The Open Society Foundations (OSF), founded by liberal financier George Soros in 1979, is a liberal network of more than 20 national and regional foundations operating in 120 countries, making it one of the largest political philanthropies in the world. While posing as a charity, the real mission is social anarchy throughout the world. Built on Soros’ anti-capitalist redistributionist political philosophies, the organization gives away nearly a billion dollars per year to left-wing organizations around the world. OSF is the successor to the Open Society Institute (OSI), a Soros philanthropy that was folded into OSF. In the U.S., Open Society Foundations U.S. Programs have given hundreds of millions to left-wing political organizations including multi-million dollar gifts to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Robin Hood Foundation, the Tides Foundation, the Brennan Center for Justice, Alliance for Citizenship, Black Lives Matter, and ANTIFA among countless others with more than 32 billion going to radical leftist organizations over the years.
In late 2017, George Soros transferred $18 billion of his personal wealth to his Open Society Foundations. Not all of the organizations financed by Soros are likely to be benevolent, and he has been accused of financing militant organizations such as ANTIFA. There is concern that the $18 billion transfer was not to finance public awareness campaigns (as claimed), but that it is a war chest to be used to finance armed insurrection in the United States and elsewhere.
Across the globe Open Society Foundations have been criticized for undermining American foreign policy.
Open Society Foundations’ operations are extraordinarily complex, and the group was labeled the least transparent think tank in the United States reviewed by an OSF-funded transparency group in 2016. In spite of this, the group has become a stalwart left-wing non-profit financier, financially supporting a large number of left-wing organizations in America and exporting leftist policies to countries across the world.
The OSF, and its subsidiaries and affiliates, are subsidized with U.S. taxpayer money, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Senior U.S. government officials have leveraged their positions for post-government employment with OSF programs, sometimes seeking taxpayer funding for the very same specialties, functions and regions that involved their government employment.
A Judicial Watch Special Report describes the activities of billionaire philanthropist George Soros and his Open Society Foundations (OSF), which are partially financed by U.S. taxpayers. Soros, his foundation and their affiliates promote and advance a radical, progressive agenda that seeks to destabilize legitimate governments, erase national borders and identities, target conservative politicians, finance civil unrest, subvert institutions of higher education, and orchestrate refugee crises for political gain. The Soros network is engaged in an active and ongoing effort to affect politics, economics, and societies in Europe (Albania, Macedonia, Romania, Hungary), Latin America (Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico), and across the globe. Judicial Watch has successfully investigated and litigated to document the paper trail left by the OSF network as it operates, at taxpayer expense, to subvert and manipulate the sovereignty of constitutional republics and allies of the United States.
The Soros operations are highly sophisticated and multi-faceted, working across academia; the courts; labor and agriculture; “social justice” organizations; religious associations; and, of course, political groups. OSF operations also utilize U.S.-based nonprofit organizations to further their agenda. Key personnel in the Soros/OSF network (and their affiliates) are former U.S. government officials capable of leveraging their government status and access to benefit the OSF’s progressive goals.
It is important to contextualize the operations and financing of the Open Society Foundations. A year ago, Soros took dramatic action to step up his leftist political activities. As reported by the Wall Street Journal on October 17, 2017, Soros transferred $18 billion to his Open Society Foundation:
“The pioneer of hedge-fund investing has transferred the bulk of his wealth to Open Society Foundations”
“Open Society today has a broad mandate driven largely by its founder’s values. It operates through a network of more than 40 foundations and offices in countries from Afghanistan to South Africa.
Mr. Soros has urged developed countries in Europe and elsewhere to share the burden of increased migration from conflict-ridden countries [conflict, it appears, Soros groups help foment]. AntiSoros politicians in Macedonia, Poland and some other European countries have attacked foreign-funded groups, including Open Society, for what they see as outside interference in their affairs.”2
Three years before this massive transfer of wealth to the Open Society Foundation, Inside Philanthropy reported:3
“The Open Society Foundations is bigger than you think. In fact, it may be the largest philanthropic organization ever built, with branches in 37 countries. While the Gates Foundation spends more money, OSF has a larger footprint worldwide thanks to its many local offices, including throughout Africa. OSF’s budget will be around $930 million this year—which is substantially more than Ford’s [Foundation] total grantmaking.”
One might reasonably wonder why U.S. taxpayers would be asked to fund the activities of such a wealthy, sophisticated, highly politicized, “philanthropic” organization.
In 2018, OSF projected expending $537,000,000 in grants and program funding throughout the world.4 The 2018 OSF budget exceeds $1 billion. While the OSF’s selfprofessed goals of strengthening the rule of law, supporting democratically elected governments, promoting fairness in political, legal, and economic systems, and safeguarding fundamental rights may seem innocuous – or even noble – the reality is far different. Soros promotes a radical left agenda. In the United States, this has included:
- Promoting an open border with Mexico and fighting immigration enforcement efforts;5
- Fomenting racial disharmony by funding anti-capitalist racialist organizations;6
- Financing the Black Lives Matter movement and other organizations involved in the riots in Ferguson, Missouri;7
- Wakening the integrity of our electoral systems;8
- Promoting taxpayer funded abortion-on-demand;9
- Advocating a government-run health care system;10
- Opposing U.S. counterterrorism efforts;11
- Promoting dubious transnational climate change agreements that threaten American sovereignty;12 and,
- Working to promote gun control and erode Second Amendment protections.13
The Soros foundations funded the liberal think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) (founded by former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, who remains on the CAP Board of Directors14), and the related 501c(4) CAP Action Fund to the sum of $1.835 million dollars in 2016 and 2017.15 OSF program strategy documents describe CAP as an “anchor” grantee of the organization.16 The current President of CAP, Neera Tanden, was Policy Director of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and domestic policy director for the Obama campaign. Additional CAP Board members include Tom Steyer and Sen. Tom Daschle.17
Soros foundations also funded the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and its related entities, and democratic voter turnout initiatives. In 2003, Soros described defeating President George W. Bush as, “the central focus of my life,” and donated more than $15 million to anti-Bush organizations and efforts.18 At the January 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros attacked President Trump and described him as a “danger to the world.”19
Similarly, in Europe, Soros and his foundations have sought to erase national borders and identities,20 targeted conservative politicians,21 financed civil unrest,22 infiltrated institutions of higher education,23 and orchestrated a massive refugee crisis24 that will leave the continent forever changed.25
Judicial Watch has filed four lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia directly related to uncovering the facts about the global Soros-funded network of left-wing activist groups – what Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban calls Soros’ “Mercenary Army”26 – organized in part through the Soros Open Society Foundation and his East West Management Institute. The documents uncovered by Judicial Watch through a series of lawsuits reveal that the Obama administration turned over key State Department activities to George Soros’ OSF. Judicial Watch reporting suggests the Deep State continues to be aligned with Soros as career and holdover State Department officials in countries such as Albania, Colombia, Guatemala, Macedonia and Romania help OSF push its radical agenda.
What U.S. Taxpayers Fund
The vast majority of U.S. Government funding for Soros’ entities is to the East-West Management Institute (EWMI), which he founded in 1989.27 A Director of the EWMI, George Vickers, was previously the Director of International Operations at the Open Society Institute (OSI).28 The EWMI manages project for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) around the world, including in Azerbaijan29, Georgia30, Macedonia31, and Albania32. EWMI has received $72.5 million in USAID contracts since 2004.
Approximately $19 million in contracts are currently active. The organization has also received $118.7 million in grants since 1999. $49.2 million worth of grants are currently active. 33
In 2014, the Department of State awarded a $24,000 grant to Soros’ Central European University (CEU). The end date for that program is not listed.34 The Orban government of Hungary has criticized CEU for failure to meet the accreditation requirements in Hungarian law, stating that CEU, “…erected something like a Potemkin campus at the Soros-funded Bard College … [and]. . . Other US universities complied with the law and have a signed agreement with the government of Hungary.”35
The Alliance for Open Society International received nearly $650,000 from the State Department between 2011 and 2014.36 Its president, Christopher Stone, is the former president of OSF and a current OSF board member.37 In 2006, the Alliance for Open Society International sued USAID over a Congressional requirement that organizations receiving federal anti-AIDS funding to have a policy “explicitly opposing prostitution.” The issue was ultimately decided in AOSI’s favor by the Supreme Court in 2013.38
Additional taxpayer support for Soros’ projects goes to organizations that receive funding from both OSF and taxpayers. Examples include:39
- International Budget Partnership: $240,000 awarded by USAID in January 2018, $6 million from OSF for 2016-2018.40 Julie McCarthy, the director of Open Society Foundations’ Fiscal Governance Program, is on the International Budget Partnership’s Board of Trustees.41
- Natural Resource Governance Institute: $5.5 million awarded by State and USAID since 2011, $4.5 million from OSF in 2016.42 The Chair of the NRGI’s Board of Directors is former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo. The board also includes Sean Hinton, who works for OSF as the CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund.43
- National Fair Housing Alliance: Nearly $16 million awarded by HUD since 2008, $475,000 from OSF in 2016.44 The NFHA is a liberal housing policy activist organization that describes itself as, “the nation’s only national civil rights agency solely dedicated to eliminating all forms of housing discrimination.” In May 2018, the organization sued the Department of Housing and Urban Development over the
department’s decision not to implement the Obama-era “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment” tool.45
- International Crisis Group: $4.2 million from USAID from 2007 to 2016, $2.25 million from OSF in 2016.46 The ICG’s President and CEO, Robert Malley, was previously Special Assistant to the President, Senior Adviser to the President for the Counter-ISIL Campaign, and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region in the Obama administration.47 George Soros and his son, Alexander, both serve on the organization’s board of trustees, as do former Clinton State Department official and campaign advisor Jake Sullivan and Australian diplomat and “Russiagate” figure Alexander Downer.
- Casa de Maryland: More than $5 million from various U.S. agencies (incl. Treasury, Justice and Labor) since 2010; $370,000 from OSF in 2016 – 2017.49 The organization is an affiliate of UnidosUS (formerly known as the National Council of La Raza) and operates several day labor centers in Maryland. Casa de Maryland has been criticized for providing illegal aliens with information regarding how to avoid detection and arrest.50
- National Immigration Law Center: More than $200,000 from DOJ since 2008, $1.575 million from OSF in 2016.51 The NILC is a pro-immigration legal and advocacy organization. According to the organization’s 2017 Annual Report, it “helped spearhead the fight for No Muslim Ban Ever, pushed in the courts and with Congress to defend Dreamers, and co-led a coalition to preserve immigrants’ access to basic necessities.”52 The Chair of NILC’s Board of Directors, Sara Gould, also serves on the board of the Soros-affiliated Proteus Fund, which received nearly $4 million from the Open Society Foundations in 2016 and 2017.53 On October 25, 2018 the organization issued a press release in response to the administration’s plan to halt the “caravan” at the border in which its Executive Director, Marielena Hincapié, says:
- “This is one more disturbing and dangerous development in a string of xenophobic attacks on immigrant communities. With this threat to ban Latinx [sic] immigrants, Trump is once again showing us that his racism-driven cruelty has no bounds, as he did with the implementation of the Muslim ban and separation of families at the border. Since day one of Trump’s presidency, he has made it clear that his administration will do anything in its power to make immigrants feel unsafe and unwelcome in this country. . . We will continue to stand with our civil rights, Latinx, immigrant, Muslim, and refugee communities to fight these xenophobic and hateful attacks. We are strong. We are resilient. We will use every tool to stop Trump from undermining the Constitution and international laws and from instituting his administration’s agenda to impose a Latinx ban in any form.”54
- The NILC launched a project called “United We Dream” which describes itself as the country’s largest immigrant youth-led community. The nonprofit has more than 400,000 members nationwide and claims to “embrace the common struggle of all people of color and stand up against racism, colonialism, colorism, and xenophobia.” Among its key projects is winning protections and rights for illegal immigrants, defending against deportation, obtaining education for illegal immigrants and acquiring “justice and liberation” for undocumented LGBT “immigrants and allies.”55
- Perhaps most notoriously, U.S. taxpayer subsidies and OSF funding assisted United We Dream in launching a smartphone application to help illegal immigrants avoid federal authorities. The app, Notifica (Notify), is described in a Texas news article as a tool to protect immigrants living in the U.S. illegally by utilizing high tech and online social communications. With the click of a button, illegal aliens can alert family, friends and attorneys of encounters with federal authorities. “Immigration agents knocking at the door?” the news story asks. “Now, there’s an app for that, too.”56
- Center for a New American Security: In FY 2017, it received between $250,000 and $499,999 from the Open Society Foundations and more than $500,000 from the U.S. government.57 CNAS was founded by Kurt Campbell and Michele Flournoy, who were later appointed to senior DOD posts by Obama. In January, it hired Victoria Nuland as CEO.58 Nuland was the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in the Obama administration. The organization’s Executive Vice President and Director of Studies, Ely Ratner, was the Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden.59
There are also millions of dollars in taxpayer grants going to groups led by OSF board members and others closely associated with the Soros network. A sample of the grants includes:
- Chris Stone, mentioned above, was the President and Director of the Vera Institute of Justice from 1994 to 2004.60 There are currently more than $23 million in active government grants to the Institute.61
- Maria Cattaui, a member of OSF’s global board, is also on the board of the Institute of International Education, which has hundreds of millions of dollars in active USG grants.62 Cattaui is also on the board of the aforementioned International Crisis Group.
63 She is a former head of the International Chamber of Commerce and an official with the World Economic Forum.64
- Cecilia Muñoz, former Domestic Policy Council director under Obama and Senior V.P. at La Raza, is currently on OSF’s U.S. Programs board.65 She is also a Vice President at New America Foundation, which has received $4.5 million in USG grants, including $580,000 in grants that are currently active.66
- Bryan Stevenson, also on OSF’s U.S. Programs board,67 is the founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative,68 which received a $347,000 grant from DOJ in 2013.69
- Yoeri Albrecht, a member of OSF’s European Advisory Board,70 is also the director of De Balie, a non-profit based in the Netherlands.71 De Balie received a $3,000 Department of State grant in 2009.72
- Kofi Marfo, a member of OSF’s Early Childhood Program Board, is also on the board of the Society for Research in Child Development,73 which has received more than $6 million in USG grants since 2011.74
- David Holiday is OSF’s regional manager for Central America. According to his biography, he “worked for a USAID-funded project in support of civic advocacy organizations in the aftermath of the Guatemalan peace accords and managed a project in El Salvador that supported civil society advocacy as well as transparency initiatives.”75
- Michelle Scott, the Chair of the EWMI Board of Directors, is the General Counsel at Fair Health, Inc.76, which has received nearly $700,000 in contracts from various government agencies since 2012.77
Government/Soros Foundations Nexus
The nexus between OSF and U.S. government agencies are not just a matter of U.S. taxpayer dollars going to dubious programs and OSF operating affiliates. It is also about power, policy and influence. Staffing and employment facts illuminate the breadth and scope of the connections between OSF political operatives and the taxpayers’ employees inside the USG. Here are a few examples worth examining (n.b.: This list of OSF/U.S. government personnel is not exhaustive):
- Patrick Gaspard, OSF’s President, was the Director of Political Affairs in the Obama White House and the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa.78 Gaspard has a long history in Democratic party politics and community organizing in support of left-wing causes. This included serving as the political director for ACORN’s New York Chapter, an organizer for the socialist New Party, and for Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign. He went on to a position as the political vice president of a powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU) chapter in New York and an activist with the ACORN-aligned Working Families Party. He served as the director of President Obama’s Office of Political Affairs from 2009 to 2011 and as the executive director of the Democratic National Committee from 2011 to 2013, when Obama appointed him to be the Ambassador to South Africa. Shortly after the ruling African National Congress proposed a constitutional amendment to expropriate land from predominately white farmers without compensation, Gaspard sent a tweet lauding South Africa’s constitution as “more inclusive” than that of the United States.79
In November 2018, Gaspard entered into a very public feud with Internet giant Facebook, calling for congressional hearings into the operations of the social media platform for hiring a consulting firm to explore the link between an anti-Facebook group called Freedom from Facebook and Mr. Soros.80
Gaspard accused Facebook of spreading, “hateful and blatantly false and anti-Semitic information … actively engaged in the same behavior to try to discredit people exercising their First Amendment rights to protest Facebook’s role in disseminating vile propaganda … But at bottom, this is not about George Soros or the foundations. Your methods threaten the very values underpinning our democracy.”81
Facebook reportedly hired a research consulting firm to look into Mr. Soros after he called internet “monopolies” a “menace” in a January speech at the World Economic Forum. In an interview on PBS with Christiane Amanpour, Mr. Gaspard went further in his conspiracy theory defense, claiming Facebook’s investigation of Soros funding was a “black ops false flag operation,” and that, “I find it hard to believe that one would go after someone like George Soros, who as you said is a figure of some note, a figure who recently received a pipe bomb in his mailbox as a consequence of these kinds of virulent, hate filled campaigns…”82
In a published internal posting, Facebook executive Elliot Schrage wrote, “We had not heard such criticism from him [Soros] before and wanted to determine if he had any financial motivation.” Mr. Schrage stated that Facebook’s consulting firm, “… researched this [the link between an anti-Facebook group called Freedom from Facebook and Mr. Soros] using public information.”83
According to the New York Times, Facebook’s research consulting firm (Definers Public Affairs), “… also relied on Mr. Schumer, the New York senator and Senate Democratic leader. He has long worked to advance Silicon Valley’s interests on issues such as commercial drone regulations and patent reform. During the 2016 election cycle, he raised more money from Facebook employees than any other member of Congress, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Mr. Schumer also has a personal connection to Facebook: His daughter Alison joined the firm out of college and is now a marketing manager in Facebook’s New York office, according to her LinkedIn profile.”84
Mr. Gaspard’s public relations strategy includes ad hominem smears as a technique to silence critics and discourage investigation of OSF and Mr. Soros. Mr. Gaspard made his claims of Facebook anti-Semitism despite Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg85 and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sharyl Sandberg,86 both of whom are reportedly Jewish. Interestingly, in July 2017, Israel’s foreign ministry denounced Soros, “… who continuously undermines Israel’s democratically elected governments,’ said foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, adding that Soros funded organizations, ‘that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself.”87
Clearly, Mr. Gaspard is highly reactive and an aggressive advocate on behalf of OSF and Mr. Soros. As Ms. Amanpour commented in her PBS interview of Mr. Gaspard, “Well, boy oh boy, you are laying down the gauntlet there.”88 It is worth noting that public, open source scrutiny of a U.S. taxpayer financed “philanthropic” foundation calling itself “Open Society” generates reactions from Mr. Gaspard including demands
for congressional hearings; conclusory accusations of anti-Semitism and incitement to violence; and, claims of Facebook policies threatening the values of democracy.
- In October 2018, Tom Perriello was named the new Executive Director of OSF’s U.S. Programs office.89 He is a former Democratic congressman from Virginia and State Department official. Perriello was appointed by Obama as Special Representative leading the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review and the Special Envoy for the African Great Lakes. OSF described Mr. Perriello’s duties as: “Perriello will oversee the Foundations’ grant making and advocacy in the United States, which focuses on promoting full participation in American civic, political, and economic life and ensuring that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.” 90
- Denis Reynolds, OSF’s Director of Global Security, was formerly a Supervisory Special Agent with the Diplomatic Security Service at the Department of State.91
- Nicolas Mansfield, the Director of Legal Programs at EWMI, was former a prosecutor with the Department of Justice. Mansfield “is responsible for designing and managing rule of law programs in developing countries, including programs related to reform of the judiciary and justice sector institutions, access to justice, legal education and the engagement of civil society in rule of law reform.”92
- Eugenia McGill, a Director at EWMI, was a consultant to USAID from 2005 to 2006. McGill advises development agencies, governments and nongovernmental organizations on social policy, law and development issues, and on addressing gender and other social concerns through development plans, programs and projects.93
- Delina Fico, EWMI’s Director of Civil Society Programs, was previously the Public Outreach and Organizational Development Director at Chemonics,94 a contractor with ties to the Clintons.95 “Fico is the former wife of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and wife of former Minister of State Bledi Çuçi. Fico, who has worked for the Soros Foundation in Albania since the 1990s, recently received a $9 million USAID grant in Macedonia through a collaboration between the EWMI and the local Soros Foundation.”96
- Emily Renard, a Senior Policy Advisor at OSF, was formerly a Foreign Service Officer and the Africa Policy Officer for State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Renard also worked for the, “Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the U.S. Department of Defense where she developed programs to promote human security. Renard also worked for the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal and the Modern American Language School in Sana’a, Yemen.”97
- Jeff Goldstein, currently the Deputy Head of Mission at the OSCE Mission in Skopje, was formerly a Senior Policy Analyst at the Open Society Institute. Prior to that, he was a Foreign Service Officer at state for 25 years.98 Goldstein was one of the people present at Hillary Clinton’s 2010 meeting with Soros (as was Michael McFaul – the first non-career diplomat to be the U.S. Ambassador to Russia (2012 – 2014); and, an Obama national security advisor credited with being the architect of the “Russia Reset.”).99
- Diana L. Morris is the Director of Open Society Institute – Baltimore. She was previously an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Legal Advisor at the Department of State.100
- Morton Halperin is a Senior Advisor at OSF. He was previously the Director of Policy Planning at the State Department under the Clinton administration.101 Halperin was suspected of being a spy for the Soviet Union while working at the State Department.102
- David Mandel-Anthony, a Senior Policy Advisor in the State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice, was formerly a researcher at the Open Society Foundation. He also worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Humanity in Action, Human Rights Watch, the Public International Law and Policy Group, and the International Center for Transitional Justice.103
- Mary Gardner Coppola is a Foreign Policy Advisor for the U.S. Marine Corps and was a Foreign Service Officer at State for ten years. She was previously and Analyst with the Open Society Institute.104
- Lauren Troy is a State Policy Advisor with the Department of Justice. She previously worked for the Open Society Foundations for two years in an unspecified capacity.105
- James Graham Wilson is a Historian at the Department of State. He previously interned for the Open Society Foundations.106 Wilson received his Ph.D. in diplomatic history from the University of Virginia in 2011 and his B.A. from Vassar College in 2003. He currently works on Soviet and National Security Policy volumes for the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series.107
- W. Bryce Kincaid is a Foreign Service Officer with State currently posted in Ukraine. She was formerly a legal clerk with OSF.108
- Sarah Cross, a Senior Policy Advisor with OSF, was formerly a Policy Analyst with the Department of State and was the Director of Human Rights at the NSC from 2016 to 2017.109
- Elisabeth Socolow is a Foreign Service Officer currently serving in Seoul. She was previously the Assistant Director for Forced Migration Projects at OSF.110
- Luis De Baca is currently a Fellow at OSF. Until February 2017, he was the Director of DOJ’s Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehension, Registration, and Tracking (SMART) office. He was previously an Obama-appointed Ambassador to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons.111
- Gabi Chojkier was the Obama White House’s Senior Director of Hispanic Media. She was previously a Senior Communications Advisor at USAID a Communications officer at OSF.112
- Andrew Lohsen, Monitoring Officer at OSCE’s mission to Ukraine, was previously a Research Consultant at OSF.113
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