The dead-pan world of the Washington policy wonk looks set for a dash of Hollywood glamour with the nomination of actress Angelina Jolie to join one of the most venerable think-tanks in the US.
The Council on Foreign Relations, whose members include former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, decided on Friday to accept the 32-year-old to be considered for a special five-year term designed to “nurture the next generation of foreign policy makers”.
Membership would allow Ms Jolie access to 40 academic “fellows” – such as Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister, and Max Boot, a neoconservative military historian – and to meet current world leaders.
The Council, which has offices in New York as well as Washington, does not require members to hold any particular academic qualifications. Ms Jolie’s formal education ended at a high school in Beverly Hills. Applicants must be nominated by one existing member and seconded with at least three supporting letters from others.
It is not clear who nominated Ms Jolie, but fellow Hollywood actors Michael Douglas and Richard Dreyfuss are life members of the Council, founded in 1921 as a non-partisan membership organisation to “promote understanding of foreign policy and America’s role in the world”.
Ms Jolie is no stranger to international affairs herself, having travelled to 20 countries as a “goodwill ambassador” for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 2001.
She has also appeared twice at the World Economic Forum’s meetings in Davos, highlighting “the role the private sector can play in empowering refugees”, says the UNHCR.
Her arrival on the Washington beltway scene would mark another step by the actress into the off-screen political world that seems to be attracting more of her attention – and that of many of her Hollywood colleagues.