Open Society Foundations (OSF), formerly the Open Society Institute, is an international grantmaking network founded by business magnate George Soros. Open Society Foundations financially support civil society groups around the world, with a stated aim of advancing justice, education, public health and independent media. The group's name is inspired by Karl Popper's 1945 book The Open Society and Its Enemies.
The OSF has branches in 37 countries, encompassing a group of country and regional foundations, such as the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa; its headquarters are in New York City. In 2018, OSF announced it was closing its European office in Budapest and moving to Berlin, in response to legislation passed by the Hungarian Government targeting the foundation's activities. Since its establishment in 1993, OSF has reported expenditures in excess of $11 billion mostly in grants towards NGOs, aligned with the organisation's mission.
In January 2019, Soros called China's Xi Jinping the most dangerous enemy of free societies, saying: "China is not the only authoritarian regime in the world but it is the wealthiest, strongest and technologically most advanced" and "present an unacceptable security risk for the rest of the world".
|Open Society Foundations|
On May 28, 1984, Soros signed a contract between the Soros Foundation (New York) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the founding document of the Soros Foundation Budapest. This was followed by several foundations in the region to help countries move away from communism.
In 1991 the foundation merged with the Fondation pour une Entraide Intellectuelle Européenne, an affiliate of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, created in 1966 to imbue 'non-conformist' Eastern European scientists with anti-totalitarian and capitalist ideas.
In August 2010, it started using the name Open Society Foundations (OSF) to better reflect its role as a benefactor for civil society groups in countries around the world.
In 2012, Christopher Stone joined the OSF as the second president. He replaced Aryeh Neier, who served as president from 1993 to 2012. Stone announced in September 2017 that he was stepping down as president. In January 2018, Patrick Gaspard was appointed president of the Open Society Foundations.
In 2016, the OSF was reportedly the target of a cyber security breach. Documents and information reportedly belonging to the OSF were published by a website. The cyber security breach has been described as sharing similarities with Russian-linked cyberattacks that targeted other institutions, such as the Democratic National Committee.
In 2017, Soros transferred $18 billion to the Foundation.
The Open Society Foundations reported annual expenditures of $827 million in 2014. Its $873 million budget in 2013, ranked as the second largest private philanthropy budget in the United States, after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation budget of $3.9 billion.
According to the foundations' website, 1993–2014 expenditures included:
Expenditures in 2014 included:
Within these totals, OSF reported granting at least $33 million to civil rights and social justice organizations in the United States. This funding included groups such as the Organization for Black Struggle and Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment that supported protests in the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the death of Eric Garner, the shooting of Tamir Rice and the shooting of Michael Brown. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the OSF spends much of its resources on democratic causes around the world, and has also contributed to groups such as the Tides Foundation.
In 2007, Nicolas Guilhot (a senior research associate of CNRS) wrote in Critical Sociology that the Open Society Foundations serve to perpetuate institutions that reinforce the existing social order, as the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation have done before them. Guilhot argues that control over the social sciences by moneyed interests has depoliticized this field and reinforced a capitalist view of modernization.
An OSF effort in 2008 in the African Great Lakes region aimed at spreading human rights awareness among prostitutes in Uganda and other nations in the area was not received well by the Ugandan authorities, who considered it an effort to legalize and legitimize prostitution.
Open Society Foundation has been criticized in pro-Israel editorials, Tablet Magazine, Arutz Sheva and Jewish Press, for including funding for the activist groups Adalah and I'lam, which they say are anti-Israel and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Among the documents released by DCleaks, an OSF report reads "For a variety of reasons, we wanted to construct a diversified portfolio of grants dealing with Israel and Palestine, funding both Israeli Jewish and PCI (Palestinian Citizens of Israel) groups as well as building a portfolio of Palestinian grants and in all cases to maintain a low profile and relative distance—particularly on the advocacy front."
NGO Monitor, an Israeli NGO, produced a report which says, "Soros has been a frequent critic of Israeli government policy, and does not consider himself a Zionist, but there is no evidence that he or his family holds any special hostility or opposition to the existence of the state of Israel. This report will show that their support, and that of the Open Society Foundation, has nevertheless gone to organizations with such agendas." The report says its objective is to inform OSF, claiming: "The evidence demonstrates that Open Society funding contributes significantly to anti-Israel campaigns in three important respects:
The report concludes, "Yet, to what degree Soros, his family, and the Open Society Foundation are aware of the cumulative impact on Israel and of the political warfare conducted by many of their beneficiaries is an open question."
In 2015, Russia banned the activities of the Open Society Foundations on its territory, declaring "It was found that the activity of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state".
In 2017, Open Society Foundations and other NGOs that promote open government and help refugees have been targeted for crackdowns by authoritarian governments who have been emboldened by encouraging signals from the Trump Administration. Several politicians in eastern Europe, including Liviu Dragnea in Romania and typically right-wing figures Szilard Nemeth in Hungary, Macedonia's Nikola Gruevski, who called for a "de-Sorosization" of society, and Poland's Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who has said that Soros-funded groups want "societies without identity", regard many of the NGO groups to be irritants at best, and threats at worst. Some of those Soros-funded advocacy groups in the region say the renewed attacks are harassment and intimidation, which became more open after the election of Donald Trump in the United States. Stefania Kapronczay of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, which receives half of its funding from Soros-backed foundations, claims that Hungarian officials are "testing the waters" in an effort to see "what they can get away with."
In November 2018, Open Society Foundations announced they are ceasing operations in Turkey and closing their İstanbul and Ankara offices due to "false accusations and speculations beyond measure", amid pressure from Turkish government and governmental interference through detainment of Turkish intellectuals and liberal academics claimed to be associated with the foundation and related NGOs, associations and programmes.
Soros, through foundations and his Open Society Institutes, pours some $500 million per year into organizations in the former Soviet world... And Soros gets results. Through strategic donations, Soros helped bring down the communist government in Poland, toppled Serbia's bloodstained strongman Slobodan Milosevic, and fueled the "Rose Revolution" in Georgia. Soros has also funded opposition parties in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Georgia, and Macedonia, helping them into either power or prominence. All of these countries were once Russian allies..
Alexander G. Soros (born 1985) is an American philanthropist. He is Deputy Chair of the Open Society Foundations and one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders of 2018.Center for Community Change
Community Change, formerly The Center for Community Change (CCC), is a progressive community organizing group active in the United States. It was founded in 1968 in response to civil rights concerns of the 1960s and to honor Robert F. Kennedy. The organization's stated mission is "to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change their communities and public policies for the better." Community Change has received funding from the Democracy Alliance and the Tides Advocacy Fund.Chuck Sudetic
Chuck Sudetic is a former writer and journalist from the United States whose work focused mainly on the lands and peoples of the now-defunct country of Yugoslavia and included books and articles on the Srebrenica massacre of 1995, international war-crimes prosecution efforts after the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, and life from the fifth century B.C. to the present day in and around what is now the seaside town of Dubrovnik. Sudetic also wrote on the Roma of Europe, mass rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and crime in New York City.Sudetic reported for The New York Times from 1990 to 1995 on Yugoslavia's breakup, including the conflict in Slovenia and the wars in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the transition from Communism in other countries of Southeastern Europe; and the Iraqi Kurd refugee crisis after the 1991 Gulf War. He authored Blood and Vengeance (Norton, 1998, and Penguin, 1999), a chronicle of a Bosnian family's experiences during the turbulence of the 20th century that ended with the act of genocide committed at Srebrenica in 1995. Blood and Vengeance was named a "Notable Book" by The New York Times and a Book of the Year by The Economist, The Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly.
For a 2001 French anthology of writing on war, Sudetic contributed "Le criminel de guerre," which describes the family background and motives of the Bosnian war's most notorious killer, Milan Lukić, a Serb militia commander who led ethnic-cleansing operations in the Drina-river town of Višegrad from 1992 to 1995 and was convicted on war crimes charges in 2009 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.Sudetic coauthored La Caccia (Feltrinelli, 2008, released in English as Madame Prosecutor by Other Press in 2009), the memoirs of the Swiss war-crimes prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, whose controversial revelations led to two successful international criminal investigations and the establishment of a special court to try individuals indicted on charges involving allegations of hundreds of kidnappings and murders, including alleged instances of murder linked with human organ harvesting, in Kosovo and Albania during the months after the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999.Sudetic worked as a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and published articles in The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, politico.eu, Mother Jones (on the effects of the United Nations sanctions against Iraq under Saddam Hussein), The Washington Post, Das Magazin (Zurich), Transitions (Prague), The Independent (London), and other periodicals. His story for Rolling Stone on the Srebrenica massacre was a finalist for the 1996 National Magazine Award.Editorial URSS
Editorial URSS is a Russian scientific literature publishing house (textbooks, monographs, journals, proceedings of Russian institutes and universities, etc.). Since 1995, Editorial URSS has issued more than 9000 items in Russian, Spanish, and English.
About 200 books have been issued by Editorial URSS in collaboration with Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Russian Foundation of Humanities and the Open Society Foundations.
The wide variety of books on science and nature (physics, mathematics, chemistry), biology, ecology, medicine, synergetics, social sciences (economics, politics, history, psychology, sociology, philology, languages, etc.) are aimed to the general public.
Books published by URSS around 2005-2007 were sometimes published under the imprint "KomKniga".Eurasianet
Eurasianet is a website providing news, information and analysis focused on countries in Central Asia, the Caucasus region, Russia and Southwest Asia. Formerly run by the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Foundations, Eurasianet spun off in 2016 to become an independent news organization. The online media outlet is now hosted by Columbia University's Harriman Institute.Eurasianet has won EPpy Awards for its special feature website on the Kyrgyz Revolution Revisited (2007) and for Best Newssite with under 250.000 monthly visitors (2011).European Council on Foreign Relations
The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is a pan-European think tank with offices in seven European capitals. Launched in October 2007, it conducts cutting-edge independent research on European foreign and security policy and provides a safe meeting space for decision-makers, activists and influencers to share ideas. ECFR builds coalitions for change at the European level and promotes informed debate about Europe’s role in the world. ECFR has offices in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Warsaw and Sofia.
ECFR was founded in 2007 by Mark Leonard together with a council of fifty founding members, chaired by Martti Ahtisaari, Joschka Fischer, and Mabel van Oranje, with initial funding from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Communitas Foundation, Sigrid Rausing, Unicredit and Fride.ECFR's Council brings together over 300 influential Europeans from across Europe. Currently chaired by Carl Bildt, Emma Bonino and Mabel van Oranje, ECFR's strategic community includes serving foreign ministers, former prime ministers, members of national parliaments and European Parliament, EU Commissioners, former NATO secretaries generals, thinkers, journalists and business leaders. The Council gathers once a year as a full body for the Annual Council Meeting, hosted in a different European capital each year. The Council is the strongest and most visible expression of ECFR's pan-European identity.George Soros
George Soros, Hon (born Schwartz György; August 12, 1930) is a Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist. As of February 2018, he had a net worth of $8 billion, having donated more than $32 billion to his philanthropic agency, Open Society Foundations.Born in Budapest, Soros survived Nazi Germany-occupied Hungary and emigrated to England in 1947. He attended the London School of Economics, graduating with a bachelor's and eventually a master's degree in philosophy. Soros began his business career by taking various jobs at merchant banks in England and then the United States, before starting his first hedge fund, Double Eagle, in 1969. Profits from his first fund furnished the seed money to start Soros Fund Management, his second hedge fund, in 1970. Double Eagle was renamed to Quantum Fund and was the principal firm Soros advised. At its founding, Quantum Fund had $12 million in assets under management, and as of 2011 it had $25 billion, the majority of Soros's overall net worth.Soros is known as "The Man Who Broke the Bank of England" because of his short sale of US$10 billion worth of pounds sterling, which made him a profit of $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis. Based on his early studies of philosophy, Soros formulated an application of Karl Popper's General Theory of Reflexivity to capital markets, which he claims renders him a clear picture of asset bubbles and fundamental/market value of securities, as well as value discrepancies used for shorting and swapping stocks.Soros is a well-known supporter of progressive and liberal political causes, to which he dispenses donations through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations. Between 1979 and 2011, he donated more than $11 billion to various philanthropic causes; by 2017, his donations "on civil initiatives to reduce poverty and increase transparency, and on scholarships and universities around the world" totaled $12 billion. He influenced the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and provided one of Europe's largest higher education endowments to the Central European University in his Hungarian hometown. His extensive funding of political causes has made him a "bugaboo of European nationalists". Numerous American conservatives have promoted false claims that characterize Soros as a singularly dangerous "puppetmaster" behind a variety of alleged global plots, with The New York Times reporting that by 2018 these claims had "moved from the fringes to the mainstream" of Republican politics.Gigi Sohn
Gigi Sohn was the president and co-founder (with Laurie Racine and David Bollier) of Public Knowledge. She used to work for the Ford Foundation. In 2013, Tom Wheeler hired her into a senior staff position at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She left there shortly after Donald Trump's election as President of the U. S. In July 2017, she held fellowship positions with Georgetown Law's Institute for Technology Law & Policy, Open Society Foundations, and Mozilla.InSight Crime
InSight Crime is a non-profit journalism and investigative organization specialized in organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean. The organization has offices in Washington, D.C. and Medellín, Colombia.
InSight Crime has received funds from the Open Society Foundations and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, and worked in Colombia together with the think tank Fundación Ideas para la Paz.International Renaissance Foundation
The International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) (Ukrainian: Міжнародний фонд "Відродження") is a Ukrainian NGO founded by George Soros.
It was founded in April 1990. IRF is an integral part of the Open Society Foundations which incorporates national and regional foundations in more than thirty countries around the world, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the former Soviet Union. These foundations share a common goal of supporting educational, social and legal initiatives that promote the development and establishment of an open society.
IRF is the Ukraine's one of the largest charity organization. Its main objective is to provide financial and operational assistance to the development of an open and democratic society in Ukraine by supporting key civic initiatives in this area.
Over the period from 1990 to 2010 the International Renaissance Foundation supported numerous Ukrainian non-governmental organizations, community groups, academic and cultural institutions, publishing houses etc. in the amount of over $100 million.Laura Silber
Laura Silber is Chief Communications Officer for the Open Society Foundations, where she runs the Communications department and works with the Soros foundations network to promote advocacy issues. Since 2007 she has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.Prior to joining the Open Society Foundations in 2000, Silber was a contributing writer at Talk magazine. She covered the United Nations for the Financial Times from 1997-99. She was also a visiting scholar at the Remarque Institute at New York University. From 1990-1997, she was the Balkans correspondent for the Financial Times and covered Yugoslavia's violent disintegration.
She is the co-author, with Allan Little, of Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation (published as The Death of Yugoslavia outside of the United States), which was selected for the New York Times notable book list. She was a consultant to the accompanying 1995 BBC television documentary series, which won the BAFTA, duPont Gold Baton, and Peabody Award.The documentary indicted the Serbian and Croatian leadership, revealed their virulent nationalism, and deplored the lack of international intervention. She has contributed to a wide range of publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Review of Books.
Silber was a Fulbright Scholar in Yugoslavia and received a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a B.A. from Carleton College.Morton Halperin
Morton H. Halperin (born June 13, 1938) is a public servant and longtime expert on U.S. foreign policy, arms control, civil liberties, and how government bureaucracies operate.
He is currently a senior advisor to the Open Society Foundations, which was founded by George Soros.
He has served in the Johnson, Nixon, Clinton, and Obama administrations. He has taught at Harvard University and as a visitor at other universities including Columbia, George Washington, and Yale.
He has served in a number of roles with think tanks, including the Center for American Progress, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Twentieth Century Fund.National Institute on Money in State Politics
The National Institute on Money in State Politics is an American nonprofit organization that tracks campaign finance data. The organization publishes the Follow The Money website, where it compiles political funding information from government disclosure agencies. The Institute advocates stricter regulation of political donations, including increased disclosure of political spending. The Institute believes that states should require independent political spenders to disclose all information about election-related communications.Funders of the Institute include the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bauman Foundation, and the Sunlight Foundation.Open Society Archives
OSA Archivum (abbreviated as OSA, short for Open Society Archives at the Central European University) is an archival repository and laboratory that aims to explore new ways of assessing, contextualizing, presenting, and making use of archival documents both in a professional and a consciously activist way. It was founded by George Soros in 1995.
Its archival holdings relate to post-war European history, the Cold War, the history of the former Eastern Bloc, samizdat, the history of propaganda, human rights, and war crimes. OSA is also the archive of the global activities of the Open Society Foundations.
OSA also functions as a teaching and research department of the Central European University and offers MA and PhD courses on the theories and methods of archives, evidence, human rights, documentary cinema, twentieth century history, and the politics of the Cold War.OSA is located in central Budapest, in the Goldberger House, which was originally built in 1911 as a textile warehouse, and later functioned in the 1980s as the “dollar shop” in Budapest, where goods could only be purchased with hard currency.The building now also incorporates a gallery space, Galeria Centralis, which hosts OSA's public programs, exhibitions and conferences.Patrick Gaspard
Patrick Gaspard (born 1967) is the president of the Open Society Foundations. Ambassador Gaspard has overseen the Open Society Foundations’ advocacy work in Washington and Brussels, as well as provides strategic direction and oversight to the organization’s programmatic agenda. He became the president of OSF upon the departure of Chris Stone, which was announced in September 2017.He previously served as United States Ambassador to South Africa. He is a noted Democratic Party political leader and campaign strategist.Tom Perriello
Thomas Stuart Price Perriello (born October 9, 1974) is an American attorney, diplomat, and politician. As of November 2018, Perriello is the executive director for U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations.Perriello ran for Virginia's 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in 2008. He narrowly defeated six-term Republican incumbent Virgil H. Goode, Jr. by 727 votes out of over 317,000 cast. At the time he served, the district included much of Southside Virginia and stretched north to Charlottesville. Perriello was defeated in the 2010 election by Republican State Senator Robert Hurt.In February 2014, he was appointed United States Special Representative for the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, serving until July 2015. From July 2015 to December 2016, he was Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, succeeding former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold. Perriello ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2017 Virginia gubernatorial election, but lost to Ralph Northam.Vijesti
Vijesti (Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: [ʋijêːsti]; English translation: News) is a Montenegrin daily newspaper.
The paper is published and managed by an entity called Daily Press d.o.o. - a limited liability company based in Podgorica. The company's ownership is currently split between Montenegrin partners (59%), Austrian Styria Medien AG (25%), and an independent US-based fund MDIF (16%), formerly MDLF, which has received funding from multiple investors and foundations, including Open Society Foundations of George Soros.
Published under the "nezavisni dnevnik" (independent daily) mantra, the paper's editorial policy was initially very much in favour of Milo Đukanović and his government's policies and of his relations with Serbia. However, this editorial policy changed sometime after the 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum when Vijesti turned into Đukanović's critics.
On 9 May 2018, Olivera Lakić, Vijesti's investigative reporter who covers crime and corruption in Montenegro was shot and injured in an attack.Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a nonprofit investigative news organization housed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The organization's stated mission is to "increase the quality and quantity of investigative reporting in Wisconsin, while training current and future generations of investigative journalists."In 2013, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker vetoed a provision of the state's biennial budget that would have prohibited collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Center. Under the terms of the proposed provision, the Center would have faced eviction from the University of Wisconsin's campus, where it has its offices. Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate had sent the bill to the governor's desk by voting to remove the Center from the University's campus due to questions over the Center's funding sources and a concern that the Center's work was biased against conservatives.The Center is a founding member of the Institute for Nonprofit News (formerly known as Investigative News Network), a group of nonprofit journalism organizations. Journalist Bill Lueders worked at the center for four years, writing about the intersection of money and politics, before becoming associate editor of The Progressive in 2015.The Center's funders include the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the McCormick Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations. The Open Society Foundations, funded by George Soros, contributed $535,000 to the Center between 2009 and 2014. In 2013, the Center, along with MinnPost, received a $100,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation. The grant was given to assist the Center in covering political reform, environmental protection and gun violence issues in Wisconsin.In 2017, The Center won a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society for Professional Journalists.Xyza Cruz Bacani
Xyza Cruz Bacani (born 1987) is a Filipina street photographer and documentary photographer . She is known for her black-and-white photographs of Hong Kong and documentary projects about migration and the intersections of labor and human rights. She is one of the Magnum Foundation's Human Rights Fellows and is the recipient of a resolution passed by the Philippines House of Representatives in her honor, HR No. 1969. Xyza is one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the World 2015, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2016, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016, and a Fujifilm Ambassador . She is the recipient of grants from Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting 2016 , WMA Commission 2017  and part of Open Society Foundations Moving Walls 24 .