Arnie's back - as think-tank guru

He's been a governor, a movie star and the world's greatest bodybuilder, but Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't done yet.

The man who never tires of telling people he'll be back returned again, this time as a world policy strategist and statesman dedicated to leading America into what he calls a new post-partisan era.

Schwarzenegger, in a dark suit, crisp white shirt and red tie, appeared at the University of Southern California to officially launch the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy with a symposium featuring some of the most notable names in politics and entertainment.

For the former Republican governor of California, the symposium marked a sudden public re-emergence after leaving office nearly two years ago with a mixed record that he suggested accomplished about half of what he had set out to do.

He is hoping that through the institute, created with a 20 million-dollar (£12.3 million) commitment from himself and others, he can accomplish the rest, tackling issues such as hunger, health care and global warming. He will also take an active role in teaching at USC and the institute's academic director, Nancy Staudt, referred to him several times as Professor Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger showed he could still charm a crowd with one-liners, even though he did not use his signature phrase, "I'll be back", or even the modified version, "I'm back", from his latest action film, The Expendables 2. Introduced by USC president Max Nikias, who called him a larger-than-life hero, Schwarzenegger said: "Thank you for that fantastic introduction, President Nikias, that's exactly how I wrote it."

He is also publishing his autobiography next week and has a pair of movies in post-production. One of them, The Tomb, co-stars his old friend Sylvester Stallone.

His return to the spotlight will also include a segment on 60 Minutes to promote the book and discuss, among other things, the affair he had with his maid that resulted in a son out of wedlock and destroyed his marriage to Maria Shriver.

No mention was made of the scandal when he moved out of the governor's office at the end of 2010 and left his successor, Jerry Brown, with a huge budget deficit.

At Monday's symposium, attended by 700 people, no questions were taken during the first panel of the day, which featured Schwarzenegger in an hour-long discussion of partisan politics that featured Republican senator John McCain, former senate majority leader Tom Daschle, a Democrat, and others.