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In July 2021, think tanks from around the world met in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at the Think Tank Talent for the Future Forum to discuss the strategic and operational challenges they face in recruiting and retaining talent for their organizations. The objective was to identify effective strategies that will help prepare think tanks for the fast-paced and increasingly complex public policy environment in which all policy research organizations must now operate. Historically, the primary competition for think tank scholars, dollars and influence was from other think tanks; today, they must compete with consulting, law and public relations firms. The Global Forum attracted 102 participants from think tanks and other sectors in July, 2021 including over 65 senior think tank scholars and executive diverse group of think tanks from across the globe. The global Think Tank Talent for the Future Forum will provide thought leaders, resources, and cutting-edge research to help think tanks develop critical and beneficial strategies so they can thrive in today’s highly competitive marketplace of ideas and policy advice.


All requests, questions, and comments should be directed to:

James G. McGann, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer, International Studies Director Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program The Lauder Institute University of Pennsylvania Telephone: (215) 746-2928 Email:

2021 Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the University of Pennsylvania, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.


Think Tank, Civil Society, NGO, Pandemic, COVID-19, Policymaking, Young Talent, Human Resources, Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania



Date Posted: 01 October 2021