Foreign Government Contributions to Nine Think Tanks – New York Times

SEPT. 7, 2014

Foreign governments and state-controlled or state-financed entities have paid tens of millions of dollars to dozens of American think tanks in recent years, according to a New York Times investigation. While the think tanks argue that the relationships do not compromise the integrity of their research, foreign officials say the contributions are pivotal in furthering their policy priorities, as many groups produce papers and host forums or briefings that are typically consistent with foreign government interests. Here are examples of the contributors to nine major think tanks in recent years. Related Article

Atlantic Council

The think tank has received contributions from more than two dozen countries since 2008, a fact that drew attention in 2013 after former Senator Chuck Hagel, who was then chairman of the council, was nominated to serve as secretary of defense. Foreign government donors have made up between 5 and 20 percent of its annual budget in recent years, according to its president.

ASIA/PACIFIC

Amounts not disclosed

Azerbaijan

China

Japan

Kazakhstan

Singapore

South Korea

Taiwan

Vietnam

Brookings Institution

The think tank, which has one of the highest profiles in the world, receives about 12 percent of its annual funding from foreign governments. Oil-rich nations such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Norway are among its biggest foreign donors.

$41 million received

Australia

EUROPE

Belgium

Bulgaria

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Center for Global Development

The group conducts research into “how policies and actions of the rich and powerful affect poor people in the developing world,“ focusing on topics such as global health policies and how to spend foreign aid money more effectively. But money it takes from Norway has also been used to try to push the United States government to adopt policies that Norway prefers.

$17 million received

European Union

Estonia

Finland

France

Georgia

Germany

Hungary

Ireland

Center for Strategic and International Studies

The center focuses much of its research on foreign policy and defense issues and has a particularly large number of donors from Asia, including China. It runs programs on topics important to many of those nations, such as trade agreements with the United States, and defense issues, in an era of growing tension between Japan and China.

Amounts not disclosed

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Montenegro

Netherlands

Norway

Middle East Institute

Established in 1946, the institute takes up hot topics such as the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Its stated mission is to “increase knowledge of the Middle East among the citizens of the United States.” But money funding this work comes from some of the same nations it writes about, such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Only limited amounts disclosed

Poland

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

United Kingdom

German Marshall Fund of the United States

This foundation and think tank was created through a gift of the German government, as a thank you for help the United States provided after World War II. It continues to receive significant donations from European nations.

Amounts not disclosed

MIDDLE EAST/

NORTH AFRICA

Bahrain

Kuwait

Lebanon

Libya

Inter-American Dialogue

This group, which focuses most of its research on Latin America, has been a strong advocate of free trade agreements negotiated with the United States — and it has received donations from countries like Colombia, which spent several years advocating passage of its own trade deal by Congress.

Amounts not disclosed

Morocco

Oman

Qatar

Saudi Arabia

United Arab

Emirates

AFRICA

Stimson Center

A think tank that focuses largely on military and other security-related issues, it has taken money from many of the United States’ military allies from around the world — nations that benefit from a strong commitment to military spending here.

Democratic

Republic

of Congo

Amounts not disclosed

Gabon

AMERICAS

Canada

World Resource Institute

The group works to identify solutions to environmental problems — such as carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants in China. Its foreign donors come from all over the world, with the largest amounts from the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Germany.

$27 million+ received

Mexico

Colombia

Guatemala

Jamaica

Panama

Sources: Think tanks; U.S. Department of Justice; government of Norway. Joseph Malochée contributed to data collection.

By Brooke Williams, Eric Lipton and Alicia Parlapiano

Source: Foreign Government Contributions to Nine Think Tanks – The New York Times