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United States

In the United States, the Open Society Foundations work with organizations and individuals who seek to address profound racial, economic, and political inequalities, while funding efforts to prepare for the policy challenges of the future.


Offices and Foundations

Baltimore, United States

The Open Society Institute–Baltimore office, which serves as a field office for the Open Society Foundations' U.S. programs, opened in 1997.

New York, United States

The New York office is Open Society’s main grant-giving center, as well as the base for many global initiatives and thematic and regional programs.

Washington, United States

The Washington, D.C., office engages in advocacy aimed at influencing U.S. government policy on domestic and international issues such as civil liberties, criminal justice reform, human rights, transparency, and accountability.

  1. Baltimore, United States
  2. New York, United States
  3. Washington, United States
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By the Numbers

$109.8M 2019 Budget for the United States
10.1% Percentage of global budget
-3.7% Average annual change in budget since 2016

Regional Budget by Year

Explore our full budget by theme and region

Our History

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People hold hands as a sign of unity during a rally in front of Baltimore City Hall in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 3, 2015. © Andrew Burton/Getty

George Soros’s giving in the United States began in the 1980s with a focus on two issues—improving the quality of care for people with terminal illness, and reforming punitive drug policies. During the 1990s, this work expanded to include reform of the justice system, efforts to increase opportunities for African American males, and immigration. In 1998, Open Society launched a unique attempt to address an inter-linked nexus of social issues in a single city by setting up an autonomous city-based foundation in Baltimore.

Highlights of Our Work in the United States

Our Work

Coordinated by Open Society-U.S., our work in the United States focuses on immigration and criminal justice reform, improving democratic participation, and supporting free and independent media.

Immigration

A man holding his daughter in his arms, faces touching.
A father carries his young daughter from a bus station to the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, on July 3, 2018. © Ilana Panich-Linsman/The New York Times/Redux

We support a range of groups that work on immigration issues, from local and state organizations that provide frontline legal advice to individuals seeking asylum or facing deportation, to national groups such as the National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration that advocate for fundamental reform.  

Criminal Justice Reform

A young girl sitting astride a police motorcycle as the policeman looks on.
A young girl sits on a police motorcycle while the officer looks on in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 4, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota. © Melanie Stetson Freeman/Christian Science Monitor/Getty

The Open Society Foundations act as a global advocate for justice systems and policing that treat everyone equally, and which reduce unnecessary and punitive use of incarceration. In the United States, this mission is particularly vital. We support groups such as the ACLU and the Equal Justice Initiative that challenge a system that is overly reliant on prisons and which disproportionately prosecutes and punishes people of color—often because of the unequal application of anti-drug laws. We also advocate for an approach to policing that emphasizes community engagement and accountability, particularly for the use of force.  

Democratic Participation

Despite the country’s democratic tradition, politics in the United States have been marked by partisan assaults on voting rights, particularly of African Americans, and a focus on campaign spending that seeks to reduce the role of money in determining political outcomes. The Open Society Foundations support groups such as the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Faith in Action, which contest efforts to constrain voter participation and to bolster civic engagement. We have also funded groups that use new technology to explore ways to engage people on issues that concern them.

A young boy sitting atop another man's shoulder in a crowd speaks into a megaphone.
A young boy uses a megaphone to address hundreds of demonstrators during a protest against police brutality outside a police station in Baltimore, Maryland on April 22, 2015. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Information and Media

Dozens of people work on their laptops in a large office.
Student journalists involved with ProPublica’s Electionland project work during the U.S. midterm elections in New York, New York, on November 6, 2018. © Erin Lefevre for ProPublica

From efforts to preserve net neutrality to exploring the impact of internet algorithms on social and political life, the Open Society Foundations support efforts to understand the implications of information technology on the way we live. The Foundations also continue to support efforts to protect journalistic freedoms, through groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, and to ensure that market forces do not curtail independent investigative reporting, by helping to fund newsrooms such as ProPublica and the Center for Investigative Reporting.  

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