,500 Euros.

The Heritage Foundation is another think tank that offers a variety of fellowships, as is the Wilson Center, which offers 9-month residential fellowships (and round-trip travel is provided).  The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) offers a Junior Fellows Program for graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year.  Each year CEIP offers approximately 10-12 of those one-year fellowships.

The Atlantic Council has the Young Atlanticist Program, and recently announced the Arctic Climate Change Emerging Leaders (ACCEL) Fellowship.  The German Marshall Fund (GMF) offers a variety of fellowships, and although not called a fellowship, the Center for American Progress (CAP) has a Leadership Institute that one can apply to.  New America Foundation (NAF) also offers fellowships, and NAF's X-Lab just announced its inaugural class of fellows..

The Stimson Center has the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, offering six and nine-month stints at the think tank focusing on arms control, peace, and international security issues.  And the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has the AILA International Fellowship (AIF) through the think tank's Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy.

Happy fellowship hunting.