The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) announced today that Tom Donilon, former National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama, will join CFR this month as a Distinguished Fellow. He will be based at CFR's Washington, DC office.
Earlier this year, former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner also joined CFR as a Distinguished Fellow. The only other "Distinguished Fellow" at CFR that we are aware of is Nobel Prize-winning economist A. Michael Spence, who is a "Visiting Distinguished Fellow." The Brookings Institution is probably the king of "Distinguished Fellows."
Donilon is no stranger to think tanks. He has been a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, a policy program of The Aspen Institute, and has sat on the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institution. Moreover, the press release from CFR says that Mr. Donilon became a CFR member nearly two decades ago.
Last month, Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow at CFR, wrote an op-ed in the Daily Beast titled "Hats Off to Tom Donilon."
Mr. Donilon is one of many former Obama officials who has gone on to join a think tank. Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post (updated periodically) that talks about the many former Administration officials who have left for think tank land.
CFR was recently ranked as
the 6th best think tank in the world by the annual University of
Pennsylvania think tank rankings. It was also ranked as the 3rd best
think tank in the US (only behind Brookings and Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace) and the 4th best security and international affairs
think tank in the world.