Monday, November 13, 2023

Think Tank Quickies (#487)

  • Heritage Foundation is an ally of new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), according to Punchbowl News.
  • RAND Corp. among those that uncovered covert campaign by China to use AI to spread lies about Maui wildfires.
  • The McCain Institute organized a delegation visit to Ukraine to meet with senior officials, including the prime minister.  Evenlyn Farkas, the think tank's executive director, led the group, which including members from the Ukraine Business Alliance, including Palantir Technologies, Microsoft, Skydio, and Fortem Technologies.
  • Harry Kazianis has rejoined the Center for National Interest as a senior director of national security affairs and will serve as executive director of its publication, The National Interest.  He was previously a political consultant and senior director of Korean Studies at CSIS.
  • Former undersecretary of defense for policy, Colin Kahl, has joined Brookings as a scholar in residence.
  • Arms control expert Jon Wolfsthal has joined the Federation of American Scientists as director of global risk.
  • Derek Mitchell, the former US ambassador to Myanmar, is rejoining CSIS as a non-resident senior adviser.
  • David Miliband and Yalda Hakim have joined CNAS's board of advisers.
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute announce Bloomberg CityLab 2023 in Washington, DC.
  • How did free-market think tanks take over Westminster?

Thursday, November 9, 2023

New Think Tank Dedicated to Serbia-US Ties

Here is more from Politico:

Vuk Velevit has started the Pupin Initiative, a think tank dedicated to bolstering ties between Serbia and the US.  He most recently was an international strategy fellow at Schmidt Futures and previously worked in startups as well as consulting on security issues in the Western Balkans.


Here is a link to the think tank's website, which indicates it has offices in both Serbia and Washington, DC.  The think tank says it sustains its operations through a "tiered membership structure."

Here are pictures from its October 2023 launch in Belgrade, which was attended by more than 200 people.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

AEI Expands DC Presence

In a rare move these days, a think tank is expanding its physical presence in Washington, DC.  Here is more from Washington Business Journal:

The American Enterprise Institute, a D.C.-based foreign policy and defense think tank, is taking the rare step, for these days at least, of expanding its local offices.

The AEI, headquartered at 1789 Massachusetts Ave., NW, has inked a 22,581-square-foot lease at 11 Dupont Circle NW, according to real estate services firm Newmark.

11 Dupont Circle, spanning 153,228 square feet, was recently renovated inside and out, with a new tenant lounge, fitness center, conference center and bike storage room, newly activated courtyard and mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades.


The two buildings are just one block away from each other.  Here is a look at what the updated 11 Dupont Circle looks like.

AEI bought the 1789 Massachusetts Ave. property in 2013 for $36.5 million, and moved in around three years later following more than $80 million in renovations.

It is unclear if AEI's famous cookies will be available at the new location.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Goldman Sachs Launches New Think Tank-Like Entity

Here is more from FT:

Goldman Sachs is setting up an institute to analyse geopolitics and technology, the latest firm to bet on demand from companies for advice on how to navigate a disorderly world.

The Goldman Sachs Global Institute, announced on Thursday, will initially be focused on geopolitical tensions and disruption from the rise of artificial intelligence.

It will be led by Goldman partners George Lee and Jared Cohen. The two men also co-lead the investment bank’s Office of Applied Innovation, which was established last year to spot commercial opportunities related to shifts in technology and the geopolitical landscape.

Lazard last year launched a unit of advisers to counsel companies on geopolitical risks. The McKinsey Global Institute, an offshoot of the management consulting firm McKinsey, and similar corporate research and analysis units have been around for decades. The Goldman Sachs Global Institute is a successor to the bank’s Global Markets Institute, which was formed in 2004 to focus on the relationship between capital markets and public policy. 


Here is a link to the Goldman Sachs Global Institute.  Here is more about the Global Markets Institute (GMI).

Friday, November 3, 2023

Booz Allen Backs Government Client With New CSIS Report

Here is a summary from Politico:

Despite decades of efforts to bolster its cyber defenses, the U.S. government is vulnerable to crippling attacks that could disrupt essential services and undermine national security no matter how much money you throw at it, according to a new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The 97-page report was six months in the making — compiled by a task force of former senior government officials, cyber experts and private sector executives. It finds that while the U.S. has made progress in securing its networks, it’s still not enough to keep up with the evolving threat landscape. Here’s what stands out to us from the analysis.


The full report, which provides specific recommendations for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), can be found here.  CSIS notes that the report was funded by Gray Space Strategies, a strategic advisory firm based in Washington, DC.  The firm has noted that Booz Allen Hamilton was also behind the report.  In return, Booz Allen Hamilton is promoting it as strictly a CSIS report.

Booz Allen Hamilton has received millions of dollars from CISA.  

In a July 2023 CSIS press release announcing the launch of a "CSIS Task Force on CISA's Evolving .gov Mission" along with the goal of releasing the report in Oct. 2023, there is no mention of Booz Allen, but Gray Space Strategies' CEO is quoted as saying it would be an "independent study."

Gray Space Strategies has funded other things at CSIS, including a Sept. 2023 event on user cyber games to understand emerging threats.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Canadian Think Tank MLI Opening Up Shop in DC

Here is more from a press release:

Canada and the United States are quietly diverging on many important geopolitical issues. Yet any reasoned survey of the two neighbors’ interests would quickly conclude that Washington and Ottawa should be closely aligned on matters including national security, the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, opposition to authoritarian regimes, the Arctic, energy, critical minerals, and more. To put the US-Canada relationship back on sound footing, the nations should start by telling each other the truth and seeing the relationship as it really is.

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI), Canada’s leading think tank, is launching a new project in Washington to take on this truth-telling task. This project—the Center for North American Prosperity and Security (CNAPS, pronounced “synapse”)—will go beyond clich├ęs to drive an honest dialogue on the issues that matter most for the security and prosperity of citizens on both sides of the border.

Hudson Institute, in partnership with MLI, is proud to host the launch of CNAPS. The event will highlight two urgent matters facing policymakers on both sides of the border: the lessons from Canada’s extensive experience with institutional capture by the Chinese Communist Party, and the potential for a continental energy policy that would keep prices low, ensure energy security for the liberal-democratic world, and reduce the flow of money to some of the world’s nastiest regimes.


The launch is scheduled for November 14, 2023. 

MLI is based in Ottawa, Canada and is affiliated with the libertarian Atlas Network.  MLI was founded in 2010.