In 1981, he set up a think tank, the Institute for International Economics, with
the help of a substantial grant from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an American public policy institution. Bergsten was no stranger to the world of think tanks: he had spent his years between government service at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution.
The institute—since renamed the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), partly in recognition of the financial support of its founding chairman of the board, Peter G. Peterson—has been described by British journalist Martin Walker as “the most influential think tank on the planet.”PIIE, which renamed itself October 24, 2006 in honor the the Founding Chairman of its Board of Directors, Peter G. Peterson, announced on the same day that it completed a "capital campaign" that raised $50 million for its Capital Fund.
On January 25, 2012, Bergsten announced that he will step down as Director of PIIE at the end of 2012. PIIE's Board of Directors is expected to choose a replacement by the middle of 2012. Dr. Bergsten will remain a senior fellow and director emeritus at PIIE.
Any guesses on who the next director of PIIE will be? Based on the latest reports, Dr. Bergsten got paid a base salary of $252,035.
Update: On May 18, 2012, it was announced that Adam Posen will become PIIE's new president effective January 1, 2013.