Carnegie Corporation Salutes the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Its 100th Anniversary

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Celebrating its centennial year, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the world’s oldest international affairs think tank, was honored this week in Washington by its sister organization, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the grantmaking foundation. 

On Tuesday, a day-long series of panel discussions called “Peace and Power in the Twenty-First Century,” featuring Endowment scholars, addressed topics including whether the U.S. can afford to lead the world; democracy in the Middle East; and the global middle class.  The panel discussions, funded in part by Carnegie Corporation of New York, will be broadcast on the BBC Radio program “The World Tonight” and the BBC Television program “World News.”  Watch video.

“Andrew Carnegie created the Endowment to work toward advancing global peace,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “To achieve that goal, Mr. Carnegie gave the institution’s Trustees ‘the widest discretion as to the measures and policy they shall from time to time adopt’  because he understood that one of the engines of peace is the ability to respond to changing times and to offer new solutions to new problems on the international stage.  He wanted the Endowment and the Corporation, as well as the other organizations and institutions he created in the U.S. and abroad, to carry on their work in perpetuity in order to constantly renew themselves and revitalize their efforts to improve conditions for humankind.”

Gregorian continued, “Over the past one hundred years, the Endowment has built a rich legacy by constantly adapting to and often leading change. It has helped incubate a number of organizations concerned with international relations—among them the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Migration Policy Institute, the International Crisis Group, the Institute for International Economics, and the Arms Control Association.   Numerous international treaties have benefitted from the work of its scholars.  And the Endowment’s experts continue to find innovative ways to address new challenges including nuclear nonproliferation, global security and terrorism, developments in Russia, Eurasia, China, and the Middle East, climate change, and the rising influence of emerging powers and non-state actors.”

“There are two fundamental reasons why we redefined our mission, and have become a truly global think tank,” said Carnegie Endowment for International Peace president Jessica T. Mathews.  “One is globalization, thus our operations overseas will ensure that we remain effective in a global marketplace of ideas where a single national outlook is inadequate. The second is the urgent need for the United States — as the sole superpower — to understand the interests of others if it is to successfully pursue its own.”

Carnegie Corporation has provided grant support to the Endowment for nearly a century.  In the past decade alone, the Corporation has awarded more than 40 grants in excess of $18 million.  Recent grants include a $3 million award in 2008 to support the Endowment’s China Policy Research Program established to provide policymakers in both countries with a better understanding of the dynamics between the United States and China and within China itself.  A series of grants have also supported the Carnegie Moscow Center and various initiatives to promote international strategies to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was founded by Andrew Carnegie in December 1910 as a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States.  The following year, on the advice of his long-time friend Elihu Root, a Nobel Prize-winner, advisor to several U.S. presidents and the first president of the Endowment, Mr. Carnegie established the foundation he named Carnegie Corporation of New York, which he endowed with most of his remaining fortune along with a mandate to continue his philanthropic work even after his death. Over the years, the Corporation, which is dedicated to furthering the goals that Mr. Carnegie cared most deeply about—improving education and promoting global peace—has often collaborated with the Endowment on efforts to address issues that impact the prospects for peace among the world’s nations.

Over the decades, the Endowment established offices in major diplomatic centers from Paris to Geneva and Washington to New York (following the establishment of the United Nations).  Immediately following the end of the Cold War, the Endowment opened an office in Moscow.  In 2007, anticipating profound changes across the spectrum of international affairs and building on the success of the Moscow Center, the Endowment announced its intention to become the world’s first global think tank with locally staffed offices and work produced and disseminated in local languages.

Today the Endowment has offices in Washington, Moscow, Beirut, Beijing and Brussels.  These five locations include important national and regional centers of governance and the places whose political evolution and international policies will likely have a critical effect on the near-term possibilities for international peace and international economic progress.