Before the ink was even dry on the incorporation papers of the brand-new Henry L. Stimson Center, the Carnegie Corporation of New York made its first investment in our work. Indeed, without that first grant, titled “Avoiding Nuclear War”, this “new kind of think tank” would not have been possible.
With Carnegie’s support, Stimson achieved its first major policy victory, uniting the NGO community behind a common agenda and working together to bring about the permanent extension of the Non-proliferation Treaty. The project exemplified what Stimson’s founders, Michael Krepon and Barry Blechman, hoped to create—a think tank with rigorous analysis leading to pragmatic policy recommendations and their implementation.
In the 25 years since that first award, Carnegie has remained a steadfast partner in Stimson’s work. With almost 30 grants totaling more than $8 million, no donor has played a larger or more consistent role in Stimson’s success. Our work with Carnegie has been diverse—promoting confidence-building and nuclear risk reduction measures that the governments of India and Pakistan have adopted; defining best practices for peacekeeping; helping to address Senate concerns over the Chemical Weapons Convention; analyzing the changing roles and missions of the US armed forces; launching innovative programs like Security for a New Century, a briefing series for Congressional staff, and innovative approaches like our work to implement nonproliferation strategies in the developing world.
What has tied all of this investment together has been Carnegie’s belief in Stimson’s effectiveness in developing pragmatic steps toward ideal objectives. With 100 years of “doing real and permanent good in this world”, Carnegie holds itself and its grantees to a high standard. We were honored that in a recent evaluation of Stimson and its work, Carnegie observed that Stimson’s “comparative advantage lies in its ability to draw policy stakeholders—whether in the US government, the UN or in other capitals—into the policy research process to shape the research project agenda, to vet the results, and to implement recommendations from research”. We could not have said it better ourselves.
Right from the start, Carnegie got Stimson and what we were trying to do. As we celebrate our achievements over the past 25 years and anticipate the challenges to come, we give thanks for the early and steady confidence of our friends at the Carnegie Corporation of New York.