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The Brookings Institution, whose predecessor was founded in 1918 by Robert Brookings, was probably the first think tank in the USA. It was initially seen as a Democrat think-tank, but it has progressively moved to the right -- while simultaneously being more ecumenical in its choice of scholars. This makes it difficult to characterise; unlike most of the conservative and libertarian think-tanks which are openly partisan (despite declaring that they aren't).
On its website the organization traces its origins ..
"...to 1916, when a group of leading reformers founded the Institute for Government Research (IGR), the first private organization devoted to analyzing public policy issues at the national level. In 1922 and 1924, one of IGR's backers, Robert Somers Brookings (1850-1932), established two supporting sister organizations: the Institute of Economics and a graduate school bearing his name. In 1927, the three groups merged to form the Brookings Institution, thus honoring the businessman from St. Louis whose leadership shaped the earlier organizations."
Initially centrist, the Institution took its first step rightwards during the depression in response to the New Deal. In the 1960s, it was linked to the conservative wing of the Democratic party, backing Keynsian economics.
According to Paul Weyrich, the founder of a few dozen right-religious think-tanks (using Joseph Coors money), the drive to start the Mountain States Legal Foundation and the Heritage Foundation in 1970 was to attempt to create research, policy and legal organisation for the conservatives that could be as influential in Washington DC as the Brookings Institution. 
However, from the mid-70s, Brookings began to cement a closer relationship with the Republican party. Since the 1990s it has taken steps further towards the right in parallel with the increasing influence of right-wing think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation.
- 1 Current Research Programs
- 2 Brookings positions on tobacco issues
- 3 Funding
- 4 SourceWatch resources on Brookings scholars
- 5 Contact details
- 6 Articles and resources
Current Research Programs
The organisation's work concentrates on these research programs: 
- Economic Studies
- Foreign Policy Studies
- Global Economy and Development
- Governance Studies
- Metropolitan Policy
Interestingly, a 1995 Raleigh News Observer article described Brookings as a liberal think tank.
Brookings positions on tobacco issues
In general, the Brookings Institution does not seem to be a pro-tobacco think tank but highlights public health achievements on its website. A list of the U.S. Government's 50 Greatest Endeavors includes a section on reducing disease that cites smoking bans on commercial flights, as well as several Public Health Service acts to reduce heart disease and cancer.
Two 1983 Tobacco Institute state tax plans (for fighting cigarette taxes in Oklahoma and Texas) describe the Brookings Institute as a "major liberal think tank," in general not a complimentary assessment coming from the tobacco industry.
In 1990, the Brookings Institution sponsored and hosted a seminar at the Institute's headquarters in Washington, D.C. titled, "Health Risks to Airliner Occupants: Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Other Pollutants."
A brief search of tobacco industry documents at the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library showed no mention of Brookings as a tobacco industry ally, and no use of Brookings as a third party research group or other front.
The funding has come from:
In 2002, Haim Saban pledged $13 million to start a research organization at the Brookings Institution called the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. To put this Policy Center into perspective one should note:
- the Brookings Institute is the principal Democratic Party think-tank and all issues, and it is a place where "politicians in-waiting" can bide their time until the next election.
- Haim Sabban is a large media mogul, with large interests in the US, and his company is the largest broadcaster in Germany (owns "ProSiebenSat.1 Media, putting him in control of a company that owns the rough equivalent of CBS, ABC, TBS and Nickelodeon")
- Saban says "I'm a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel".
It is difficult to imagine that the Brookings-Saban Center will be a think-tank that will represent or research the Middle East with the interests of the broad base of the Democratic party in mind.
Source: Andrew Ross Sorkin, "Schlepping to Moguldom", New York Times, September 5, 2004.
Money received July 1, 2005 – June 30, 2006
$1,000,000 and above:
- The Brown Foundation, Inc.
- Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Ford Foundation
- The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
- Living Cities, Inc.
- The Bernard & Irene Schwartz Foundation Inc.
- John L. Thornton
- James D. Wolfensohn
$500,000 – $999,999:
- Steven L. Bing
- Department for International Development, United Kingdom
- The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- The Pew Charitable Trusts
Sometimes corporations give directly and sometimes through their foundations. Note that money can flow from a corporation to a foundation, then from that foundation to another foundation, and finally to a think tank. Brookings Institution also has categories $250,000 – $499,999, $100,000 – $249,999, etc. A small sampling of others giving these lesser amounts (in order of their listing):
- Carnegie Corporation of New York
- Fannie Mae Foundation
- John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
- Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation
- Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
- Embassy of Qatar
- The Rockefeller Foundation
- Cheryl and Haim Saban
- Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office
- United Nations
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Richard C. Blum and Senator Dianne Feinstein
- Boston College
- Exxon Mobil Corporation
- State Farm Insurance Companies
- Tel Aviv University
- Tokyo Club Foundation for Global Studies
- Visa USA, Inc.
- Allstate Foundation
- Chevron Corporation
- Government of Denmark
- Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
- J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation
- Shell Oil Company
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- World Economic Forum
- Alcoa Foundation
- Altria Group, Inc.
- American Express Foundation
- Bank of America Foundation
- The Boeing Company
- BP America Inc.
- Cato Institute
- Coca-Cola Company
- Eli Lilly and Company Foundation
- Ford Motor Company Fund
- GE Foundation
- General Dynamics Corporation
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- Lockheed Martin
- Microsoft Corporation
- Pfizer, Inc.
- BellSouth Corporation
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
- Caterpillar Foundation
- CIGNA Foundation
- Citigroup Foundation
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Goldman, Sachs & Co.
- Honda North America, Inc.
- Marathon Oil Company Foundation
- Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
- Mitsubishi International Corporation
SourceWatch resources on Brookings scholars
Board of Trustees
The Brookings Institution – Board of Trustees with Affiliations as of May 2007:
- John L. Thornton, Chair of the Board, The Brookings Institution
- Strobe Talbott, President, The Brookings Institution
- Robert J. Abernethy, President, American Standard Development Co., Inc.
- Liaquat Ahamed, Former Chief Investment Officer, Fischer Francis Trees and Watts, Inc.
- Alan R. Batkin, Vice Chairman, Eton Park Capital Management
- Richard C. Blum, Chairman and President, Blum Capital Partners, LP
- Geoffrey T. Boisi, Chairman and Senior Partner, Roundtable Investment Partners LLC
- Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr., Chair, O'Melveny & Myers LLP
- Alan M. Dachs, President and CEO, Fremont Group
- Kenneth W. Dam, Max Pam Professor of American & Foreign Law, University of Chicago Law School
- Steven A. Denning, Managing Partner, General Atlantic Partners
- Vishakha N. Desai Ph.D., President and CEO, The Asia Society
- Thomas E. Donilon, Partner, O'Melveny & Myers LLP
- Mario Draghi, Governor, Bank of Italy
- Kenneth M. Duberstein, Chairman and CEO, The Duberstein Group, Inc.
- Alfred B. Engelberg, Trustee, The Engelberg Foundation
- Lawrence K. Fish, Chairman and CEO, Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
- Cyrus F. Freidheim Jr., President and CEO, Sun-Times Media Group, Inc.
- Bart Friedman, Senior Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel
- David Friend, President and CEO, Carbonite, Inc.
- Ann M. Fudge
- Jeffrey W. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO, Aquiline Holdings LLC
- Brian L. Greenspun, Chairman and CEO, The Greenspun Corporation
- Glenn Hutchins, Founder and Managing Partner, Silver Lake Partners
- Joel Z. Hyatt, CEO, Current Media, LLC
- Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D. President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Kenneth M. Jacobs, Deputy Chairman, Lazard Frères & Co. LLC
- Suzanne Nora Johnson, Senior Director, Retired Vice Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
- Harold Hongju Koh, Dean of Yale Law School, Yale University
- William A. Owens, Chairman and CEO, AEA Investors LLC
- Frank H. Pearl, Chairman and CEO, Perseus, LLC
- John Edward Porter, Partner, Hogan & Hartson
- Edgar Rios, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Americhoice
- Haim Saban, Chairman and CEO, Saban Capital Group, Inc.
- Victoria P. Sant, President, The Summit Foundation
- Leonard D. Schaeffer, Chairman and CEO, North Bristol Partners
- Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University
- David F. Swensen, Chief Investment Officer, Yale University
- Larry D. Thompson, Senior VP of Governmental Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary, PepsiCo, Inc.
- Andrew H. Tisch, Co-Chairman of the Board, Loews Corporation
- Laura D’Andrea, Tyson Professor, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
- Antoine W. van Agtmael, Chairman, Emerging Markets Management, LLC
- Beatrice W. Welters, Founder, The An-Bryce Foundation
- Daniel Yergin, Chairman, Cambridge Energy Research Associates
Cooperation & Affiliation
While the Brookings Institute doesn't appear to be a close friend of the tobacco industry itself, it allies itself with tobacco industry friends ... such as with the...
- American Enterprise Institute via the US AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies. They run joint conferences, publications, research
- Wharton School of Business, via the US Brookings-Wharton Papers on Economic Activity. They conduct joint research, run conferences, publications)
Brookings also has a few fellows who have regularly accepted tobacco industry money on a cash-for-service basis.
- Government's 50 Greatest Endeavors
- Brookings Institution Project on Homeland Security
- John Crabtree
- New York Times article on think-tanks 
The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW,
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 797-6000
Fax: (202) 797-6004
Email: communications AT brookings.edu
Web site: http://www.brookings.edu/
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Sam Husseini, Brookings - The Establishment's Think Tank, Extra!, FAIR, November/December 1998
- Andrew Ross Sorkin, "Schlepping to Moguldom", New York Times, September 5, 2004. (This article is also available here.
- IRmep, The Brookings Saban Center- Errors of Ommission, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, June 2003
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