Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Think Tank Quickies (#498)

  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) is joining the Hudson Institute as a distinguished fellow; Nikki Halley makes her inaugural appearance as Walter P. Stern Chair at Hudson. 
  • Brian Deese (formerly at CAP), Richard Bush (Brookings), Laura Rosenberger (CNAS and GMF), and Richard Armitage (CSIS) sent as delegation to Taiwan's presidential inauguration.
  • A "startling new study" by RAND that was commissioned by the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment.
  • Those attending the McCain Institute's annual Sedona Forum include: Antony Blinken, Janet Yellen, Mitt Romney, and Dasha Navalnaya. 
  • Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who served as chief of staff to VP Dick Cheney and as senior vice president at the Hudson Institute, is joining the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) as a distinguished fellow.
  • "The Zachor Legal Institute, a legal think tank representing StopAntisemitism."
  • The role of think tanks under China's Xi Jinping, via MERICS.
  • Why foundations that back progressives are funding a leading conservative think tank.
  • Jennifer Gould named VP of Communications and External Affairs at RAND Corp.
  • The think tank laying the groundwork for a Labour government in the UK.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Pro-Trump Think Tank Paid Millions to Companies Tied to Its Own Leaders

Here is more from the New York Times:

The Conservative Partnership Institute, a nonprofit whose funding skyrocketed after it became a nerve center for President Donald J. Trump’s allies in Washington, has paid at least $3.2 million since the start of 2021 to corporations led by its own leaders or their relatives, records show.

One was led by the institute’s president, Edward Corrigan, and another by its chief operating officer. At a third contractor, the board members included the group’s senior legal fellow Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who supported Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.


The Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI) was founded in 2017 by former US Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), after he was ousted as President of the Heritage Foundation.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Think Tanks Targeted in Latest North Korean Email-Based Cyberattacks

Here is more from UPI:

North Korean hackers are exploiting an email security flaw in attacks used to gather sensitive intelligence and information, a new U.S. cybersecurity advisory warned.

The advisory, issued Thursday by the FBI, State Department and National Security Agency, said that members of the Pyongyang-backed hacking collective Kimsuky are sending spearphishing emails to individuals at think tanks, academic institutions and media organizations.

In one example, a hacker pretending to be a think tank staffer invited a U.S. government official to give a keynote address at a conference on North Korea. In another, a Kimsuky agent posed as a journalist seeking comment on geopolitical issues related to North Korea. 

Kimsuky is believed to operate under the North's premier military intelligence organization, the Reconnaissance General Bureau. The hacker group is also known as Emerald Sleet, Thallium and Velvet Chollima by private-sector cybersecurity researchers.


There is no word yet on which think tanks have been impacted. 

Also, Iranian-backed cyber spies are are continuing to impersonate think tanks.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Think Tank Accidentally Exposes Personal Info. From Job Applicants

Here is more from the Washington Free Beacon:

The right-wing group that leads a recruitment effort for Capitol Hill offices and allied nonprofits, the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), has for months left exposed the sensitive personal information of applicants to its online "jobs bank," the Washington Free Beacon found, including members of the U.S. intelligence community, congressional aides, former Trump administration officials, and campaign operatives.

Led by former Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint and one of his former aides, Ed Corrigan, as well as by former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, who the New York Times reported is paid $847,000 to serve as the organization's "senior partner," the Conservative Partnership Institute has exposed the social security numbers, home addresses, private client names, and other personal details of over 1,500 job applicants, including several who hold the highest level security clearance—known as a top secret/sensitive compartmented information (TS/SCI) clearance—in a public online storage system on an Amazon cloud. With basic web-scraping software, the records can be viewed by anyone, including America’s foreign adversaries.


The news site notes that the records were stored in open Amazon S3 buckets, which are publicly accessible unless the owner takes steps to make them private.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

New Think Tank Quickies (#497)

  • Eric Schmidt-backed pro-America "think tank" (America's Frontier Fund) has launched a VC firm.
  • New report from Special Competitive Studies Project, an Eric Schmidt-backed think tank, says the US intelligence community "risks surprise, intelligence failure, and even attrition of its importance" unless it embraces AI's capacity to process huge amounts of data. 
  • Donald Abelson: Rethinking the Role and Influence of US Defense and Foreign Policy Think Tanks.
  • Steven Bennett, previously the COO of Brookings, will be CFR's new EVP and chief administrative officer.
  • Luxe membership club Ned to open within a six-building DC complex owned by the Milken Institute, which plans to open the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream next year.
  • "A new global think tank - the merger of the International House of Japan (I-House) established by John D. Rockefeller III to repair US-Japan ties after WWII and the Asia Pacific Initiative, set up by Yoichi Funabashi, the former newspaper editor, author and national security expert."
  • Gordon Gray is launching the Pinpoint Policy Institute to advocate for free markets and policies that promote economic growth.  He was most recently VP for economic policy at the American Action Forum (AAF). 
  • The Roosevelt Institute has hired Elly Kugler as managing director for government relations and Hannah Groch-Begley to serve as director of the think tank.
  • Did China just go after a powerful Aussie think tank?
  • The man (Mohammed Soliman) whispering the Middle East's future into Washington's ear.