Penn-based Report Reflects Rise of Think Tanks in Underrepresented Regions of the World

PHILADELPHIA –- Launched in 2006, the University of Pennsylvania’s “Global Go-To Think Tank Rankings” annual report has become an authoritative source for the top public policy research institutes in the world.  James McGann, assistant director of Penn’s International Relations Program, directs the Think Tanks and Civil Society Program at Penn.  The report is available at or

The report puts the Brookings Institution at the top of the list as 2011 Think Tank of the Year for the second consecutive time.  Published in the January/February edition of Diplomatic Courier magazine,, the report is based on a 2011 worldwide survey of more than 1,500 policy-makers, scholars, journalists, current and former think-tank executives, public and private donors, intergovernmental agencies and academic institutions.  Approximately 5,300 think tanks were nominated for inclusion in 30 category rankings.                                                                                                              

“The value of the Index lies in its ability to highlight the important contributions that think tanks make to governments and civil societies around the world, especially in traditionally underrepresented regions such as Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East,” McGann said.

The January/February issue of Diplomatic Courier features an article by McGann discussing the rankings, particularly the rise of think tanks in the G20 and BRICS, or emerging-economy, countries over the past year.  The digital edition of the magazine is available free of charge by signing up at                                                

“The Diplomatic Courier is pleased to publish the 2011 rankings in its January edition focusing on food, energy and water security in a world of 7 billion,” Ana C. Rold, editor-in-chief, said.  “The rise of think tanks in G20 and BRICS countries is a direct link to the exponential growth of civil society in emerging powers.”                                                                                                            

The 2011 ranking results were released Jan. 18 at the National Press Club in Washington and at the United Nations University in New York. The report will be released, with an iPod app created by the Diplomatic Courier, on Jan. 25 at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, and at the African Union Summit on Jan. 29.


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