Dark Money in U.S. Foreign Policy

Undisclosed money from special interests seeking to influence U.S. foreign policy is emerging as a shared area of concern by all three branches of government as well as advocates for transparency in U.S. politics. The Justice Department, Congress, and the Intelligence Community have all raised the alarm about foreign governments quietly funding think tanks that advise U.S. policymakers on important matters of American foreign policy. Journalists and transparency advocates report that, alongside foreign governments, domestic interest groups such as the weapons industry are omnipresent sources of funding in Washington’s think tank and policy analysis ecosystem. These often undisclosed sources of funding pose serious questions about whether U.S. policy is being shaped by special interests at the expense of U.S. national security.  Please join a webinar hosted by the Quincy Institute for a discussion with Washington Post National Security reporter John Hudson; OpenSecrets Editorial & Investigations Manager Anna Massoglia; Vox Senior Foreign Policy Writer Jonathan Guyer and researcher and writer Brett Heinz. Eli Clifton, senior advisor at the Quincy Institute, will moderate.


John Hudson

John Hudson is a national security reporter at the Washington Post covering the State Department and diplomacy. He previously covered foreign affairs for Foreign Policy magazine and BuzzFeed News, and has reported from several geopolitical hotspots, including Afghanistan, Ukraine, Pakistan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Colombia, China, and Georgia. In 2008, he covered the August war between Russia and Georgia from Tbilisi and the breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Anna Massoglia

Anna Massoglia is the Editorial and Investigations Manager at OpenSecrets, where she oversees editorial strategy. Her research focuses have included foreign influence, political advertising and investigations into opaque spending networks. Anna holds dual degrees in psychology and political science from North Carolina State University with a concentration in American politics. In 2015, she received a J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. Previously, Anna worked as a research analyst and editor at Bloomberg BNA.

Jonathan Guyer

Jonathan Guyer is a senior foreign policy writer at Vox. From 2019 to 2021, he worked at the American Prospect, where as managing editor he reported on Biden’s and Trump's foreign policy teams. His accountability stories have won top prizes from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, Society of Professional Journalists, and Military Reporters and Editors Association.

Brett Heinz

Brett Heinz is a political researcher and freelance writer based in Washington, DC, where his work focuses on economic justice, political inequality, and US foreign policy. He is currently pursuing his Masters degree at American University, and previously worked for the Center for Economic and Policy Research. In 2021, he co-authored "The Military-Industrial-Think Tank Complex," a report from the Revolving Door Project which analyzed conflicts of interest at a major foreign policy think tank. His work can be found at brettheinz.com.

Eli Clifton (Moderator)

Eli Clifton is an investigative journalist-at-large at Responsible Statecraft and a senior advisor at the Quincy Institute. His work focuses on money in politics and U.S. foreign policy. He previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service. Clifton is co-author of the Center for American Progress’s report Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America. Eli has been a fellow at The Nation Institute and the Type Media Center. His work has appeared in The Guardian, PBS/Frontline’s Tehran bureau, The Intercept, the South China Morning Post, Right Web, LobeLog, Salon, Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Slate, Gawker, and ForeignPolicy.com. Eli holds a bachelor’s degree from Bates College and a master’s degree in international political economy from the London School of Economics.