Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ex-President of Georgia Starting US Think Tank

With all the fuss about foreign government funding of US think tanks, a former president of a foreign government is bypassing all that by starting his own think tank in the US.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, is reportedly helping start up a Washington, DC-based think tank.

It is common for former non-US heads of state to join a well-established think tank, but as far as Think Tank Watch is aware, this will be the first time that a former foreign head of state has established a US-based think tank.

The DC think tank market is already heavily saturated, with 395 think tanks within Washington, and 1,828 think tanks total in the US.

As a comparison, Georgia (the country) has 13 think tanks.  [By the way, Georgia (the state) has 29 think tanks.]

So, why start a think tank?  Well, besides having plenty of free time during his self-imposed exile in New York, he apparently wants to be more politically relevant.  The first step though?  Getting a US work visa.

And starting a think tank is not a piece of cake.  But fortunately, Mr. Saakashvili will have a good tutor.  He has recently been meeting with old pal Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who recently started his own think tank, the McCain Institute.