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The Stimson Center
Formation1989; 32 years ago (1989)
TypeThink Tank
Headquarters1211 Connecticut Avenue NW, 8th Floor
Brian Finlay
Revenue: $5,882,059
Expenses: $5,878,615
(FYE 2017)[1]

The Stimson Center, named after Henry L. Stimson, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank which aims to enhance international peace and security through a combination of analysis and outreach. The Center's stated approach is pragmatic – seeking to provide policy alternatives, solve problems, and overcome obstacles towards a more peaceful and secure world.

Stimson seeks to offer pragmatic solutions and policy-relevant information and analysis on a range of global issues to decision-makers. It focuses on a range of challenges to peace and prosperity such as nuclear proliferation, arms trafficking, water management, wildlife poaching, and responses to humanitarian crises.

In 2013, Stimson received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.[2] Stimson was ranked 21st best U.S. think tank in the University of Pennsylvania's 2016 Global Go To Think Tanks Report.[3]

Stimson seeks to provide expertise for the policymaking community – the U.S. executive and legislative branches, international institutions and governments, and policy research institutions – as well as the media, academia and general public.


The Stimson Center was founded in 1989 by Barry Blechman[4] and Michael Krepon.[5] Stimson is currently led by Chairman of the Board David J. Lane[6] and President and CEO Brian Finlay.[7]

The Stimson Center is funded by research contracts, grants from foundations and other donations.


Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense

Stimson's Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense (BFAD)[8] program seeks to improve American national security at a lower cost to the American people. It also works to strengthen the capacity and capability of the US government to frame, resource, and execute foreign and national security policies and programs.

East Asia

The East Asia[9] program conducts research on vital regional security issues and offers insights and recommendations for policymakers in the U.S. and in the region on a variety of issues. The program analyzes the dynamics of cross-Strait relations, including the exchange of ideas and people between the U.S. and Asia-Pacific region. The program also examines China's foreign relations toward Northeast and Southeast Asia, with a special focus on Myanmar, Iran and Africa, and addresses U.S.–Japan alliance relations[10] and developments on the Korean Peninsula.[11]

Environmental Security

The Environmental Security program[12] explores how increased stress on global ecosystems and shared natural resources may compromise economic development, fuel social conflict, and undermine political stability in key areas throughout the world. Through collaborative stakeholder engagement, Stimson works to provide policy-relevant analysis, promote useful knowledge-sharing, build partnerships, and forge pragmatic policy solutions that ensure the sustainable management of shared natural resources and the mitigation of environmental risks.

Global Political Demography

The focus of the Global Political Demography (GPD) program is to draw upon available demographic projections to produce global statistical forecasts for a set of political, social, and economic transitions. The program also examines sub-national demographic data to forecast trends in ethnoreligious relations within states and to recommend sets of responsive policies.

Managing Across Boundaries

The Managing Across Boundaries (MAB)[13] initiative develops government responses at the national, regional, and international levels, and accelerates public-private partnerships to mitigate these threats. Experts work in multiple arenas – conventional arms, drones, environmental crime, private sector engagement, weapons of mass destruction, illicit trafficking and counterfeiting, and the nexus between security and development.

Middle East

The Middle East program explores issues that affect regional security from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. Stimson scholars are working on cross-border dynamics in the region, and are focused on the rising threat from sectarianism[14] and its roots in radical Islamic ideology, looking at key countries and at regional consequences. The program's Gulf Security[15] work analyzes traditional and nontraditional security issues impacting the Gulf States and their neighbors. In 2015, the program is monitoring the regional security repercussions of the Iran nuclear negotiations.

South Asia

The South Asia[16] program seeks to reduce nuclear dangers in South Asia by focusing on risks associated with the accelerating arms competition between India and Pakistan. These risks are amplified by the activities of terrorist groups and political instability in the region. The program has championed confidence-building and nuclear risk-reduction measures in South Asia for over twenty years. The South Asia program analyzes U.S. crisis management on the subcontinent, producing case studies of the “Twin Peaks” and Mumbai crises, and identifying future challenges. The program seeks to empower an emerging generation of strategic analysts in South Asia by means of the South Asian Voices[17] website, conferences, and visiting fellowships.

Southeast Asia

Brian Eyler is the Director of the Stimson Center's Southeast Asia program, and is regarded as an expert on transboundary issues in the Mekong region and China's economic relationship with Southeast Asia.[18]
Brian Eyler is the Director of the Stimson Center's Southeast Asia program, and is regarded as an expert on transboundary issues in the Mekong region and China's economic relationship with Southeast Asia.[18]

The Southeast Asia program[19] addresses major challenges facing the region today, ranging from the food-water-energy security nexus in the Mekong Basin to political and economic issues of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration. The main focus of the program's research is development in the Greater Mekong Subregion, particularly hydroelectric power projects and their impacts on the food-water-security nexus and regional stability. The program also regularly addresses trade, economic, and political issues involving ASEAN member states, U.S.–ASEAN relations and policy issues, and maritime security issues in the South China Sea, particularly territorial disputes and fishery management.

Space Security

Stimson's Space Security program[20] seeks to advance an International Code of Conduct for responsible space-faring nations and to prevent dangerous military activities. It focuses on how to reduce clear and present dangers facing every space-faring nation. The International Code of Conduct strengthens norms for debris mitigation and space traffic management procedures, and against tests of debris-causing anti-satellite weapons and harmful interference of satellite operations.

Transforming Conflict and Governance

The Transforming Conflict and Governance program examines whether and how international conflict management and support to good governance can create sustainable peace in areas plagued by violence. It focuses in particular on violence against civilians and its prevention and the impact of climate change on the livelihoods of vulnerable populations, including those in zones of conflict. The program takes advantage of growing local and global e-connectivity to limit violence and promote economic opportunity. Recommendations reflect on-the-ground analysis in conflict zones and in-depth research with key practitioners and stakeholders in the United Nations, the U.S. government and other institutions around the world.[citation needed]

WMD, Nonproliferation, and Security

The WMD Nonproliferation and Security program works with stakeholders to develop possible approaches and new constituencies to help manage the risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, with a special focus on security and safeguards for nuclear materials.


A selection of recent publications includes:

  1. "Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance"[21] – A report from the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance that details a practical action plan for innovating global governance, as well as offering ways to mobilize diverse actors to advance reform to better respond to 21st century threats, challenges, and opportunities.[22]
  2. "Recommendations and Report of the Task Force on US Drone Policy"[23] – This report details recommendations for overhauling UAV strategy, improving oversight, accountability and transparency, developing forward-looking international norms relating to the use of lethal force in nontraditional settings, and devising sound UAV export control and research and development policies.[24]
  3. "A New US Defense Strategy for a New Era: Military Superiority, Agility and Efficiency"[25] – This report sets out ten key operating principles that emphasize greater efficiency and effectiveness throughout the Defense Department and finds that a successful defense strategy could be achieved at budget levels significantly lower than present.[26]


Key people

Current Board of Directors

Former Board Members

See also


  1. ^ "The Stimson Center" (PDF). Candid. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  2. ^ "MacArthur Award". Retrieved 2015-07-20.
  3. ^ "The 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index". University of Pennsylvania. 2017-01-26. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  4. ^ "Experts: Barry Blechman". Stimson Center. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  5. ^ "Experts: Michael Krepon". Stimson Center. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  6. ^ "Board Chairman". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  7. ^ "The Stimson Center approach". On Think Tanks. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense". The Stimson Center. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  9. ^ "East Asia". The Stimson Center. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  10. ^ "East Asia - Japan". The Stimson Center. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  11. ^ "China's Perspectives Towards the Korean Peninsula". The Stimson Center. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Environmental Security Program". Stimson Center. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
  13. ^ "Managing Across Boundaries". Stimson Center. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
  14. ^ "Sectarianism". The Stimson Center. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Gulf Security". The Stimson Center. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Grand Strategy in Pivotal Places - South Asia". The Stimson Center. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  17. ^ "South Asian Voices". The Stimson Center. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Interview: Brian Eyler, director of the Stimson Center's Southeast Asia Program". VoA Cambodia. Voice of America. 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2018-10-05.
  19. ^ "Grand Strategy in Pivotal Places - Southeast Asia". The Stimson Center. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Space Security". The Stimson Center. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Global Governance publication PDF" (PDF). Stimson Center. Retrieved 2015-06-05.
  22. ^ "Global Governance". Retrieved 2015-06-13.
  23. ^ "Drone Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  24. ^ "Book Report". Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  25. ^ "New US Defense PDF" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  26. ^ "Book Report 2". Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  27. ^ "2014 GLobal Go To Think Tank Report". Retrieved 2015-07-19.
  28. ^ "2014 GLobal Go To Think Tank Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-21.