Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Think Tankers "Hope They'll be Rescued" From Their Jobs

This is from the opening of a new piece on Brookings Institution scholar and former Trump Administration official Fiona Hill that was penned by New Yorker writer Adam Entous:

The Brookings Institution is one of many think tanks in Washington, D.C., where scholars and bureaucrats sit in quiet offices and wait by the phone. They write op-eds and books, give talks and convene seminars, hoping that, when reputations falter or Administrations shift, they will be rescued from the life of opining and contemplation and return to the adrenaline rush and consequence of government. Nearly always, the yearning is to be inside. Strobe Talbott, who became the president of Brookings in 2002, served in Bill Clinton’s Administration as his leading Russia expert, and he was rumored to be on the shortlist for Hillary Clinton’s Secretary of State. Others, too, may have expected a call. But, after Donald Trump was elected, only one prominent Brookings stalwart was summoned, and her story became emblematic of all those in Washington who entered the Administration full of trepidation but hoping to be a “normalizing” influence on a distinctly abnormal President.

Former managing director at Brookings, William Antholis, said he was "deeply offended" by the line about being "rescued" from life at a think tank.

Think Tank Watch's favorite line from the New Yorker piece:  "After Trump’s victory, the mood at Brookings was funereal."

After her stint within the Trump Administration, Hill returned to Brookings where she is currently a Senior Fellow in the Center for on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy Program.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch piece about Hill.