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.
By the Numbers
Regional Budget by Year
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A New Puerto Rico
“We’re More, and We’re Not Afraid”
It’s been two years since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. In the time since, historic protests have forced a hated governor from office—inaugurating a new era of reform and political mobilization.
Challenging Big Tech
Facebook’s Monopoly Power Threatens Democracy Itself
Facebooks monopoly power turns something as simple as logging on into a risk. It is time to reform social media platforms and lay the foundations for a true tech democracy.
Irresponsible and Inhumane
The Trump Administration’s Unconscionable Refugee Policy
A rumored cut in the number of refugees accepted into the United States is yet another example of how the Trump administration is failing to uphold basic values of decency and humanity, hurting the United States in the process.