Rockefeller to join foreign affairs think tank

Rockefeller to join foreign affairs think tank
© Greg Nash

Recently retired Sen. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Overnight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term MORE (D-W.Va.) will become a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a foreign policy think tank in Washington.

Rockefeller retired at the end of the last Congress after serving in the Senate for three decades, including as the chairman of Senate Intelligence and Commerce panels.

Based in the CFR’s Washington office, he will specialize his research on Japan, East Asia and cybersecurity issues, among others, according to a release sent on Monday.

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“For more than three decades, first as a governor and then a U.S. senator, Jay Rockefeller has shown an uncommon ability to get important things done,” said CFR President Richard Haass in a statement. “We are thrilled to have someone of his experience, achievement, and range join us at the Council on Foreign Relations.”

The Council on Foreign Relations is also a membership organization based in New York. Rockefeller first became a member in 1978. The council publishes Foreign Affairs bimonthly.

Rockefeller's dynastic family has long been a part of the CFR, as David Rockefeller, his uncle, formerly chaired the nonprofit think tank. 

The two have diverged on foreign matters previously, however. While the senator voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), David Rockefeller was a vigorous supporter of the deal.

Now, as the Obama Administration is hammering out a trade deal with Asian Pacific countries, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Rockefeller has called for strong data flow protections to be included. 

He might support this trade negotiation, though, as Japan awarded him the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun “for his contributions to strengthening and promoting both the economic relationship and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States” earlier this year. Rockefeller is a member of the Asia Society, the Japan Society, and the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission.