The Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, are the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights. George Soros opened his first international foundation in Hungary in 1984. Today, the Open Society Foundations support a vast array of projects in more than 120 countries, providing hundreds of grants every year through a network of national and regional foundations and offices.
George Soros, the founder and chair of the Open Society Foundations, began his philanthropic work in 1979, funding scholarships for black African university students in South Africa and for East European dissidents to study in the West. Today, his Foundations fund groups and projects in more than 120 countries.
We believe that the solutions to the national, regional, and global challenges we face demand the free exchange of ideas and thought, and that everyone should have a voice in shaping the policies that affect them.
We therefore work to build vibrant and inclusive societies, grounded in respect for human rights and the rule of law, whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.
We do this by supporting a diverse array of independent voices and independent organizations around the world—the civil society that provides a creative and dynamic link between the governing and the governed.
We have a special focus on supporting those who face discrimination purely for who they are, such as Europe’s Roma people, and for those who find themselves pushed to the margins of mainstream society—such as drug users, prisoners, or sex workers.
The Open Society Foundations are the largest private human rights funder in the world, working to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Over the last 37 years, the Open Society Foundations have had expenditures of more than $15 billion.
George SorosFounder / Chair
George Soros launched his philanthropic work in South Africa in 1979. Since then he has given over $32 billion to fund the Open Society Foundations, which work in over 120 countries around the world.
Alexander SorosGlobal Board Deputy Chair
Alexander Soros is the deputy chair of the Open Society Global Board and a member of the Open Society-U.S. Advisory Board.
Pedro Vieira AbramovayRegional Director of Latin America and the Caribbean and Director of the Latin America Program, Latin America Program
Joe BehayloDirector, Grants Management
Julie McCarthyCo-Director of the Economic Justice Program, Economic Justice Program
Thomas HilbinkDirector, Grant Making Support Group
In addition to our national and regional foundations, the Open Society Foundations’ work is supported by a network of thematic and geographic programs, whose activities include funding, research, advocacy, and litigation.
Offices and Foundations
The Open Society Foundations form a global network of entities and programs committed to local knowledge and national expertise. Our network includes national and regional foundations, as well as programs with regional or global reach, operating in more than 100 countries, including hubs in Europe and the United States.
The boards of the Open Society Foundations guide the strategy, budgets, and direction of our work. Comprised of advocates for open society values from around the world, our boards provide expert advice and oversight.