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Chicago Council on Global Affairs Ranked as Think Tank to Watch

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - January 24, 2014) - The Chicago Council on Global Affairs was ranked as the #11 "Think Tank to Watch" in the world by The University of Pennsylvania's Global Go-To Think Tank Index released this week. The Council's public opinion survey report, Foreign Policy in the New Millennium, was ranked as #5 on the "Best Policy Study/Report by a Think Tank" (2012-13).

This is the first time The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has appeared in this annual survey of 6,826 think tanks around the world. The Council debuted in two other categories, ranking as the #36 "Best Managed Think Tanks" and the #60 "Top Defense and National Security Think Tank in the World."

"This is a testament to the increasing quality of our studies work and the expansion of our global reach," said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. "We look forward to building on this momentum and increasing our ability to generate new ideas and influence discussions about the critical issues confronting the nation and the world."

Daalder took helm of The Chicago Council in July 2013 following a four-year posting as U.S. Ambassador to NATO. Daalder is a widely recognized expert in American foreign policy, European security and transatlantic relations and national security affairs.

Founded in 1922, The Chicago Council provides a nonpartisan forum in Chicago for public discussions of world affairs. The Council also contributes fresh insights and authentic perspectives to the formation of opinion and policy in the United States and abroad.

Its internationally renowned public opinion studies on American views on foreign policy, conducted since 1974, provide rich, comparative data on a series of US foreign policy issues. The 2012 survey examined American views on the threat of international terrorism, relations with Asia, climate change, energy independence, the crisis in Syria and immigration.

Dina Smeltz joined The Chicago Council as a senior fellow on public opinion and foreign policy in February 2012 and authored the 2012 report. The 2014 Chicago Council Survey will be released in September of this year, marking its 40th anniversary. Support for the 2014 survey is being provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the United States-Japan Foundation.

Long known for its public opinion survey work, The Chicago Council also brings together stakeholders to examine issues and offer recommendations for some of today's most vexing problem. The Council has expanded its contributions to policy discussions on topics such as global agriculture and food security, immigration and energy. Several experts have recently joined the Council's staff as fellows, including experts on the Middle East, the global economy and national security.

The Chicago Council's budget has grown fivefold since 2001, from just under $2 million a year to over $11 million this year. In August of last year, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs received a $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant, the single largest in the Council's history, supports its work on U.S. global agricultural development and food security policy. The Council also received $575,000 in grant support for its immigration initiative from the MacArthur Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust.

"While we're pleased with this recognition, our goal is to be one of the leading organizations on international affairs around the world," said Daalder. "As the business, cultural and intellectual capital of the Midwest, Chicago plays a pivotal role in shaping opinion and policy on topics of global importance and The Chicago Council is well-positioned to enhance Chicago's stature as a global city."

Compiled by the Think Tank and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, the Global Go-To Think Tank Index is the culmination of an eight-month process involving 6,826 think tanks from 182 countries. The index was first published in 2008 and has been conducted annually since then. The full report is available here.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, founded in 1922, is a prominent, independent and nonpartisan organization committed to influencing the discourse on global issues through contributions to opinion and policy formation, leadership dialogue, and public learning. Learn more at and follow @ChicagoCouncil for updates.

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