More than ever before, global threats transcend national borders and force us to seek concrete solutions to common challenges. Effectively doing so requires a first-rate team and facility. At Stimson, we’ve long been fortunate to have a tremendous team — and now we’re thrilled to have a new office to call home for the next decade. From using iPads to direct meetings in our 120 person event space, to the views looking out at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, our new facility in the heart of Washington, D.C. can only be described as vibrant. I hope you will have a chance to visit us soon during one of our upcoming events.
Celebrating 25 Years of Impact
Autumn marked the formal celebration of the Center’s 25th anniversary. The occasion honored three exceptional public servants — Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Senator Timothy Wirth, and Madame Sadako Ogata — whose achievements reflect the inclusive, nonpartisan, and visionary ethos at the heart of Stimson’s mission. The festivities were made all the more special by our gracious host Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae and his team at the Japanese Ambassador’s Residence.
In September, Stimson joined the Clinton Global Initiative with an innovative commitment to combat poaching in Africa. Led by Johan Bergenas, Deputy Director of the Managing Across Boundaries initiative, the Center is working with public and private sector partners — including Linköping University, Ihub, African Wildlife Foundation, and SAAB Technologies — to create new tools to aid park rangers in Kenya to reduce the lucrative black market sale from poached animal parts, which provides funding for terrorist organizations.
Autumn saw Stimson’s Southeast Asia Program Director Richard Cronin named one of two U.S. representatives to the State Department’s Lower Mekong Initiative Eminent and Expert Persons Group. The group is tasked with finding concrete ways to promote a sustainable future for the Mekong River Basin and held their first productive meeting in December in Myanmar.
The Center continued its work to address global governance challenges. Together with The Hague Institute for Global Justice, we launched the Commission on Global Security, Justice, & Governance. Co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Nigerian Foreign Minister Ibrahim Gambari, the commission will release recommendations in advance of the U.N.’s 70th anniversary in September.
Top Marks in World Rankings
Stimson was named one of the top 25 think tanks in the United States by a report at the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. The ranking as the 24th best think tank in the U.S. represents Stimson’s highest placement ever. We were also ranked in the categories of ‘Best New Idea’ and ‘Top Defense and National Security’ think tanks in the world. Additionally, the Center earned the highest mark — a 5-star rating — from the watchdog group Transparify in recognition of our leadership in the global think tank movement toward transparency about our funding sources.
In March, Stimson Center Co-Founder Michael Krepon received the Thérèse Delpeche Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in non-governmental work to reduce nuclear dangers by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Michael was rightly recognized for demonstrating “exceptional creativity, integrity, humanity and amity,” and for making “major intellectual contributions to critical debates” on nuclear issues as well as for mentoring rising talent in the United States, Pakistan, and India.
I was thrilled to name Brian Finlay Vice President after more than a decade of service at the Center. Brian will work with me to update the strategic vision of the Center as well as continue his role directing the Managing Across Boundaries initiative. After continued outstanding work, Joshua T. White took leave from the Center to join the National Security Council staff as Senior Advisor and Director for South Asian Affairs. He joins former Stimson board member Peter R. Lavoy, who has been appointed as the Senior Director for South Asian Affairs.
I am also pleased to welcome the three newest members to our Board of Directors. It’s great to have Stimson Co-Founder Barry M. Blechman back on the board after several years of leading major Stimson projects on national security, defense budget, and nuclear policy issues. Francis Q. Hoang and Courtney Banks Spaeth are dynamic rising players in the private sector, with deep national security experience. Each brings valuable skills and wisdom to our board.
As we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary, I am ever mindful of how the Center’s work has continued to evolve — from a leading forum on nonproliferation to focusing on a range of daunting 21st century transnational challenges. We are grateful for the continued support of partners and friends like you, whom help make the Center an incubator for new ideas to enhance peace and find solutions to the great security challenges of our time.
Stimson President and CEO