Germany's 'plagiarism minister' joins US think tank
Germany's former defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who stepped down earlier this year over allegations he plagiarized his doctoral thesis, has taken up a honorary post at a leading US think-tank.
The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) announced Thursday that zu Guttenberg was joining the organization as a "distinguished statesman."
Zu Guttenberg would "lead a new transatlantic dialogue initiative at CSIS which will bring European and American thought-leaders, practitioners and officials together," the CSIS said in a statement.
This would allow them to develop "a bold, new strategic vision to reinvigorate the transatlantic relationship and prevent strategic drift."
CSIS president John Hamre welcomed zu Guttenberg, hailing "his energy, enthusiasm and deep commitment to the transatlantic partnership."
Zu Guttenberg, formerly the most popular minister in Angela Merkel's cabinet, in March admitted to "serious mistakes" in his 2006 legal dissertation at the German university of Bayreuth.
He asked the southern German university to withdraw his doctor title, but denied cheating.
A university committee set up in the wake of the affair to look at the allegations found that "the standards of good scientific practice were obviously grossly abused and it was obvious that plagiarism was involved."
Asked to comment on the scandal, Heather Conley, the director of the CSIS's European program, said that while the think-tank was "fully aware" of the affair "it did not ultimately change our decision."
The position at the CSIS is unpaid, and is an advisory post which is also held by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
© 2011 AFP