James McGann, director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses the current era of political and digital disruption and the role that think tanks and policy-developers can play during this uncertain period. He highlights the Washington, DC launch of the University of Pennsylvania’s 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

Guest

James G. McGann is a senior lecturer of International Studies at the Lauder Institute, director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) and senior fellow, Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to assuming his current post, James was Assistant Director of the International Relations Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served as the Senior Vice President for the Executive Council on Foreign Diplomats, the Assistant Director of the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, and the Public Policy Program Officer for The Pew Charitable Trusts. James earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a National Fellow at Stanford University while writing his doctoral thesis, which examined the nature and evolution of public-policy research organizations in the United States such as Brookings InstitutionHeritage FoundationUrban Institute, and others. James compared and contrasted the mission, structure, and operating principles of these leading think tanks to determine how those factors influenced the institutions’ role in policymaking. His research and consulting have enabled him to work with governments and civil society organizations in over 100 countries. He is the creator and editor of the annual Global Go To Think Tank Index.

Host
John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.