Foreign Funding and Public Trust in the Think Tank Sector
Think tanks can serve as a crucial link between academia and the policy community, offering critically important research and ideas to solve the nation’s most pressing problems. But think tanks can also serve as de facto lobbyists and public relations mouthpieces for their funders, sometimes even doing work at the behest of foreign powers. As these conflicts of interest have become more apparent the public has expressed low levels of trust in think tanks, which has only been amplified by recent scandal — most notably the former President of Brookings facing allegations of working as an unregistered foreign agent.
Fortunately, Congress has taken note of this problem and there is growing bipartisan support for a number of long-overdue solutions. Please join us for a discussion on recent polling and research suggesting what think tank experts can do to earn back the public’s trust and what Congress is considering doing to increase transparency and reduce corruption at think tanks, featuring Eli Clifton, Investigative Journalist at Large at the Quincy Institute; Katy Murray, Insights and Relationships Lead at Cast from Clay; and Nicholas Robinson, Senior Legal Advisor at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law. Ben Freeman, Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute, will moderate.