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Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is a US charitable foundation created to fund programs that promote democracy, reduce poverty and promote international understanding (see mission statement). It was founded in 1936 with a grant from Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company, and was headed by McGeorge Bundy from 1966 to 1979.

Some critics have charged that the Foundation is a front organisation for the CIA, claiming to distribute funds for programs in countries where US interests are threatened by local groups struggling for human rights and democracy. By making donations and then putting conditions on how funds are spent, or by obtaining personal information on human rights activists, its critics allege that the Foundation and the CIA together often succeed in diverting intellectual and organising energy of human rights activists into useless or ineffective avenues, or in dividing different human rights activist groups from one another. As former Ford Foundation president Richard Bisell acknowledged, the purpose of the Foundation was not "so much to defeat the leftist intellectuals in dialectical combat as to lure them away from their positions".

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