News Release

Washington University in St. Louis and Brookings Institution Form Academic Partnership

April 21, 2009

The Brookings Institution and Washington University in St. Louis will begin offering joint programs including internships, lectures and other educational activities, the institutions announced today.

Washington University’s John M. Olin Business School will also lead management of Brookings’ executive education activities, effective July 1, 2009.

The new partnership between Brookings and Washington University could be considered a reunion of old friends. Turn-of-the-last-century St. Louis businessman Robert S. Brookings (1850-1932) both founded the D.C.-based think tank and, as leader of Washington 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, Mr. Brookings established the Graduate School of Economics and Government in Washington, D.C., as part of the university in 1923. It became independent of the university in 1924, and in 1927 was combined with IGR and a third organization to become the Brookings Institution. (Read more about the history of the Brookings Institution »)

A key element of the renewed partnership in educational programs is that Washington University’s Olin Business School 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, the Frahm Family Professor of Organization and Strategy at the Olin Business School and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings, will serve as the 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,” said Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “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 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, associate vice chancellor for Washington, D.C., programs, dean of the university’s School of Law and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor. Wrighton noted that there are many areas of possible collaboration between the university and Brookings, such as a long-standing Washington, D.C., program at the School of Law, intense interest among students to have internships in D.C., the development of the university’s 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, Washington University and Brookings also will participate in a scholar-in-residence exchange program, and Washington University 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,” Brookings President Strobe Talbott said. “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.”

Washington University 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 D.C. and in St. Louis,” said Chancellor Wrighton. “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.

Washington University is counted among the world’s leaders in teaching and research and it draws students and faculty to St. Louis from all 50 states and more than 125 nations. Some 13,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional students enroll each year. The approximately 3,100 faculty teach in seven schools; 22 Nobel laureates have been associated with Washington University, with nine doing the major portion of their pioneering research here. The University is highly regarded for its commitment to excellence in learning. Its programs, administration, facilities, resources, and activities combine to further its mission of teaching, research, and service to society.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.