Here are some of Think Tank Watch's favorite quotes from that event:
Andrew Selee: Vice President for Programs and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute, Wilson Center:
- "Brookings could easily coast on its reputation, but doesn't."
- "The more strategic think tanks are the more impact they have."
- "Resources are probably the main thing that think tanks spend the most time worrying about."
Anne-Marie Slaughter: President and CEO, New America Foundation (NAF):
- "Only in Washington is 'What Should Think Tanks Do?' considered an airplane book."
- "Think tanks play a critical translation role between academia and government."
- "Think tanks really know how to get ideas implanted into the policy process."
- "New America Foundation (NAF) is like a tech-lab, we have 40 coders upstairs...it looks like Silicon Valley."
- "NAF is not diverse enough (in terms of race)...it is an issue we'll be focusing on."
James McGann: Director, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania:
- "Think tanks as a human resource function for government is becoming a global phenomenon."
- "The 9/11 Commission was populated by think tankers."
- "Most countries do not rely on think tanks as much as the US does."
- "Think tanks have to be market-oriented."
- "Thinks tanks generally have a greater gender diversity than racial diversity."
- "Think tanks are a risky business. They can only survive one or two bad leaders and then they tank."
Steven Bennett: Vice President and COO, Brookings Institution:
- "Brookings must remain on the cutting edge, even if it 100 years old."
- "Brookings has tried to be as nimble and dynamic as a small think tank."
- "Think tanks feed government important analysis."
- "Brookings has branched out beyond the federal government and Washington, we've stepped into the state and local realm."
- "Think tanks have to be in the business of re-invention."
- "To be a nimble think tanks it helps to have unrestricted capital."
- "On diversity Brookings needs to do a better job...we are lousy on racial diversity."
- "Brookings is now investing a lot in communications."
- "Funding is very time-consuming."
- "If you ask a Republican what our political affiliation is they will say Brookings is liberal; if you ask a Democrat, they will say that we are middle-of-the-road."
Lawrence McDonald: Vice President for Communications and Policy Outreach, Center for Global Development (CGD):
- "CGD has been successful because our leader is a women."
- "At CGD [our staffers] skew female and skew young."
- "There is a big problem with partisanship at many think tanks."
- "At CGD we have two vice presidents who support different political parties."
- "CGD has too many people from the World Bank, including me."