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The World’s Most Influential Think Tanks Ranking Updated at

The Thinker contemplates think tanks

Think tanks affect governments, corporations, and you. But do you know them? examines and ranks the think tanks making the most impact today.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS, USA, July 6, 2021 / -- When you hear the term “think tank,” do you picture a shadowy cabal of dark-suited men convening in a mountainside vault in Zurich?

While that image may be more out of a Bond film than reality, it’s one many people entertain. So, just what is a think tank really?

Think tanks are interest groups that pursue research and analysis to advance a set of values or ideas, often through political action and policy change, as well as through cultural and social influence. Everything from the laws you obey to the media you consume—even your personal beliefs—are impacted by the work that think tanks do.

In this update for 2021, ranks 50 of the most powerful think tanks:

Top Influential Think Tanks 2021

The top 10 think tanks with the most global influence:
1. Brookings Institution
2. The Heritage Foundation
3. Council on Foreign Relations
4. Cato Institute
5. Center for Strategic and International Studies
6. American Enterprise Institute
7. RAND Corporation
8. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
9. Atlantic Council
10. Hoover Institution

See the link above to view all 50.

Beyond the rankings and descriptions of the leading think tanks, adds new information for 2021. Each listing now includes a think tank’s political bias and an expanded list of its associated personnel.

“Because of the politically charged atmosphere that dominates our conversations, we want to ensure that our readers are aware of the political bent of the leading think tanks, as well as the advisers that carry the greatest influence within. In this way, when people hear these names on the news, they get a better idea of bias and an enhanced understanding of the ideology fueling a think tank’s pronouncements,” says Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of and professor of physics at Wake Forest University. is uniquely qualified to quantify and rank the world’s leading think tanks through its InfluenceRanking Engine, a pioneering machine-learning technology. By analyzing online information repositories and mapping connections between their data points, can assess the leadership inside an organization and assign rank accordingly. Now, students, researchers, and inquirers are empowered to discover the most influential people and institutions, receiving the answers they seek with the objectivity they need.

“The contributions think tanks make to our lives are incalculable, so knowing the players and power brokers who comprise them is crucial,” says Macosko. “And we have much to commend them for. Without the brain trusts that make up each think tank, we’d have fewer insights into the challenges we face globally and fewer options for addressing them. It’s why familiarizing readers with the top think tanks today is so important.” is the preeminent technology-driven rankings site dedicated to students, researchers, and inquirers from high school through college and beyond, offering resources that connect learners to leaders. (Visit the About page for further details on the capabilities and advantages of this unique ranking technology and on the people who make it possible.) is a part of the EducationAccess group, a family of sites dedicated to lifelong learning and personal growth.

Jed Macosko, Ph.D.
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