A New Era of Foreign Lobbying Transparency

Between U.S. government efforts and the work of outside researchers, the American public now has greater insights into the work of Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) registrants than ever before. The Quincy Institute’s just released brief, “Foreign Lobbying in the U.S.“, provides an overview of an extraordinary new tranche of FARA data the Department of Justice made publicly available earlier this year. At the same time, researchers at OpenSecrets have been providing the public with unfettered access to FARA spending data through their “Foreign Lobby Watch,” tool and Professors at Harvard’s Business School and the London Business School are in the midst of a completely unprecedented FARA research project that will ultimately make more than 50 years of FARA data publicly available for the first time.

To discuss their research and more, the Quincy Institute held a conversation with Anna Massoglia, Editorial & Investigations Manager at OpenSecrets, Max Miller, Assistant Professor in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School, and Nick Cleveland-Stout, Junior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute. Ben Freeman, Director of the Democratizing Foreign Policy Program at the Quincy Institute, moderated the conversation.


Anna Massoglia

Anna Massoglia is the Editorial and Investigations Manager at OpenSecrets, which tracks the influence of money in U.S. politics. Her research areas also include foreign influence and investigations into opaque spending networks. Anna holds degrees in political science and psychology from North Carolina State University and a J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia School of Law.

Max Miller

Max Miller is an Assistant Professor in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School. His research lies at the intersection of finance, macroeconomics, and political economy. His recent work has focused on the importance of political connections for foreign countries and firms in the United States. Miller holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the Wharton School and a B.B.A. in Finance from Emory University's Goizueta Business School.

Nick Cleveland-Stout

Nick Cleveland-Stout is a Junior Research Fellow in the Democratizing Foreign Policy program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Previously, he conducted research on U.S.-Brazil relations as a 2023 Fulbright fellow at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, with a particular focus on the influence of American think tanks in Brazil. His work has appeared in Responsible Statecraft, The Nation, The Intercept, The Brazilian Report, Inkstick, and The National Interest.

Ben Freeman

Ben Freeman is Director of the Democratizing Foreign Policy program at the Quincy Institute. He investigates money in politics, defense spending, and foreign influence in America. He is the author of The Foreign Policy Auction, which was the first book to systematically analyze the foreign influence industry in the United States. Before joining the Quincy Institute, Ben founded the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy, served as Deputy Director of the National Security program at Third Way, and was a National Security Fellow at the Project On Government Oversight.