The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) has been named the top think tank in North America by the British monthly magazine Prospect.

The Prospect’s 2012 Think Tank of the Year Awards, now in its 12th year, recognized Carnegie for its work on the Middle East.

In the North America category:

In this category, the judges nominated three organisations. In third place was the Brookings Institution, commended for success in grappling with “the big picture” and for  work in combatting anti-Chinese sentiment in Congress. In second place was the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a smaller organisation that analyses the military component of the federal budget. As the CSBA points out, significant cuts in healthcare and pensions have remained elusive, but when “something has to give,” the military budget, the world’s largest, has been a comparatively soft target, and the think tank has anticipated the detail of those reforms.

However, the winner of the North American Think Tank of the Year award was the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The judges agreed that its recent work on the Middle East had been outstanding and that it had succeeded in gathering together a strong roster of scholars. Judges gave particular note to its report “The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir,” by Seyed Hossein Mousavian. Its output was credited with being free of ideological bias, which lent it intellectual consistency.

Carnegie recently expanded its Middle East team of experts.

The judges included Bronwen Maddox, editor of Prospect; Richard Lambert, chancellor of the University of Warwick, former editor of the Financial Times and member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee; and Nader Mousavizadeh, chief executive of Oxford Analytica and former special assistant to Kofi Annan, the former secretary-general of the United Nations.

The awards, presented at the Royal Society, are supported by Shell, the global oil and gas company.