Brookings Institution and WUSTL form academic partnership

The Brookings Institution and Washington University will begin offering joint programs, including internships, lectures and other educational activities, the institutions announced April 21.

The Olin Business School also will lead management of Brookings’ executive education activities, effective July 1.

Strobe Talbott (left), president of the Brookings Institution, meets with Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton in Washington, D.C., April 21, the day the new partnership was announced.

The new partnership between Brookings and WUSTL could be considered a reunion of old friends. Turn-of-the-last-century St. Louis businessman Robert S. Brookings both founded the Washington, D.C.-based think tank and, as leader of the University’s governing board for 33 years, laid the foundation for the University to become the world-renowned institution it is today.

After helping to found the Institute for Government Research (IGR), the forerunner of the Brookings Institution, in 1916, Brookings established the Graduate School of Economics and Government in Washington, D.C., as part of the University in 1923. It became independent of WUSTL in 1924, and, in 1927, was combined with IGR and a third organization to become the Brookings Institution.

A key element of the renewed partnership in educational programs is that Olin will lead management of the Brookings Center for Executive Education beginning July 1. Known for its exceptional executive education for mid- and senior-level organizational leaders in the United States and abroad, the school will bring its approach to the Brookings Center for Executive Education, which offers courses covering critical global issues, U.S. policy-making and public leadership for government and corporate leaders.

Jackson A. Nickerson, Ph.D., the Frahm Family Professor of Organization and Strategy and a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings, will serve as director of the new executive education partnership.

“The Brookings Institution is a premier organization, and we at the University value the many opportunities that will come to our students and faculty through the development of this partnership,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said.

“Our historic ties are the foundation for significant educational and scholarly programs that will enhance the mission of both Brookings and Washington University. We are excited about the potential this partnership represents and will build on the important area of advanced education through our work with the Brookings Center for Executive Education,” Wrighton said.

Wrighton said that the partnership with Brookings is a vital component of the development of Washington, D.C., programs by the University, an initiative led by Kent D. Syverud, J.D., associate vice chancellor for Washington, D.C., programs, dean of the School of Law and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor.

Wrighton said that there are many areas of possible collaboration between WUSTL and Brookings, such as a longstanding Washington, D.C., program at the School of Law, intense interest among students to have internships in Washington, D.C., the development of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and Gephardt Institute for Public Service, and the growth of the University’s programs in energy and environment, public health and health policy.

Under the new agreement, WUSTL and Brookings also will participate in a scholar-in-residence exchange program, and undergraduate and graduate students will have opportunities to become involved in Brookings programs of mutual interest to Brookings and Washington University.

“I am extremely pleased that we will be pursuing areas of common interest and opportunities for collaboration in research, policy studies and academic activities,” said Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution.

“We share a common benefactor who helped a new president design a massive federal intervention in the markets and the economy. The parallels to today are striking, and I know that together we will continue to advance his faith in independent, high-quality policy research and education,” Talbott said.

WUSTL and Brookings anticipate publishing the results of conferences, projects and other programs conducted through the new partnership with the Brookings Institution Press, operated by the Brookings Institution.

“Clearly, Washington University’s faculty and students and the distinguished scholars at the Brookings Institution will have many opportunities to collaborate, both in Washington, D.C. and in St. Louis,” Wrighton said. “I am strongly committed to providing resources that will encourage such collaborative efforts and will value greatly the continuing partnership with Strobe Talbott and his colleagues at the Brookings Institution.”

The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. For more than 90 years, Brookings has analyzed current and emerging issues and produced new ideas that matter — for the nation and the world.