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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is ranked as the #9 “Think Tank to Watch” in the world by The University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go To Think Tank Index released today. This is up two places from last year’s list, when the Council debuted for the first time in this annual survey of more than 6,500 think tanks around the world.

The Chicago Council also was again ranked in two other categories, moving up to #58 on the list of “Top Defense and National Security Think Tanks” in the world and remaining among the “Best Managed Think Tanks” at #40.

“This is a significant acknowledgment that the Council is a leading and yet still growing voice in the world’s most important global policy discussions,” said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “We will continue to use our convening power, our expertise and our connection to one of the world’s foremost global cities to help define and drive the conversation on how we can solve today’s global challenges.”  

Founded in 1922, The Chicago Council provides a nonpartisan forum in Chicago for public discussions of global affairs. The Council also contributes fresh insights and perspectives to the formation of opinion and policy in the United States and abroad.

The Council hosts more than 200 public and private programs each year featuring thought-leaders from a variety of disciplines. Notable speakers have included former Turkish President Abdullah Gül, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Jordanian King Abdullah II, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Paul Krugman, Francis Fukuyama, Naomi Klein, Jon Stewart, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, Jean-Claude Trichet, Raghuram Rajan, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, Baroness Catherine Ashton, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Timothy Geithner, Henry Paulson, Jr. and Robert Gates.

In addition to its well-known survey of American public opinion on foreign policy, The Chicago Council also uses its convening power and original scholarship to advance policy discussions on global citiesglobal agriculture, the global economy, global immigration, global water, global security and global energy.

“Our move up into the top 10 think tanks to watch — #3 in the United States — is indicative of the expansion of and quality of our work in recent years and a validation of our focus on the connections between issues such as global energy, water, agriculture and economics,” said Daalder. “You will continue to see increasing efforts to include in foreign policy debates those issues that have local, national and international relevance but are sometimes missed by inside-the-beltway organizations.”

The Chicago Council’s budget has grown seven-fold since 2001, from just under $2 million a year to more than $15 million this year. Its path-breaking work on food security has established the Council as the nation’s premier institution for independent, policy-relevant research on global agriculture issues. And this year the Council announced a new $1.5 million grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to explore the increasingly influential role global cities have in shaping political, social and economic policies and addressing critical world challenges.

Compiled by the Think Tank and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, the Global Go To Think Tank Index is the culmination of a nine-month process involving 6,618 think tanks from 182 countries. The index was first published in 2008 and has been conducted annually since then. The full report is available for download