Saturday, March 23, 2019

Think Tank Quickies (#343)

  • Outgoing AEI President Arthur Brooks joins Washington Post opinions section as a columnist.
  • Brookings hosts launch of 2019 think tank rankings.
  • The now-defunct Office of Technology assessment, operated as a think tank for Congress, tasked with studying science and technology issues.
  • CSIS launches Stephenson Ocean Security Project (SOS).
  • CSIS flags increase in number of Chinese fishing vessels in Spratlys
  • Global Times: China-US think tanks can promote resilient engagement. 
  • Brookings scholar Benjamin Wittes meeting quietly with NYT reporters over Mueller probe.
  • Jamie Bartlett of Demos reflects on think tanks.
  • The Bank of International Settlements: the "central bankers' think tank."
  • Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence: A public health think tank.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Think Tank Founded by Bernie Sanders' Wife Shutting Down

Here is more from the Associated Press:

The Sanders Institute, a think tank founded by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ wife and son, is shutting down, at least for now, amid criticism that the nonprofit has blurred the lines between family, fundraising and campaigning.
The Vermont-based institute has stopped accepting donations and plans to suspend all operations by the end of May “so there could not even be an appearance of impropriety,” Jane Sanders told The Associated Press.
The unexpected move by the institute’s board of directors comes as Bernie Sanders, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination, prepares for a wave of intense scrutiny into his political network and his family’s role in its operation.
The institute was founded to promote liberal policies less than two years ago by Sanders’ family with the backing of pro-Sanders celebrities and advocates— though Sanders himself had no formal role. While it operates at a fraction of the scale of the Clinton Foundation, it has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars during its brief existence and has declined to disclose its donors.
Jane Sanders, who also serves as a chief adviser to her husband’s presidential campaign, is not compensated for her role at the institute. Her son, David Driscoll, is paid $100,000 a year as co-founder and executive director. Driscoll previously was an executive for Nike and the Vermont snowboarding firm Burton, but had no previous nonprofit experience, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Here is a link to the Sanders Institute.  Here is a press release from the think tank about its suspension of operations during the 2020 presidential elections.  Here is a press release from the launch of the Sanders Institute.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Georgetown Launches Think Tank on Emerging Tech

Here is more from the Washington Post:

Georgetown University announced Thursday the launch of a think tank focused on how technological advances in fields such as artificial intelligence are influencing national and international security.
Backed by a $55 million grant from a private funding group, the Center for Security and Emerging Technology will be based in the university’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
The center’s director, Jason Matheny, was director of federal Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity from 2015 to 2018 and has participated in government initiatives related to artificial intelligence.
“There’s huge demand for policy analysis but very little supply,” Matheny said. The center, to be based near the Capitol, aims to change that. It will start with a staff of about 15, with plans to expand to 35.
The grant, from the San Francisco-based Open Philanthropy Project, is primarily funded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna. Moskovitz was a co-founder of Facebook. Forbes estimates his net worth at more than $10 billion.

Here is a link to the new think tank, whose acronym is CSET.

Think Tank Watch estimates that fewer than a half-dozen think tanks are started, on average, each year in Washington, DC.