Foundation Watch

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Strong Ties to the Clintons


At the end of 2014, the Rockefeller Foundation reported having assets of $4.2 billion, making it the 14th largest foundation in the United States.

For those in the Clinton orbit, Rockefeller’s immense wealth has been a boon for years. The foundation’s president, Judith Rodin, is a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton—prompting her to write some hefty checks. The Rockefeller Foundation has donated at least $1.8 million to the Clinton Foundation since 2007. Another big recipient is Teneo Holdings, a shadowy consulting firm run by Doug Band, a long-time assistant to Bill Clinton. It received $5.7 million from the foundation in 2012 to “assess the Foundation’s strategic and operational communications needs and to staff the communications office on an interim basis.”

For perspective, the Rockefeller Foundation paid Teneo $18.5 million between 2011 and 2013 (including $7.4 million in 2013 alone). The next four contractors to the foundation—all of which were banks or investment firms—received a combined total of $11.5 million during the same period.

An even closer look reveals Rodin sought to use her relationship with the Clintons—and the foundation’s financial clout—to be appointed to the President’s Global Development Council, an unpaid but highly regarded position. Rockefeller’s president coordinated with Huma Abedin and other Clinton associates, who then reached out to the White House on her behalf. Coincidentally, Abedin’s role in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is now under intense scrutiny from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It begs the question: Did Rodin use the Rockefeller Foundation’s generous donations for her personal benefit? The intersection of Rockefeller, Teneo, and the Clintons remains murky.

One thing is clear: The Clintons have a valuable ally in the philanthropy world.

You can read more about the Rockefeller Foundation in the April edition of “Foundation Watch.”

This blog post was adapted from the April edition of Capital Research Center’s “Foundation Watch,” by Martin Morse Wooster.

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