Brookings Tops List of Penn’s 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Rankings

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania today released its 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, the most comprehensive ranking of the world’s top think tanks. Simultaneous launch events were held by 77 organizations in 59 cities in 49 countries worldwide. The report will be translated into more than 20 languages.

The Brookings Institution topped the list, as it did last year.

As the premier database and measure of world think tanks, the Go To Index aims to increase the profile, performance and impact of think tanks, and to create a transnational and interdisciplinary network of centers of public policy excellence. 

“In a world filled with tweets and sound bites that are often superficial and politically charged,” said James McGann, director of the program, “it is critical to know where to turn for sound policy proposals that address our complex policy issues. This independent Index is designed to help identify and recognize the leading centers of excellence in public policy research around the world.”

The launch of the 2014 Go To Index in Washington, D.C., was hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. A discussion was held about the challenges and opportunities for defense policy think tanks in the coming year. An afternoon session in New York at the United Nations focused on the connections between inter-governmental organizations and think tanks. The Index was also distributed through a network of global partners, giving institutions a chance to highlight the crucial role they play in building and maintaining civil society in their countries and regions.

The annual report, compiled with assistance from more than 1,500 peer institutions and experts from the print and electronic media, academia, public and private donor institutions and governments around the world, ranks the top 150 global think tanks across four categories:

  • Top Think Tanks in the World
  • Top Think Tanks by Region
  • Top Think Tanks by Area of Research
  • Top Think Tanks by Special Achievement

This year’s report also includes new Global Health and Domestic Health categories as well as a Global Trends feature, a detailed analysis of the biggest developments and challenges that think tanks have faced and will continue to face in the near future.

The Brookings Institution ranked first on the Global Think Tank list for the seventh consecutive year. Index reports since 2008 can be found at Below are highlights of the 2014 rankings:

Top Think Tanks Worldwide (U.S. and non-U.S.)

  • Brookings Institution (United States)
  • Chatham House (United Kingdom)
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States)
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies (United States)
  • Bruegel (Belgium)

Top Defense and National Security Think Tanks

  • Center for Strategic and International Studies (United States)
  • RAND Corporation (United States)
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (United Kingdom)
  • Brookings Institution (United States)
  • Chatham House (United Kingdom)

Top Foreign Policy and International Affairs Think Tanks

  • Brookings Institution (United States)
  • Chatham House (United Kingdom)
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States)
  • Council on Foreign Relations (United States)
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies (United States)

Regional launch events of the Go To Index will be held in the following locations worldwide:

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • African Capacity Building Foundation, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Center for Policy Studies, Monrovia, Liberia
  • Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Dakar, Senegal
  • Development Research and Projects Centre, Kano, Nigeria
  • Institute of Economic Affairs, Accra, Ghana
  • Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, Nigeria
  • REPOA, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Asia and the Pacific

  • Australian Institute of International Affairs, Australian Strategic Policy Institute and Strategic and Defense Studies Centre, Canberra, Australia
  • Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Center for Economic and Social Development, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, Development Research Center of the State Council, and China Center for International Economic Exchanges, Beijing, China
  • Chula Global Network, Chulalongkorn University and International Institute for Trade and Development, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, Mumbai, India
  • Japan Institute of International Affairs and Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo, Japan
  • Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, East Asia Institute and Korea Economic Magazine, Seoul, South Korea
  • Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India
  • Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai, China
  • Singapore Institute of International Affairs, Singapore
  • Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad, Pakistan

Latin America

  • Argentine Council for International Relations, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • CEDICE Libertad, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Centro de Estudios Públicos, Santiago, Chile
  • Ethos Public Policy Lab, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Getulio Vargas Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Group for the Analysis of Development, Lima, Peru


  • Adam Smith Institute, London, United Kingdom
  • Barcelona Centre for International Affairs and Fundación Alternativas, Barcelona, Spain
  • Carnegie Moscow Center, Moscow, Russia
  • Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Ecologic Institute, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Berlin, Germany
  • EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Fundación Alternativas, Madrid, Spain
  • Institute for International Political Studies, Milan, Italy
  • Institute of International and Strategic Relations, Paris, France
  • Institute of World Economics, Budapest, Hungary
  • Polish Institute of International Affairs, Warsaw, Poland
  • Populari, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Razumkov Centre, Kiev, Ukraine

North America

  • Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., United States
  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago, United States
  • Fraser Institute, Vancouver, Canada
  • Institute for Research on Public Policy, Montreal, Canada
  • James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Houston, United States
  • United Nations, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, UN Regional Commissions New York Office and International Peace Institute New York, United States
  • University of Pennsylvania, Lauder Institute, Perry World House, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program and Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia, United States

Middle East and North Africa

  • Al Jazeera Center for Studies, Doha, Qatar
  • Association for Liberal Thinking, Ankara, Turkey
  • Center for Strategic Studies, Amman, Jordan
  • Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Cairo, Egypt
  • Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • International Strategic Research Organization, Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey
  • OCP Policy Center, Rabat, Morocco
  • Regional Center for Strategic Studies, Cairo, Egypt

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the International Relations Program, University of Pennsylvania, conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. TTCSP was established in 1989. The Program maintains a database and network of more than 6,600 think tanks in 152 countries. Often referred to as the “think tanks’ think tank,” TTCSP examines the evolving role and character of public policy research organizations. The Index is supported by Penn Arts & Sciences, PennGlobal and the Lauder Institute at the Wharton School. More information is at

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