The Washington Post

Arnold Schwarzenegger newest career: professor and think tanker

Arnold Schwarzenegger has yet another professional transformation to add to his resume. This time, it’s to think tank-academic life.

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger transforms his career again, becoming a USC professor and co-founder of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. (LISI NIESNER/REUTERS)

The former California governor, actor, and body builder has co-founded a think tank and become a professor at the University of Southern California with the establishment of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, where he will be the Governor Downey Professor of State and Global Policy. He will also serve as the chairman of its board of advisers.

With an eye toward leadership responsibility and transcending partisanship, the institute will focus on five core research areas: education, energy and environment, fiscal and economic policy, health and human wellness and political reform.

“One of the great lessons I learned as governor of California was that the best solutions to common problems could only be found when each side was willing to engage thoughtfully and respectfully with each other,” Schwarzenegger said. “This institute is dedicated to promoting a new era of post-partisanship, where solutions are the result of intelligent and civil discussion between people with deeply held principles who understand the need to work through their disagreements to achieve real solutions.”

Schwarzenegger has committed $20 million from his personal funds as well as future fundraising to support the institute.

The first public event will be a one-day symposium on Sept. 24 that will focus on the importance of post-partisanship in the modern policymaking world.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


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