Strobe Talbott to step down from the Brookings Institution

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David M. Rubenstein and John L. Thornton, Co-Chairs of the Brookings Institution, announced that Strobe Talbott intends to step down as President in October after more than 15 years of distinguished service. Talbott informed the Board of Trustees and the scholars and staff of his decision today.

David M. Rubenstein and John L. Thornton, Co-Chairs of the Brookings Institution, announced that Strobe Talbott intends to step down as President in October after more than 15 years of distinguished service. Talbott informed the Board of Trustees and the scholars and staff of his decision today.

"Brookings is a different place from what it was the day Strobe arrived,” said Thornton. "He and his team created an environment for scholarship of the highest quality, founded new branches of the Institution throughout the world, established research programs that have become indispensable, and oversaw an unprecedented period of strong financial growth. His commitment to independence and relevance ensured Brookings’s focus on society’s most pressing challenges. To say we will miss him is the ultimate understatement.”

Following a career in journalism, government and academe, Talbott became the seventh head of Brookings in July 2002. He previously served in the State Department from 1993 to 2001, including seven years as Deputy Secretary of State.

“Strobe’s leadership has been transformational for Brookings,” said Rubenstein. “He has guided the Institution with keen intellect and a global perspective that has enabled it to make ever greater policy impact. Thanks to his many contributions, Brookings is beginning its 101st year stronger than at any time in its history, and is well-positioned for the future.”

As President of Brookings, Talbott launched Brookings 2.0, a strategic vision for the Institution for the decades ahead. He also oversaw Brookings’s Second Century Campaign—the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in think tank history—which has raised more than $650 million in support of independent policy research and analysis.

“I cherish my association with Brookings - its legacy, its mission, and, most of all, its spirit of community and collaboration,” said Talbott. “The best part of the job has been interacting with and learning from my colleagues, many of whom will be friends for life.”

Rubenstein and Thornton said that a search committee has been formed, reporting to the Board of Trustees, and a global search will be conducted for Talbott’s successor.

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Founded in 1916, the Brookings Institution is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Brookings’s mission is to improve governance at the local, national, and global levels through rigorous research and analysis that lead to practical public policy recommendations based on its core values of quality, independence, and impact.

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David Nassar