Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

The National Endowment For Democracy

By Keith Durant

Brief History

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was founded in 1983 after being conceived by President Reagan and ex-CIA Director and then Vice-President Bush. It was created to take the place of the CIA after it’s fall from grace and worldwide condemnation for attempted of accomplished coups in many countries on 4 continents.

It was decided that a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) would keep America’s hands clean and could still accomplish all of the same goals.

In a White House memo it’s goals were stated quite plainly. “We need to examine how law and Executive Order can be made more liberal to permit covert action on a broader scale, as well as what we can do through substantially increased overt political action.”[1]

At the March 1990 NED board meeting, President Carl Gershman called the “victory of the democratic opposition in Nicaragua… a tremendous victory for the Endowment as well.” The board minutes continued:

Those who head the party and labor institutes, whose tireless efforts helped make these victories possible, are well known to Board members. Still, there are others who made ‘a sterling contribution’ and Mr. Gershman took the opportunity to pay tribute to them as well: from NDl, Ken Wollack, Donna Huffman, and on-site project manager Mark Feierstein: from NR1. Janine Perfit and project manager Martin Krauze from AIFLD, Gordon Ellison and Dave Jessup; from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Richard Soudriette and Hank Quintero; and from Detphi International, Paul von Ward and Lee Zahnow. [2]

Although the NED funds many different organizations it has 4 main pipelines through which it disburses. These are the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) which is the international organization of the US Chamber of Commerce and the Atlas Network.

Main Partners

  1. IRI

Chairman – Dan Sullivan

Vice Chair – Randy Scheunemann

Secretary – Alec Poitevint II

Board Members – H.R. McMaster, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, Mitt Romney, Gaddi Vasquez, Kristen Silverberg, Olin Wethington, Frances Townsend, Joseph Schmuckler, Constance Newman, etc.[3]

  1. NDI

President – Derek Mitchell

Chairman – Madeleine Albright

Vice Chairs – Harriet Babbitt, Thomas Daschle, Marc Nathanson

Treasurer – Robert Liberatore

Secretary – Patrick Griffin

Board Members – Howard Dean, Donna Brazile, Robin Carnahan, Richard Blum, Elizabeth Bagley, Brian Atwood, Howard Berman, Rye Barcott, Paul Boskind, Suzy George, Kathryn Hall, etc[4]

  1. CIPE

Chairman – Gregory Lebedev

President – Thomas Donahue

Vice Pres. – Myron Brilliant

Board Members – Brian Bieron, Martha Boudreau, Claude Fontheim, Kate Friedrich, Michael Hershman, Kim Holmes, Karen Kerrigan, William Reinsch, Sally Shelton-Colby, Kenneth Sparks, Sandra Taylor, Philip Truluck, Andrew Wilson[5]

  1. Atlas Network

Chairman – Linda Whetstone

Vice Chair – Debbi Gibbs

Treasurer – Scott Barbee

Board Members – Lawson Bader, Luis Ball, Robert Boyd, Timothy Browne, Dan Grossman, Nikolaos Monoyios, GerryOhrstom, Rene Scull, Kathryn Washburn, William Sumner.[6]

With 83 affiliate and partner think tanks in Latin America and 491 in 92 countries they have infiltrated most countries. Fortunately Lee Fang of the Intercept has done precisely that in an article he wrote entitled “Sphere of Influence: How American Libertarians are Remaking Latin American Politics”[7]

Scope Of Activity

These 4 entities have global reach through each of their primary funding distribution networks. Within each country of interest there are a number of primary organizations which then filter funds to student unions, right wing neo-liberal and libertarian political organizations, as well as funding activism through special interest and media groups.

To fully understand the overlapping and complete strategy it is best to look at each of their networks in total before doing more in depth investigation into individual countries.

The Atlas Network

National Democratic Institute

For International Affairs

Center for International Private Enterprise

International Republican Institute


[2] Minutes of March 29, 1990 NED Board of Directors






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