Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Brookings President Steps Down Amid Rocky Time at Think Tank

It is the year of presidential transitions.  First it was Donald Trump.  Now it is Strobe Talbott, the leader of the liberal Brookings Institution, who just announced his resignation after 15 years at the think tank's helm.

The announcement comes at a very rocky time for the think tank, which took a huge beating in the past few years for various pay-to-play schemes that many say weakened its credibility and stature.

While maintaining its ranking as the world's No. 1 think tank in the just-released University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings, it was revealed that the professor who conducts the study had his new book published by Brookings - a bewildering move that further deflated the credibility of the think tank's standing.

Nevertheless, Brookings is still a prolific fundraiser, having recently raised more than $650 million in its Brookings 2.0 campaign.  And according to the most recent tax records, Brookings still has assets of close to half a billion dollars.

Mr. Talbott, who was floated as a possible Secretary of State in a Clinton White House, will step down in October.  In the meantime, a search committee, reporting to the Board of Trustees, has been formed to find a successor.  Brookings says that it will conduct a "global" search.

Talbott was paid a base salary of $606,140 in 2014, so Think Tank Watch images that many people will be applying for the job (even though traditional think tanks may be severely weakened in the new Trump era).

Stay tuned for much more, including reactions and more details of the search for a new president...