Think tank power couples

By Laurie Bennett

February 26, 2013 at 7:52am

The phrase “think tank power couple” is a bit of an oxymoron.

After all, if their party is in power, at least one spouse should hold a job in the administration, right? If both are working at research organizations, it’s usually because their candidate lost the last presidential election.

Nevertheless, such duos exist. It goes without saying that many of them are members of the Council on Foreign Relations. Many also hold sway in the corporate world.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most influential.

Crandall Bowles and Erskine Bowles

Crandall C. Bowles

Erskine B. Bowles

Crandall Bowles, a bundler for President Obama’s re-election, is a trustee at Brookings. She’s also a director of JPMorgan Chase and Deere.

Erskine Bowles, currently stumping with Alan Simpson for deficit reduction, is a trustee of the Urban Institute.

He is also a former president of the University of North Carolina, head of the Small Business Administration, chief of staff to Bill Clinton and candidate in two unsuccessful runs for Senate.

Suzanne Woolsey and R. James Woolsey

Suzanne Woolsey

R. James Woolsey

Suzanne Woolsey chairs the Institute for Defense Analyses. Having served as associate director of Management and Budget, she is also a former trustee of the German Marshall Fund.

Jim Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Clinton administration, is on the Atlantic Council board and is an adviser to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He’s also a venture partner with Lux Capital.

Jessica Tuchman Mathews and Charles G. Boyd

Jessica Tuchman
Charles G. Boyd
Charles G. Boyd

Matthews, daughter of well-known historian Barbara Tuchman, is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a member of the Aspen Strategy Group.

Boyd, a retired Air Force general, is a former senior vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations. He’s also a trustee of In-Q-Tel, which invests in startup companies that develop technologies helpful to the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Ann Dibble Jordan and Vernon E. Jordan Jr.

Ann Dibble Jordan

Vernon E. Jordan Jr.

While they have moved into many honorary positions as they’ve reached senior dignatary status, the Jordans continue to be ultra-connected in government, nonprofit and think tank spheres.

They’re both honorary trustees at Brookings. Vernon Jordan, former National Urban League president, is also a life trustee of the Urban Institute.

Lynne Cheney and Richard Cheney

Lynn Cheney

Richard Cheney

The American Enterprise Institute is a base for both Cheneys. Lynn Cheney, former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a senior fellow.

The former vice president is a trustee.

Margot Pritzker and Thomas Pritzker

Margot Pritzker is a trustee at the Aspen Institute.

Billionaire Thomas Pritzker, chairman of Hyatt Hotels, is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and a trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Jane Olson and Ronald Olson

Ronald Olson
Ronald Olson

Jane Olson, former chair of Human Rights Watch, is a director of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

Ronald Olson, a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson, is a trustee at RAND.

He’s a former director of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Committee for Economic Development. Olson sits on the boards of such prominent companies as Berkshire Hathaway, Edison International and City National.

Lynn Bendheim Thoman and G. Richard Thoman

Lynn Thoman, daughter of Robert A. Bendheim, former CEO of M. Lowenstein Corporation, is a trustee at Brookings.

Rick Thoman, former CEO of Xerox, is a trustee of the Committee for Economic Development.

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