Non-profit

Federation of American Scientists (FAS)

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

23-7185827

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $6,756,159
Expenses: $2,874,949
Assets: $9,565,658

Federation of American Scientists (FAS) is a nonprofit research and advocacy group focused on issues relating to both technological and global security.

History

The FAS was founded in 1945 by atomic researchers following the “detonation of the atomic bomb.” [1]

On January 23, 2020, the FAS began a “Day One Project” that would help select and place “key science and technology positions” within the Executive Branch of the United States government. One of the over 20 groups that helped fund the project was Schmidt Futures, a self-described “philanthropic initiative,” but in reality is an LLC actually registered under the name Future Action Network, that was started in 2017 by Schmidt and his wife Wendy. Due to the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) of 1970, it directly cannot fund positions within the federal government. [2] IPAs (after the 1970 law), or fellows selected by the FAS, have previously served, or serve as of December 2022, in positions within the Biden Administration including White House Council of Economic Advisers, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of Evaluation Sciences in the General Services Administration. [3]

Controversy

According to a Politico report released on December 22, 2022, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt had been using FAS to fund the salaries of over two dozen Biden Administration official positions. The same report showed that the FAS had selected fellows, privately funded by the organization, that were present in “key policy making areas.” [4] A spokesperson for Schmidt defended both of these revelations, claiming:

“While it is appropriate to review the relationship between the public and private sectors to ensure compliance and ethics oversight, there are people with the expertise and experience to make monumental change and advance our country, and they should have the opportunity to work across sectors to maintain our competitive advantage for public benefit.” [5]

At the same time, a spokesperson for the White House stated “Neither Eric Schmidt nor the Federation of American Scientists exert influence on policy matters. Any suggestion otherwise is false. We enacted the most stringent ethics guidelines of any administration in history to ensure our policy processes are free from undue influence.” [6]

IPAs (after the 1970 law), or fellows selected by the FAS, have previously served, or serve as of December 2022, in positions within the Biden Administration including White House Council of Economic Advisers, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of Evaluation Sciences in the General Services Administration. [7]

A spokesperson for Schmidt Futures released a statement claiming that no more than 30% of funds for the Day One Project comes from the company, same with the other nonprofits that fund it, whilst also asserting Schmidt Futures “help[s] galvanize other donors and partners in business and in government to help further the public good.” In addition he stated, “It’s not illegal, and it is with the best of intents…when it comes to this work, this is literally coming from him wanting to build a better world and Schmidt Futures as well…I don’t believe that we have any more undue influence than anyone else in [The Day One Project].” [8]

According to a Politico report from March 2022, former head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Eric Lander, whom was also a close friend of Schmidt, had resigned following a White House investigation that showed he bullied department employees, one being Rachael Wallace, the then-general counsel for WHOST, for raising concerns about Schmidt’s influence over OSTP’s priorities. [9]

Leadership

Gilman Louie is the chair of the FAS board, as of 2009, and since 2021 has been the CEO of America’s Frontier Fund (AFF), a nonprofit venture capital fund focused on, “revitalizing local communities through innovation and manufacturing.” [10] The AFF has received funding from Eric Schmidt and Schmidt Futures, and in May 2022 Louie was named to President Biden’s Intelligence Advisory Board. [11]

References

  1. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
  2. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
  3. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
  4. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
  5. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
  6. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
  7. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
  8. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
  9. Thompson, Alex. “A Google billionaire’s fingerprints are all over Biden’s science office.” Politico, March 28, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/28/google-billionaire-joe-biden-science-office-00020712 ^
  10. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
  11. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/22/eric-schmidt-joe-biden-administration-00074160 ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1972

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Jun Form 990 $6,756,159 $2,874,949 $9,565,658 $417,595 Y $5,993,596 $28,695 $109,569 $165,000 PDF
    2019 Jun Form 990 $2,190,213 $1,638,629 $6,083,790 $222,763 Y $1,855,531 $28,000 $122,436 $151,250 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $1,479,501 $1,236,460 $5,252,829 $197,133 Y $1,381,858 $0 $102,525 $188,694 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $1,486,251 $1,441,697 $4,669,624 $105,620 Y $629,988 $146,151 $85,135 $171,171 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $1,740,062 $1,355,747 $4,986,652 $199,955 Y $1,605,208 $109,534 $69,746 $170,671 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $1,128,883 $1,268,527 $4,753,145 $224,638 Y $989,819 $112,449 $62,323 $172,207 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $1,889,660 $1,648,989 $4,943,011 $241,458 Y $1,149,800 $414,255 $54,845 $156,967 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $1,164,575 $1,932,949 $4,356,148 $278,149 Y $779,434 $187,926 $71,622 $167,489 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $2,524,612 $2,440,067 $4,906,201 $342,494 Y $2,161,991 $355,155 $48,509 $283,632 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $1,869,840 $2,554,947 $4,893,140 $511,169 Y $1,945,965 $260,038 $146,441 $309,562 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Federation of American Scientists (FAS)

    1725 DESALES ST NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-4406