Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is lending his name and donating a chunk of that "Terminator" money to the University of Southern California's new public policy think tank.
Christened the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, it will focus on developing bipartisan solutions to political problems. The five major areas that the institute will focus on are education, energy and environment, fiscal and economic policy, health and human wellness and political reform.
The new think tank will also give Schwarzenegger an opportunity to try on the professor's robes. In addition to chairing the board of advisors, he will serve as the Governor Downey Professor of State and Global Policy at USC, named after former California governor and USC co-founder John Downey.
The institute will have $20 million in funding, which will come from both a personal gift from Schwarzenegger and a fundraising drive he will lead, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“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 in a statement. “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, who lowered his public profile last year in the wake of a paternity scandal involving a former maid and his separation from wife Maria Shriver, has re-emerged in the spotlight recently. He participated in a major panel at Comic-Con last month with Sylvester Stallone to promote their upcoming film "The Expendables 2." The pair are also starring in 2013's prison thriller "The Tomb."
The institute will be co-led by Bonnie Reiss, who will serve as global director, and Nancy Staudt, who will serve as academic director.
Reiss served as senior adviser to Schwarzenegger from 2003 to 2007, and California secretary of education from 2010 to 2011. Prior to those appointments, Reiss was an entertainment law attorney.
Staudt is a scholar on tax law, tax and budget policy, and empirical legal studies, and is the inaugural holder of the Edward G. Lewis Chair in Law and Public Policy. She holds a joint appointment at the USC Gould School of Law and USC Price, and joined USC in 2011 from Northwestern University.
The institute’s first public event will be a one-day symposium on Sept. 24, 2012, held at the USC campus. The event will focus on the importance of post-partisanship in the modern policymaking world. Schwarzenegger will also serve as keynote speaker of the 2012 USC Global Conference, to be held May 23-25 in Seoul, Korea.