Business, Economics and Jobs

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger founds think tank at USC


Actor speaks at "The Expendables 2 Real American Heroes" panel during Comic-Con International 2012 at San Diego Convention Center on July 12, 2012 in San Diego, California.


Kevin Winter

Former California "governator" Arnold Schwarzenegger will head up a new think tank at the University of Southern California.

The former Republican governor, 65, told The San Francisco Chronicle that he would head up the Schwarzenegger Institute for Public Policy at USC, which would explore "post-partisan" politics and global challenges. 

Schwarzenegger said in a statement that the institute would focus on areas ranging from education to energy, the environment, the economy, health and political reform.

The "Terminator" actor will donate $20 million to the project, and adopt the title of inaugural Governor Downey Professor of State and Global Policy, named for USC co-founder John Downey, California's first foreign-born governor, according to the Sacramento Bee.

He will also will chair a board of advisers that includes such political luminaries as former Mexican President Vicente Fox and former US Secretary of State George Shultz.

Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, his wife of 25 years who filed for divorce in July 2011 after revelations emerged that Schwarzenegger had fathered a child with former household staffer Mildred Baena, have both served as commencement speakers at USC.

Their daughter Katherine graduated from there last year.

In a recent interview with "Entertainment Tonight," Schwarzenegger commented on his continuing good relations with Shriver, niece of US President John F. Kennedy.

"We get along really well. We have a great time raising the kids together," the former California governor, who has returned to acting, told Christina McLarty on the set of his upcoming film, "The Tomb." (Schwarzenegger's "The Expendables 2" also opens in theaters later this month.)

Despite rumors of a reconciliation, TMZ wrote in April that Schwarzenegger had made "peace with the likely end of his marriage." The couple got married in April 1986 and have four children together.

"The most important thing is that the kids are doing well, and Maria always has been an extraordinary mother and always has worked with the kids very closely. I was always more off working and being on location and she was doing the work. Together, we always were a good team in that."

Schwarzenegger's statement on the Institute for State and Global Policy, quoted by the LA Times, read: "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.

"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."