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Clinton Foundation

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Clinton Foundation
Clinton Foundation logo.png
Founded 1997; 19 years ago (1997)[1]
2001 (2001) (as William J. Clinton Foundation)[2]
2013 (2013) (as Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation)
Founder Bill Clinton, former President of the United States
Purpose Humanitarian
  • New York City
Area served
Key people
Bill Clinton (2001–present)
Hillary Clinton (2013–15)
Chelsea Clinton (2011–present)
Donna Shalala (president, 2015–present)
Eric Braverman (president, 2013–2015)
Bruce Lindsey (president, 2004–2011)
Ira Magaziner (head of Clinton Health Access Initiative)
Doug Band (originator of Clinton Global Initiative)
$214 million in 2012;[2]
$262 million in 2013[3]
$223 million in 2015[1]
350 in 2013[2]
2,000 in 2015[1]
Mission "To bring people together to take on the biggest challenges of the 21st century"

The Clinton Foundation (founded in 1997 as the William J. Clinton Foundation,[4] and called during 2013–15 the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation[5]) is a nonprofit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code. It was established by former President of the United States Bill Clinton with the stated mission to "strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence." The Foundation focuses on improving global health and wellness, increasing opportunity for women and girls, reducing childhood obesity and preventable diseases, creating economic opportunity and growth, and helping communities address the effects of climate change. The Foundation works principally through partnerships with like-minded individuals, organizations, corporations, and governments, often serving as an incubator for new policies and programs. Its offices are located in New York City and Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Clinton Foundation encompasses a number of different efforts and entities, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI, spun off into a separate but related organization in 2010), the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI, split off after 2009 but reintegrated after 2013), Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), the Clinton Development Initiative (CDI), the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative, the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the No Ceilings Project.

Through 2016 the foundation had raised an estimated $2 billion from U.S. corporations, foreign governments and corporations, political donors, and various other groups and individuals,"[3] and the acceptance of funds from wealthy donors has been controversial at times.[3][6] The foundation "has won accolades from philanthropy experts and has drawn bipartisan support, with members of the George W. Bush administration often participating in its programs."[3]

Charitable grants are not a major focus of the Clinton Foundation, which instead keeps most of its money in house and hires staff to carry out its own humanitarian programs.[7] Because of this unusual structure for a foundation, Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog, has said it does not have a methodology to rate the Clinton Foundation.[7] Consequently, they added the foundation to their charity "watch list" in April 2015; it was removed from the "watch list" in December 2015 after the charity posted amended tax returns and a public memo on its website.[8] A different charity monitor, the American Institute of Philanthropy, says that 89 percent of the foundation's money goes toward its charitable mission and gave the foundation an A rating for 2013.[1]

Questions have been raised about the foundation's financial practices, about its fundraising from foreign governments and corporations, about the transparency of its reporting of its donors, and about possible conflicts of interest between donations to the foundation and the actions of Hillary Clinton when she was U.S. Secretary of State during 2009–13 and in connection with her subsequent 2016 presidential campaign.[2][9][10][11][12]


The origins of the foundation go back to 1997, when the president was focused mostly on the future Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.[1]

Bill Clinton founded the William J. Clinton Foundation in 2001 following the completion of his presidency.[2] Longtime Clinton advisor, Bruce Lindsey, became the CEO in 2004.[13][14] Later, Lindsey moved from being CEO to being chair, largely for health reasons.[13] Other Clinton hands who played an important early role included Doug Band,[15] and Ira Magaziner. Additional Clinton associates who have had senior positions at the foundation include John Podesta and Laura Graham.[2]

Most of the foundation's successes came from Bill Clinton's worldwide fame and his ability to bring together corporate executives, celebrities, and government officials.[2] Similarly, the foundation areas of involvement have often corresponded to whatever Bill Clinton suddenly felt an interest in.[2]

In 2008, a The New York Times article reported that a Canadian financier, Frank Giustra, flew Clinton on a luxurious jet to Kazakhstan in 2005 as part of a three-country philanthropic tour. The article implied that a statement Clinton made praising that nation's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, was linked to Giustra's uranium company signing preliminary agreements for the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by the state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom. It also reported that in 2006, Giustra donated $31 million to the Clinton Foundation.[16]

In 2009, however, Forbes reported fact-checking the Times article and found that flight manifests showed the two arriving in Kazakhstan on separate dates, the deal was between private enterprises without a need for approval from the government, and Giustra maintained the deal was settled two weeks before Bill Clinton's trip.[17][18]

Preceding Barack Obama's 2009 nomination of Hillary Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State, Bill Clinton agreed to accept a number of conditions and restrictions regarding his ongoing activities and fundraising efforts for the Clinton Presidential Center and the Clinton Global Initiative.[19] Accordingly, a list of donors was released for the first time in December 2008.[20] The list was large and included politically sensitive donors from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Blackwater Worldwide.[21] The foundation stated that the disclosures would ensure that "not even the appearance of a conflict of interest" would exist once Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.[21]

By 2011, Chelsea Clinton was taking a dominant role in the foundation and had a seat on its board.[2][22] To raise money for the Foundation, she gives paid speeches, such as her 2014 address at the University of Missouri in Kansas City for the opening of the Starr Women's Hall of Fame, for which she was paid $65,000. The University had attempted to book Hillary Clinton, but reconsidered when they discovered her usual fee was $275,000. The University then booked Chelsea instead, with her fee going directly to the Clinton Foundation. A spokesperson for the Foundation said in 2015 that, "Unlike her parents' talks, Ms. Clinton's speeches are on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, and 100 percent of the fees are remitted directly to the foundation.”[23]

In 2013, Hillary Clinton joined the foundation following her tenure as Secretary of State. She planned to focus her work on issues regarding women and small children.[24][25] as well as economic development.[13] Accordingly, at that point, it was renamed the "Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation".[2] Extra attention was paid to the foundation due to the United States presidential election, 2016.[2][13]

In July 2013, Eric Braverman was named CEO of the foundation.[14] He is a friend and former colleague of Chelsea Clinton from McKinsey & Company.[2][13] At the same time, Chelsea Clinton was named vice chair of the foundation's board.[2][14] The foundation was also in the midst of a move to two floors of the Time-Life Building in Midtown Manhattan.[2]

Chelsea Clinton moved the organization to an outside review, conducted by the firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Its conclusions were made public in mid-2013.[13] The main focus was to determine how the foundation could achieve firm financial footing that was not dependent upon the former president's fundraising abilities, how it could operate more like a permanent entity rather than a start-up organization, and thus how it could survive and prosper beyond Bill Clinton's lifetime.[2][13] Dennis Cheng, a former Hillary Clinton campaign official and State Department deputy chief, was named to oversee a $250 million endowment drive.[2] The review also found the management and structure of the foundation needed improvements, including an increase in the size of its board of directors that would have a more direct involvement in planning and budget activities.[13] Additionally, the review said that all employees needed to understand the foundation's conflict of interest policies and that expense reports needed a more formal review process.[13]

In January 2015, Braverman announced his resignation. Politico attributed the move to being "partly from a power struggle inside the foundation between and among the coterie of Clinton loyalists who have surrounded the former president for decades and who helped start and run the foundation."[26] He was succeeded at first in an acting capacity by former deputy assistant secretary, Maura Pally.[27]

On February 18, 2015, The Washington Post reported that, "the foundation has won accolades from philanthropy experts and has drawn bipartisan support, with members of the George W. Bush administration often participating in its programs."[3]

In March 2015, former Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration, Donna Shalala, was selected to run the Clinton Foundation going forward.[28]

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) was spun off into a separate organization in 2010.[2]

The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to strengthening integrated health systems in the developing world and expanding access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.[29] Organizations such as the Clinton Foundation continue to supply anti-malarial drugs to Africa and other affected areas; according to director Inder Singh, in 2011 more than 12 million individuals will be supplied with subsidized anti-malarial drugs.[30] As of January 1, 2010, the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, became a separate nonprofit organization called the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

CHAI strives to make treatment for HIV/AIDS more affordable and to implement large-scale integrated care, treatment, and prevention programs. Since its inception, CHAI has helped bring AIDS care and treatment to over 750,000 people living with HIV/AIDS around the world. Its activities have included AIDS care and treatment in Africa, including the brokering of drug distribution agreements. During President Clinton's 2006 trip to Africa, CHAI signed agreements with several new countries. Over the course of the past year, CHAI has expanded its partner countries and members of the Procurement Consortium to over 70 including 22 governments, who are now able to purchase AIDS medicines and diagnostic equipment at CHAI's reduced prices.

CHAI launched the Pediatric and Rural Initiatives in 2005 to focus on bringing AIDS care and treatment to those most often marginalized— children and those living in rural areas. CHAI also negotiated agreements that reduce the prices of second-line drugs and rapid diagnostic tests. In May 2007, CHAI and UNITAID announced agreements that help middle-income and low-income countries save money on second-line drugs. The partnership also reduced the price of a once-daily first-line treatment to less than $1 per day.[31]

In addition to drug access programs, CHAI also focuses on country operations, with programs that help governments with pediatric care and treatment, improving rural health care and human resources for health and the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT). In 2008, approximately 185,000 children benefited from increased access to infant diagnosis aided by the training of 8,500 health care workers who offered pediatric antiretroviral treatment (ART). 2008 also saw six PMTCT country programs launched which ensured that every HIV-positive pregnant woman in the program catchment area was provided with prevention, care and treatment services including counseling, testing and feeding recommendations.[6]

In the Summer of 2008, CHAI's Executive Vice President, Inder Singh, announced the closing of cost-reduction agreements with several suppliers of malaria medication, which will be extended to CHAI partners as part of its care and treatment program.

The Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative's work on the ground has been subject of some criticism. The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, wrote that governments and organizations in Africa and Asia that partnered with the Foundation expressed caution and alarm at the Foundation's focus on treating a large number of patients with less regard for the importance of adherence, follow-up and quality of care.[32]

CHAI was spun off into a separate organization in 2010; Ira Magaziner became its CEO (he had been a key figure in the Clinton health care plan of 1993).[2] Chelsea Clinton joined its board in 2011, as did Tachi Yamada, former President of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[2]

Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was founded in 2005 by President Bill Clinton. Doug Band, who was a key architect of Clinton's post-presidency, was heavily involved in the formation as well.[15] Clinton has credited Band with being the originator of CGI and has noted that "Doug had the idea to do this."[33] Band left his paid position at CGI in 2010,[2] preferring to emphasize his Teneo business and family pursuits, but remains on the CGI advisory board.[13] The overlap between CGI and Teneo, which Bill Clinton was a paid advisor with for a while, has drawn criticism at times.[2]

CGI is a non-partisan organization that convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Each year, CGI hosts an Annual Meeting in September, scheduled to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly. Throughout the year, CGI helps its members – primarily corporations, NGOs, and government leaders – maximize their efforts to create positive change. CGI is not a grant-making organization. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. As of 2013, CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.[34]

President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff opens Clinton Global Initiative Latin America in Rio de Janeiro, 2013

CGI meetings also include CGI University, an annual conference for college students, and CGI America, an annual event focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States. In December 2013, CGI hosted its first CGI Latin America meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

One of its major donors is Norway's government—20 million Norwegian kroner per year as of 2013.[35]

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting is attended by heads of state, business leaders, nonprofit directors, prominent members of the media, Nobel Prize winners, and other notable global leaders. Attendees have included President Barack Obama, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Lance Armstrong, Lloyd Blankfein, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, former Vice President Al Gore, Ruchira Gupta, Paul Farmer, Wangari Maathai, Rupert Murdoch, Rex Tillerson, Jeff Gordon, and Muhammad Yunus. The 2009 Annual Meeting featured an opening address by President Obama and a closing address by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The 2010 Annual Meeting took place September 21–23, in New York City.

At the Annual Meeting, CGI members discuss major global issues, share ideas and knowledge about effective solutions, and form partnerships that enable them to enhance their work.

Commitments to Action

Each CGI member develops a Commitment to Action – a plan to take specific action to make the world a better place. Commitments generally fit within one of CGI’s nine tracks: The Built Environment, Education & Workforce Development, Energy, Environmental Stewardship, Girls & Women, Global Health, Market-Based Approaches, Response & Resilience, and Technology.

Commitments must be new, specific, and measurable, but beyond those three criteria, members have wide latitude to determine which actions to take. CGI then monitors the progress and success of these commitments throughout the year. Funding pledged through commitments does not come through CGI, and is not donated to CGI. Rather, organizations commit to raise and distribute money on their own.

Since 2005, CGI members have made more than 3,400 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.[36]

CGI University

In 2007, President Clinton launched CGI U, which expanded the successful model of CGI to students, universities, and national youth organizations. CGI U includes two days of plenary sessions and hands-on breakout sessions, followed by a day-long service project.

Since the first meeting in 2008, CGI U members have made more than 2,000 Commitments to Action in the areas of energy and climate change, global health, human rights and peace, and poverty alleviation.

At its inaugural meeting, CGI University was held in March 2008 at Tulane University in New Orleans. More than 600 attendees came together to inspire action on college campuses. In 2009, the meeting was held at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 2010 the CGI U meeting was held in April at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. CGI U was held in April 2011 at the University of California, San Diego[37] More than 1,000 individuals attended the event.[37] In 2012, at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Panelists included Jon Stewart, Madeleine Albright, and Vandana Shiva.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton with Alonzo Mourning during CGI University Day of Service in Miami, Florida.

Washington University in St. Louis hosted CGI U in early April 2013. The event featured Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Stephen Colbert, Jack Dorsey, Salman Khan, and many others.[38] The seventh annual CGI U conference was held at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, which included speakers such as Mayor Greg Stanton and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.[39] The University of Miami hosted the 2015 CGI U conference, which featured notable individuals such as Shane Battier.[40] In 2016, the University of California, Berkeley hosted the ninth annual CGI U conference, which featured over 1200 student participants and notable guests such as Salman Khan (founder of Khan Academy) and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.[41]

CGI America

On June 13 and 14 of 2013, President Clinton hosted the third meeting of CGI America in Chicago, an annual event focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States.[42] This working meeting purportedly brought together leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors to develop solutions to increase employment, advance access to education and skills development, strengthen energy security, and promote an environment for business growth and innovation.

CGI International

Responding to increasing interest among business and governments around the world, President Clinton launched CGI International to supplement the Annual Meeting in New York with additional meetings in various regions of the globe.

In December 2008, President Clinton convened the first CGI International meeting in Hong Kong to address local, regional, and global challenges. The focus of the CGI meeting in Asia was on three main areas: education, energy and climate change, and public health. The two-day meeting attracted over 3,000 accredited delegates, a record number for a nongovernmental organization gathering in Asia.

Prominent participants included: business leaders such as Ajay Banga, Ronnie Chan, Victor Fung, Christopher Graves and Stephen S. Roach; government leaders such as Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Lee Kuan Yew, Nambaryn Enkhbayar, and Donald Tsang Yum Kuen; NGO heads such as Elisea Gozun, David Ho, and Xiaoyi Liao; thought leaders such as Maris Martinsons, Sugata Mitra, and Hong Zhang; and Surin Pitsuwan and Ban Ki-moon, the Secretaries-General of ASEAN and the United Nations, respectively.[citation needed]

Clinton Global Citizen Awards

The Clinton Global Citizen Awards are a set of awards which have been given by the Clinton Global Initiative every year since 2007.[43] The awards are given to individuals who, in the opinion of the Clinton Foundation, are "outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership".[43] Past recipients of the award include Mexican business magnate and philanthropist Carlos Slim,[43] Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien,[44] Moroccan entrepreneur Mohammad Abbad Andaloussi,[45] Rwandan President Paul Kagame,[46] Afghan women's rights activist Suraya Pakzad,[47] Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández,[48] and Pakistani labour rights activist Syeda Ghulam Fatima.[49]

Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI)

"Building on his long term commitment to preserving the environment, President Clinton launched the Clinton Foundation's Climate Initiative (CCI) in August 2006, with the mission of applying the Foundation's business-oriented approach to fight against climate change in practical, measurable, and significant ways." [50]

Recognizing the opportunity to fight climate change in the world's cities, CCI is working with 40 of the world's largest cities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of large-scale programs, a purchasing alliance, and measurement tools to track progress and share best practices.

On August 1, 2006, the Foundation entered into a partnership with the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, agreeing to provide resources to allow the participating cities to enter into an energy-saving product purchasing consortium and to provide technical and communications support.[51]

In May 2007, CCI announced its first project which will help some large cities cut greenhouse gas emissions by facilitating retrofitting of existing buildings. Five large banks committed $1 billion each to help cities and building owners make energy-saving improvements aimed at lowering energy use and energy costs.[52]

At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced the 1Sky campaign to accelerate bold federal policy on global warming.[53] The 1Sky campaign supports at least an 80% reduction in climate pollution levels by 2050.

On May 19, 2009, CCI announced the global Climate Positive Development Program where it will work with the U.S. Green Building Council to promote "climate positive" city growth.[54]

Clinton Development Initiative (CDI)

The Clinton Development Initiative, originally the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, was formed in 2006 as a partnership between Scottish philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter's Hunter Foundation and former President Bill Clinton's Clinton Foundation to target the root causes of poverty in Africa and promote sustainable economic growth.[55]

The initiative will invest $100 million over the next 10 years in projects that will improve food security, clean water and sanitation, and quality health care. Right now, these programs are focused in Rwanda and Malawi, but can potentially be expanded to other countries in the future.

Together with the governments of these two countries, CDI has had such successes as helping farmers access fertilizer, disease-resistant seeds, irrigation systems, advanced planting techniques and micro-credit. This assistance has led to a record harvest in eastern Rwanda. CDI has also helped Partners in Health build new health care facilities in Neno, Malawi.

In 2007 and 2008, CHDI assisted in the training of thousands of farmers on advanced planting techniques, helped to strengthen the organization, operations and sales of Rwandan coffee manufacturers and Malawian cotton farmers and partnered with local governments in large-scale developments including irrigation, hospital and school projects.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Following his quadruple bypass surgery in 2004, President Clinton became even more outspoken about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the prevalence of childhood obesity in America. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association that is working to end the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States by 2010.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation includes The Healthy Schools Program, The empowerME Movement for youth leadership to fight obesity, an industry team working to make deals with food and beverage organizations (which is why The Alliance does not accept money from food and beverage companies), and a healthcare initiative.[56]

The Healthy Schools Program supports schools' efforts to create healthier environments for students and staff. The Program provides hands-on and online support to schools, helping them to offer healthier food, more opportunities for exercise, and education on how to lead a healthier lifestyle. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which provided an initial $8 million to start the Healthy Schools Program, recently awarded a $20 million grant to expand the program to over 8,000 schools in states with the highest obesity rates.[57]

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Kid's Movement known as The empowerME Movement empowers children to take charge of their own healthy lifestyles and be leaders in a movement for healthier living. empowerME focuses on engaging, educating and activating kids to eat better and exercise. The Kids' Movement has inspired more than 2.5 million kids to make a pledge to go healthy.

At the industry level, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation struck agreements with major food and beverage manufacturers to provide kids with nutritional options, and established nutrition guidelines for school vending machines, stores and cafeterias to promote healthy eating. Some of the companies involved in these efforts are Coca-Cola, Cadbury plc, Campbell Soup Company, Groupe Danone, Kraft Foods, Mars and PepsiCo.[58][59]

The fourth initiative involves working with insurance companies and healthcare providers to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of childhood obesity.

Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative

President Clinton established the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative to help individuals and families succeed and business grow. The Foundation's domestic efforts began in 2002 with the Harlem Small Business Initiative, which provided local business with pro bono consulting services. In 2007, CEO initiated the Financial Mainstream Program, which increases the access of unbanked populations to starter bank accounts and the Entrepreneur Mentoring Program, which pairs inner city entrepreneurs with successful business mentors. These new initiatives broadened CEO's focus by promoting financial stability and money management skills and helping to develop sound business knowledge. As part of the Harlem Small Business Initiative, in August 2009 the foundation released a Harlem guide with Zagat Survey highlighting hundreds of local businesses in an effort to promote them to a wider audience and to attract additional economic development.[60]

International Initiatives:

The foundation is also endorsing economic opportunity programmes as part of the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Of note are programmes such as Porto Maravilha (revitalisation of the port area), Morar Carioca (urbanisation of all the favelas), UPP Social (development of social programmes in pacified favelas), the Rio Operations Centre (a nerve centre that monitors all municipal logistics), and the establishment of the BRT system (four express corridors for articulated buses that will connect the whole city).[61]

Significant along the path to economic opportunity is also the countdown towards Brazil's involvement in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.[62]

Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative

Frank Giustra is a Canadian business executive sitting on the board of the Clinton Foundation. Launched in 2007, CGSGI describes itself as working with local communities, the private sector, governments and other non-governmental organizations to develop models for businesses to spur social and economic development as part of their operations in the developing world. CGSGI says it is focusing on market-driven development that creates jobs and increases incomes, and on enabling factors such as health and education.[citation needed]

CGSGI says it will focus on Latin America in its early phases, and anticipates expanding its work to additional countries to Latin America, Africa and beyond.

CGSGI says it has engaged in social and economic improvement including projects in health, education and business entrepreneurship and development. In 2008, CGSGI described itself as working to deliver health care and job training to people in rural areas.

Frank Giustra's involvement with the Clinton Foundation has been criticized by the International Business Times.[63]

Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI)

In November 2012, Bill Clinton announced the launch of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI). CHMI is a national initiative, building on the Clinton Foundation's work on global health and childhood obesity, that works to improve the health and well-being of people across the United States by activating individuals, communities, and organizations to make meaningful contributions to the health of others. CHMI works to implement evidence-based systems, environmental and investment strategies, with the goals of ultimately reducing the prevalence of preventable diseases, reducing health care costs associated with preventable diseases, and improving the quality of life for people across America. CHMI works to activate individuals to lead healthier lives by providing a platform to access local, scalable solutions for healthy change agents; advance community health by closing gaps in health disparities and focusing efforts in under-served areas; and, engage the private sector through pledges to improve the health and well-being of the nation. These successes are showcased at the annual Health Matters conference, where national thought leaders convene to discuss ways in which individuals, communities, and corporations can contribute to the health of others. The Health Matters Conference is held every January in the Coachella Valley in partnership with the Humana Challenge golf tournament.[citation needed]

Disaster relief

The Foundation has funded extensive disaster relief programs following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit, President George W. Bush asked former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton to raise funds to help rebuild the Gulf Coast region. The two Presidents, having worked together to assist victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami, established the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund to identify and meet the unmet needs in the region, foster economic opportunity, and to improve the quality of life of those affected.[64] In the first month after the hurricane, the Fund collected over 42,000 online donations alone; approximately $128.4 million has been received to date from all 50 states and $30.9 million from foreign countries.

The foundation was again involved following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[2] Bill Clinton has spent considerable time in Haiti following that disaster.

No Ceilings project

In 2013, Hillary Clinton launched a partnership between the foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to gather and study data on the progress of women and girls around the world since the United Nations Fourth World Conference On Women in Beijing in 1995.[65][66] This is called "No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project." [65][66] The Project released a report in March 2015.[67]


Around 2007, the Clinton Foundation was criticized for a lack of transparency. Although U.S. law did not require nonprofit charities — including presidential foundations — to disclose the identities of their contributors, critics said that the names of donors should be disclosed because Hillary Rodham Clinton was running to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Commentator Matthew Yglesias wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that the Clintons should make public the names of foundation donors to avoid any appearance of impropriety.[68]

A lengthy donors list was then released by the Foundation in December 2008,[20] which included several politically sensitive donors, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Blackwater Worldwide.[21] The Foundation insisted that the disclosures would ensure that "not even the appearance of a conflict of interest" would exist once Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.[21]

The ethics agreement between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation that was put into force at the beginning of the Secretary of State Clinton's tenure came under scrutiny from the news media during February 2015. A Wall Street Journal report found that the Clinton Foundation had resumed accepting donations from foreign governments once Secretary Clinton's tenure had ended.[69] Contributions from foreign donors who are prohibited by law from contributing to political candidates in the U.S. constitute a major portion of the foundation's income. The foundation's chief communications officer Craig Minassian explained that it is a "false choice to suggest that people who may be interested in supporting political causes wouldn’t also support philanthropic work."[3] A Washington Post inquiry into donations by foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation during the secretary's tenure found six cases where such governments continued making donations at the same level they had before Clinton became secretary, which was permissible under the agreement, but also one instance of a new donation, $500,000 from Algeria for earthquake relief in Haiti, that was outside the bounds of the continuation provision and should have received a special ethics review, but did not.[9] Foundation officials said that if the former secretary decided to run for president in 2016, they would again consider what steps to take in reference to foreign donations.[9] But in general, they stressed that, "As with other global charities, we rely on the support of individuals, organizations, corporations and governments who have the shared goal of addressing critical global challenges in a meaningful way. When anyone contributes to the Clinton Foundation, it goes towards foundation programs that help save lives."[9] State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki attested that the foundation's commitment to the ethics agreement in question "has been over and above the letter of the law".[70]

In March 2015, Reuters reported that the Clinton Foundation had broken its promise to publish all of its donors, as well as its promise to let the State Department review all of its donations from foreign governments.[71] In April 2015, the New York Times reported that when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, the State Department had approved a deal to sell American uranium to a Russian state-owned enterprise Uranium One whose chairman had donated to the Clinton Foundation, and that Clinton had broken her promise to publicly identify such donations.[72] The State Department "was one of nine government agencies, not to mention independent federal and state nuclear regulators, that had to sign off on the deal."[73] notes that there "no evidence" that that the donations influenced Clinton’s official actions or that she was involved in the State Department's decision to approve the deal,[74] and PolitiFact concluded that any "suggestion of a quid pro quo is unsubstantiated."[73]

After her January 2009 appointment as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton proposed hiring long-time Clinton friend and confidant Sidney Blumenthal as an advisor, however, Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, blocked Blumenthal's appointment at the State Department.[75] Blumenthal was subsequently hired by the Clinton Foundation and after the 2011 uprising in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi, Blumenthal prepared, from public and other sources, about 25 memos which he sent as emails to Clinton in 2011 and 2012 with advice regarding Libyan matters.[76][77]

Through 2016 the foundation had raised an estimated $2 billion from U.S. corporations, foreign governments and corporations, political donors, and various other groups and individuals."[3] The foundation "has won accolades from philanthropy experts and has drawn bipartisan support, with members of the George W. Bush administration often participating in its programs,"[3] and much of its work has been "widely praised."[6] At the same time, the "overlap between the Clintons' political network and their charitable work" (mostly in the form of donors who contribute to both the Clintons' political campaigns and to the foundation),[3] and the foundation's acceptance of funds from wealthy interests, has been controversial.[3][6] Some ethics experts, such as Stephen Gillers of the New York University School of Law and philanthropy expert Joel Fleishman, suggest that an appearance of a conflict of interest (although not an actual conflict of interest) would be raised if Hillary Clinton serves as president while the Clintons continue to raise money for the Foundation, with Gillers saying that "If Bill [Clinton] seeks to raise large sums of money from donors who also have an interest in U.S. policy, the public will rightly question whether the grants affected United States foreign policy."[6]

2015 State Department Subpoena

In February 2016, The Washington Post reported that the United States Department of State issued a subpoena to the foundation in fall of 2015. According to the report, the subpoena focused on "documents about the charity's projects that may have required approval from federal government during Hillary Clinton's term as secretary of state" and "also asked for records related to Huma Abedin, longtime Clinton aide who for six months in 2012 was employed simultaneously by the State Department, the foundation, Clinton's personal office, and a private consulting firm with ties to the Clintons."[78]


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