The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (or Wilson Center), located in Washington, D.C., is a United States Presidential Memorial that was established as part of the Smithsonian Institution by an act of Congress in 1968. Named in honor of President Woodrow Wilson (the only President of the United States with a Ph.D.), its mission is:
The Center serves as a national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs. The Center establishes and maintains a lively, neutral forum for free and informed dialogue. The mission of the Center is to commemorate the ideals and concerns of Woodrow Wilson by providing a link between the world of ideas and the world of policy. The Center also focuses on fostering research, study, discussion, and collaboration among a full spectrum of individuals concerned with policy and scholarship in national and world affairs. Its location in the U.S. capital makes the Center a unique nonpartisan meeting ground where vital current issues and their deep historical background may be explored through research and dialogue. The Center is charged by the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Act with symbolizing and strengthening the fruitful relations between the world of learning and the world of public affairs. The Center encourages contacts among scholars, policymakers, and business leaders and extends their conversations worldwide through its publishing, broadcasting, and Internet programs.
The Center was established within the Smithsonian Institution, but it has its own board of trustees, composed both of government officials and of individuals from private life appointed by the President of the United States. The Center's director and staff include scholars, publishers, librarians, administrators, and support staff, responsible to the trustees for carrying out the mission of the Center. The trustees and staff are advised by a group of private citizens called the Wilson Council. Interns, usually undergraduate or graduate students, support the activities of visiting scholars and staff while learning the business of top-level research.
Most of the Center's staff form specialized programs and projects covering broad areas of study. These programs and projects organize and host conferences and seminars, and support many kinds of research, communication, and publication on topics relevant to their areas.
The center also publishes a magazine, the Wilson Quarterly.
The Center is a public-private partnership. Approximately one third of the Center's operating funds come annually from an appropriation from the U.S. government, and the Center's building, a wing of the Ronald Reagan Building, was provided by the U.S. government. The remainder of the Center's funding comes from foundations, grants and contracts, corporations, individuals, endowment income, and subscriptions.
The Board of Trustees, currently led by Chairman Joseph B. Gildenhorn, are appointed to six-year terms by the President of the United States. Trustees serve on various committees including executive, audit and finance, development, investment, fellowship, and investment policy.
The Wilson Council is the Center's private-sector advisory group. Council members come from the world of business, the professions, and public service. They participate in stimulating programs on a range of domestic and international public policy issues and also contribute vital financial support that helps the Center achieve its mandate.
Each year, the Woodrow Wilson Center gives out several awards recognizing members of the community who have shown an outstanding commitment to President Woodrow Wilson's dream of integrating politics, scholarship, and policy for the common good. Recipients fall into two award categories, those receiving the award for Public Service, and those receiving the award for Corporate Citizenship. Woodrow Wilson Awardees are selected by the Board, and distributed at dinners benefitting the Center in different locations each year.
"Most of the Center's staff form specialized programs and projects covering broad areas of study. These programs and projects organize and host conferences and seminars, and support many kinds of research, communication, and publication on topics relevant to their areas."
Launched in 1999 with generous support from the Ford Foundation, the Africa Program is currently led by director Howard Wolpe. The program promotes dialogue among policymakers and academic specialists on both African issues and U.S. policy toward Africa. Presently, the Africa Program is composed of four core elements: public forums and meetings, leadership training programs in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, scholarship awards and residencies, and a Congressional Staff Forum on Africa.
Created in June 2006 as part of the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program, the Brazil Institute strives to foster informed dialogue on key issues important to Brazilians and to the Brazilian-U.S. relationship. The Institute works to promote detailed analysis of Brazil’s public policy and advance Washington’s understanding of contemporary Brazilian developments, mindful of the long history that binds the two most populous democracies in the Americas. The Institute also maintains a comprehensive website with news, analysis, research, and reference sources relating to Brazil.
The Institute was founded on the conviction that Brazil and the U.S.-Brazilian relationship deserve greater attention within the Washington policy community. Brazil's population, size, and economy, as well as its unique position as a regional leader and global player, justify this attention. The Institute has many unique qualities that set it apart from other Washington institutions: an in-depth and comprehensive approach to the issues that policymakers face in Brazil, in the United States, and in Washington's various international banks and agencies; high-quality presentations and publications; a nonpartisan forum for serious discussion; and the capacity to house public policy scholars.
Recently the Institute added two new specialized Web pages. The Brazil Portal provides access to continuously updated and archived weekly news clippings from leading national and international newspapers, in English and Portuguese. Featuring a collection of publications from international organizations, policymakers, and leading Brazilian and Brazilianist scholars. Also links to other organizations and resources on Brazil. The Biofuels Central page offers current news, publications and resources exploring the future of biofuels. The forum is an independent reference source offering diverse analysis and information regarding the potential impacts of alternative energy. Moreover, the Institute maintains a chronological list of Outreach efforts.
The Brazil Institute also provides access to new and archived publications, newsletters and special reports. The most recent publications include: the special report on International Strategies for Innovation: A Study of Seven Countries and Brazil, which focuses on a report that compared Brazil's innovation potential with the strategies pursued by the seven leading innovative nations of the world: the United States, Canada, Ireland, Finland, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan; and the book entitled, Brazilian Perspectives on the United States: Advancing U.S. Studies in Brazil.
Committed to improving knowledge about sustainable urban development through research, seminars, and publications, the Comparative Urban Studies Project (CUSP) brings together broad networks of urban scholars, practitioners, community leaders, and policymakers to better understand the challenges and opportunities brought by urbanization. The CUSP recognizes highly visible disparities exacerbate social tensions, violence, and exclusion. The CUSP maintains that improving the quality of life for residents of urban environments is vital to local sustainability and global security.
The Congress Project fosters dialogue between scholars who study Congress and policymakers who have experience with how Congress works. The project offers a series of seminars and forums featuring members of Congress and their staff, political scientists, historians, and Washington media representatives.
The program director is Donald Wolfensberger.
One of the cross-cutting programs at the Wilson Center is the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP). Founded in 1994, ECSP promotes dialogue on the connections among environmental, health, and population dynamics, and their links to conflict, human security, and foreign policy. ECSP is organized into four topics: China Environment Forum; Environment and Security; Population, Health and Environment; and Water. Recent research has focused on using environmental management for building trust and confidence between parties in conflict, so-called environmental peacebuilding. These issues are discussed in ECSP's blog, The New Security Beat.
ECSP's director is Geoffrey Dabelko. Gib Clarke serves as the program associate for population, environment, and health. Jennifer Turner coordinates the China Environment Forum. P.J. Simmons and Thomas Lovejoy serve as advisory group co-chairs.
The Woodrow Wilson Center has established the Foresight and Governance Project to facilitate better foresight and long-term thinking in the public sector. Work focuses on four main areas:
David Rejeski serves as the director of the Foresight and Governance Project. Natalie Chin and Danielle Altman serve as project assistants. Patrick Polischuk and Todd Kuiken serve as a research assosicates and Alex Parlini consults on media production and project management.
Building on regional programs that cover the world, the Global Energy Initiative (GEI) examines and brings a nonpartisan perspective to the rapidly evolving geopolitics of energy. It also explores the political context of producer-country decision-making on energy issues. By detailing energy developments around the world, GEI complements ongoing Wilson Center work on economic development, the environment, and international security.
Kent Hughes serves as consulting director of GEI.
In September 2005, the Wilson Center launched the Global Health Initiative to provide a forum for an interdisciplinary examination of critical health challenges facing the United States and the world. The initiative seeks to promote dialogue about health among the foreign policy community and focuses on three key themes:
Gib Clarke serves as the coordinator of this project and Calyn Patzner serves as the program assistant.
The Kennan Institute, founded in 1974 as a division of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, is committed to improving American understanding of Russia and the successor states to the Soviet Union. The Institute offers residential research scholarships in the humanities and social sciences to academic scholars and specialists from government, the media, and the private sector. The Institute also administers an active program of public lectures featuring scholars and public figures, disseminating the results of its activities and research through a variety of publications. In addition, the Kennan Institute and ISE Center (Information. Scholarship. Education.), Moscow, administer the Centers for Advanced Study and Education (CASE) program. The CASE program has established nine thematic research centers at regional Russian universities in order to foster scholarship in the social sciences and humanities.
The Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center encourages a free flow of information and dialogue between the U.S. and the nations of Latin America. The Program, founded in 1977, provides a nonpartisan forum in Washington, D.C. to discuss Latin American and Caribbean issues and to bring these issues to the attention of opinion leaders and policy makers throughout the hemisphere.
The Latin American Program Director is Cynthia Arnson. Joseph S. Tulchin is Senior Scholar. Jose Raul Perales is Senior Program Associate. Adam Stubits is the Program Associate and Nikki Nichols is the Program Assistant.
The Mexico Instituteseeks to increase understanding, communication, and cooperation between the United States and Mexico. The Institute organizes studies, events, and publications that explore the relationship between Mexico and the United States, including: Perceptions and Media, Migration, Competitiveness, Security, Environment. The Institute and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales co-sponsor the Mexico Public Policy Scholars Program. The Institute also provides current information on the 2006 Mexican elections including key headlines, news summaries, analyses, and latest polls.
The Middle East Program was launched in February 1998 in light of increased U.S. engagement and the profound changes sweeping across many Middle Eastern states. In addition to spotlighting day-to-day issues, the Program continues to concentrate on long-term developments and their impact on political and social structure, economic development, and relations with the United States.
The Middle East Program's conferences and meetings assess the policy implications of long-term political, social, and economic developments in the region and individual states; the Middle East’s role in the international arena; American interests in the region; the threat of terrorism; and strategic threats to and from the regional states.
From May 8 until August 21, 2007, the Director of the Middle East Program, Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, was detained in Tehran, Iran in the notorious Evin Prison. She was released on bail and had her passport returned to her on September 2, 2007. Esfandiari was then permitted to leave Iran.
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies was established in 2005 as a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Project is dedicated to helping ensure that, as nanotechnologies advance, possible risks are minimized, public and consumer engagement remain strong, and the potential benefits of these new technologies are realized.
David Rejeski is the project director, Julia Moore serves as deputy director, Dr. Andrew Maynard is chief science advisor, Todd Kuiken and Patrick Polischuk are project research associates, Alex Parlini is director of new media and project manager, Colin Finan is public affairs and policy associate, Evan Hensleigh and Natalie Chin are project assistants. For more information about the project refer to http://nanotechproject.org/about or http://wilsoncenter.org/nano.
The Project on Leadership and Building State Capacity, launched in June 2005, expands upon the work of the former Conflict Prevention Project and responds to the growing demand for leadership training directed at both the prevention of violent conflict and the reconstruction of war-torn societies.
There is an emerging awareness of the importance of leadership training in achieving sustainable peace. On a technical level, the art of building democratic state capacity is well understood. But the harder political task—helping the leaders of warring factions achieve their objectives, to work collaboratively in avoiding war or supporting postwar reconstruction, and to build democratically accountable links between the governors and the governed—requires a careful examination of the underappreciated “leadership factor” in peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction.
Under the leadership of former Congressman and Presidential Special Envoy Howard Wolpe, the Leadership Project aims to address the missing process and leadership dimensions of peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction; to expand the cadre of professional trainers capable of working in regions in conflict or emerging from conflict; and to deepen the international community’s capacity to conceptualize, implement, and manage these complex interventions.
The Science, Technology, America, and the Global Economy program (STAGE) at the Wilson Center explores paths for long-term growth in the United States and around the world. STAGE targets policies that foster sustained, sustainable, and equitable growth.
STAGE'S director is Kent Hughes.
A concentration on Europe, with distinct but interrelated programming for East European studies and West European studies, has been integral to the Woodrow Wilson Center since 1984.
West European Studies cooperates on a number of Europe-wide issues with East European Studies, particularly on topics such as the englargement of NATO and the European Union and the expansion and deepening of democracy in Europe.
West European Studies also focuses on broad issues that are significant for the United States in its relations with Europe. It looks at the development of civil society and open institutions throughout Europe and also investigates European approaches to policy issues of importance to the United States including social insurance, education, and the role of the state in economic activity. Seminars and conferences on the role of the United States and Europe in global financial issues and trade policy are also part of its mandate. For more information on past and future events and WES News please visit http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=topics.home&topic_id=6105
WES Director is Christian Ostermann, Matt Starling is Program Assistant
The Woodrow Wilson Center Press publishes books by fellows, other resident scholars, and staff written in substantial part at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Woodrow Wilson Press titles range from popular accounts of historical topics to fundamental reviews of scholarly fields to authoritative background on important policy issues. The resources of the Center's staff and its worldwide network of friends and alumni contribute to the development of these titles. The directors of the Center's programs are constant advisers in helping to select and shape books. The outstanding pool of expertise is particularly drawn on for comment on proposals and manuscripts to advise our authors on refining their work.
Press Division director is Joseph Brinley.