THE Brookings Institution announced yesterday that it will open its centre for public policy research and current affairs programming in Qatar, in February 2008.
The centre, a project of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, will be the first Brookings facility in the Muslim world. According to a spokesman, the centre will undertake research on socio-economic and geopolitical issues facing the Muslim world as well as encouraging more understanding between US and Muslim policy-makers.
Strobe Talbott, president of Brookings and former deputy secretary of state, said: “Through the Brookings Doha Center, we will continue to expand the Brookings tradition of independent, in-depth research and quality public policy programmes to Doha. At the same time, it further establishes Brookings as a truly global think-tank.”
Events sponsored by the centre will begin this autumn, in anticipation of the official opening ceremony scheduled to coincide with the US-Islamic World Forum – an annual dialogue co-organised by the Brookings Project on US Relations with the Islamic World and the Permanent Committee for Organising Conferences from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar.
“The Brookings Doha Center will seek to forge a lasting partnership between the leading policy-makers and scholars of the US, and those of the Muslim world,” said Martin Indyk, director of the Saban Center at Brookings and former assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs under President Bill Clinton.
This will be the second time that the think-tank has established a presence outside Washington, following the opening of the Beijing centre last year.
“At a time of great tension between America and the Muslim world, the centre will serve as a model of true, productive partnership,” said Hady Amr, director of the Brookings Doha Center and a former appointee at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at National Defense University.
He added: “Open to a broad range of views, the Brookings Doha Center will be a meeting point for the leading minds from government, business, academia, the media and the public to debate public policy in the Muslim world, including its relations with the United States.”
The centre will host leading scholars who will conduct independent research on the socio-economic and geopolitical issues facing the Muslim world; host forums, workshops and seminars to engage in the public policy debate on these issues; and help organise the annual US-Islamic World Forum in Doha.