Brian Finlay Named President and CEO of Stimson Center

in Program

For Immediate Release
September 17, 2015
Contact: Jim Baird (202) 478.3413; [email protected]

The Board of Directors of the Stimson Center announced today that Brian Finlay will become the Center’s next President and CEO. Finlay, who will assume the presidency October 1, will oversee the strategic vision of the Center after more than a decade serving as Senior Associate, Managing Director, and — most recently — Vice President. Ellen Laipson will become a Distinguished Fellow and President Emeritus after serving more than 13 years as Stimson’s President and CEO. Under Laipson’s leadership, the Center experienced sustained success and global recognition.

“Brian Finlay is ready to lead Stimson into its bright future,” said Stimson Board Chairman Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr.  “Elevated last year to Vice President, he has earned the overwhelming mandate from the Board to succeed Ellen Laipson. The Trustees look forward to working with Brian to ensure that Stimson continues to address the most challenging transnational security problems by connecting stakeholders and pursuing innovative, pragmatic solutions.”

During his tenure at Stimson, Finlay established the Center’s Managing Across Boundaries initiative that links diverse threats — including the drug trade, conventional arms, weapons of mass destruction and human trafficking — to identify common solutions. He co-developed and led the Cooperative Nonproliferation Program, working with two administrations and dozens of private companies to address the post-Soviet Union weapons of mass destruction threat. He also led the Center’s work to connect non-state actors and private industry into sustainable global security efforts.

“The daily images out of Europe and the Middle East have again made it clear that humanity’s biggest challenges do not respect traditional borders — the only security solutions that have any hope of success need to transcend parochial thinking,” said Brian Finlay. “From conflict to economic insecurity and climate change, Stimson has set a gold-standard for pragmatism and research excellence. Moving forward, the Center will continue to push the boundaries of impact — guided by our interdisciplinary approach to address the most significant transnational issues of our time and our commitment to the highest standards of analytical integrity and transparency. We will reimagine the role of the modern think tank — and the impact it can have. It is a great honor and privilege to succeed my friend and mentor Ellen Laipson in leading Stimson.”

Founded in 1989, Stimson has continually been praised as one of the world’s leading nonpartisan think tanks. The MacArthur Foundation recognized Stimson with its “institutional genius” Award for creative and effective institutions. The Center has repeatedly ranked among the top think tanks in the world for its overall quality of research and innovative ideas, while receiving top marks for transparency and accountability on disclosure of its funding sources.

“Brian is an innovator — he brings creative energy and deep insight into how governments, the private sector and civil society can address the biggest transnational challenges of the 21st century,” said Ellen Laipson. “I’m excited to pass the torch to him and am confident that under his leadership, Stimson’s research excellence and global impact will grow.”

The Stimson Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to enhancing international peace and security through a unique combination of rigorous analysis and outreach. Stimson is celebrating more than a quarter-century of building effective security solutions through pragmatic research and innovative analysis.


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