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The Brookings Institution is a private non-profit organization devoted to research, education and publication in economics, government, foreign policy, and the social sciences generally. Its principle purpose is to bring knowledge to bear on current and emerging public policy problems facing the American people. In its research, Brookings functions as an independent analyst and critic, committed to publishing its finding for the information of the public. In its conferences and other activities, it serves as a bridge between scholarship and public policy, bringing new knowledge to the attention of decision-makers and affording scholars a better insight into public policy issues. Its activities are carried out through three research programs; Economic Studies, Foreign Policy Studies, and Governmental Studies, a Center for Public Policy Education, a Publications program, and a Social Science Computation Center.

The Brookings Institution was founded in 1916 as the Institute for Government Research, the first private organization devoted to public policy issues at the national level. In 1922 and 1924, the Institute was joined by two supporting sister organizations, the Institute of Economics and the Robert Brookings Graduate School. In 1927, these three groups were consolidated into one institution, named in honor of Robert Somers Brooking, a St. Louis businessman whose leadership shaped the earlier organizations.

In 1994, The Kerr Foundation, Inc. gave a $100,000 grant to the Brookings Institution to establish The Robert S. Kerr Chair.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, established in 1975, awards a $30,000 scholarship to college students who have outstanding leadership potential, plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in the public sector, and wish to attend graduate school to help prepare for their careers. The Truman Scholars participate in leadership development programs and have special opportunities for internships and employment in the Federal Government.

In 1993, The Kerr Foundation, Inc. gave a $10,000 grant to establish the Elmer B. Staats Public Service Award to be bestowed annually upon a Truman Scholar who best exemplifies his aspects of professionalism, contributions to public service, intellectual and analytical abilities, and integrity and character. Then in 1995, The Kerr Foundation, Inc. approved a five year grant to enable young professionals to attend and participate in the National Academy of Public Administration meetings.

The National Academy of Public Administration is chartered by Congress to improve the effectiveness of government at all levels. The academy works toward that end chiefly by using the unique individual and collective experience of its elected Fellows to provide expert advice and counsel to government leaders. As a non-partisan, non-profit organization, the Academy takes on initiatives of mutual interest to the private, public and independent sectors.

The Kerr Foundation, Inc. provided significant financial support to the National Academy for the establishment of two endowment funds. In 1984, The Kerr Foundation, Inc. made a three-to-one matching grant of $500,000 to launch the James E. Webb Fund for Excellence in Public Administration. In 1987, The Kerr Foundation, Inc. granted $100,000 to the Academy to provide the initial support for the Elmer B. Staats Fund for Public Service. Both endowment funds are thriving.


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