Here is more from Politico:
As President-elect Donald Trump fills out his national security and foreign policy team, among the names being circulated as the potential No. 2 at the State Department: Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass, according to two senior transition aides.
Haass, a veteran of both Bush administrations, has served as director of policy planning at the State Department and as a senior director on the National Security Council.
Trump has praised Haass, who is a regular presence on one of his favorite television programs, MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I respect Richard Haass, who’s on your show a lot,” Trump told the show’s hosts in May. “And I like him a lot. I have a few people that I really like and respect.”
Haass also met with Trump privately in 2015 in Trump Tower to brief him on global issues. “I've spent an hour with him there. I've seen him a few times on and off golf courses,” Haass told NPR.
In that same NPR appearance, Haass said of Trump, “We obviously have areas of, you know, some disagreement, to say the least, on policy,” citing his support for free trade.
The article also notes that Haass is an acquaintance of his potential boss at the State Department, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson. Mr. Haass hosted Tillerson at CFR in 2012 for a conversation about energy security and climate change. Moreover, Haass's former colleagues, Bob Gates and Condoleezza Rice, were the ones who recommended Tillerson for the top State Department job.
More about Tillerson's strong connections to think tanks can be found here.
Two others who are also in the running for the Deputy Secretary of State slot also happen to be think tankers: former UN Ambassador John Bolton, a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and Elliott Abrams, a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at CFR.