“The board members come from different professional, cultural and religious backgrounds and have various political viewpoints,” they wrote in a New York Times op-ed on May 6. “Some of us have been publicly critical of Facebook; some of us haven’t.”
A closer look, however, reveals that 18 of its 20 members collaborated with or are tied to groups that have received funding from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations – which is one of the most well-funded and influential progressive organizations in the country.
Open Society’s reach is so vast that simply receiving support from the institution is not a proxy for political leanings – one member has received support from Soros and the Charles Koch Foundation. But the fact that 90% of the board’s members have ties to that progressive group raises questions in an environment where conservatives complain about big-tech bias and internet censorship.
Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei: A program manager at Soros’ Open Society Foundations in West Africa.
Evelyn Aswad (University of Oklahoma): U.S. law professor. Recipient of a grant from Knight Foundation, which has partnered with Soros’ Open Society Foundations. Aswad says corporations should align their “speech codes with international human rights law” and be guided by “international law on freedom of expression.”
Endy Bayuni: Jakarta Post editor. On the board of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta, headed by a “George Soros visiting practitioner chair” who previously worked at a Soros-founded group.
Catalina Botero-Marino (co-chair): Dean of a Colombian law school that received $1.3 million over two years from Soros’ Open Society Foundations. Serves on an expert panel of Inter-American Dialogue, funded in part by Soros’ Open Society Foundations. Also serves as an expert for Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression Project, funded in part by Open Society Foundations. Served as a board member of Article 19, which received $1.7 million from Open Society Foundations over two years.
Katherine Chen: Academic professor, journalist. Often retweets material critical of Donald Trump and supportive of Barack Obama.
Nighat Dad: Founder and executive director of the Digital Rights Foundation, which receives money from Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and is a project of Artists at Risk Connection, a project of Pen America, which is sponsored in part by Soros’ Open Society Foundations. Served on the board of the Soros-funded Dangerous Speech Project. Adviser on Amnesty International’s Technology and Human Rights Counsel, funded in part by Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
Jamal Greene (co-chair): Columbia University law school professor. (The Soros family and Foundations are well knownfunders of and partnerswithColumbia.) Recently served as aide to California Sen. Kamala Harris, who counts Soros among her donors. His Twitter account shows that he has sided firmly against President Trump.
Pamela Karlan: Stanford University Law professor. Member of the Soros founded and funded American Constitution Society, which takes a “progressive” view of the U.S. Constitution. Supported Trump impeachment of and has contributed to Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren.
Tawakkol Karman: Her organization, “Women Journalists Without Chains,” receives funds from Soros’ Open Society Foundations. She serves on the advisory council of Transparency International, which also receives funds from Soros’ group.