Foundation For Defense of Democracies Action



Washington, DC

Tax-Exempt Status:



Foreign Policy Lobbying Group




Toby Dershowitz

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $466,600

Expenses: $510,541

Assets: $47,871

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Foundation For Defense of Democracies Action is an activist and lobbying group which pushes for greater American involvement in international affairs. It is the sister organization of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a policy research and development institute which promotes an activist United States foreign policy. 1 2

Parent Organization

Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) was founded following the 2001 World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks. Since then, it has offered its research and advocacy to the George W. Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations. 3 The FDD maintains a variety of initiatives analyzing media, cybersecurity and technology, economics and finance, and other spheres, as well as nations which the organization considers to be a priority for American foreign policy. 4 The FDD supports continued support for Israel and an antagonistic stance towards its adversaries in the region, as well as the targeting of private companies who choose not to participate in the Israeli economy. 5

In addition, the organization endorses an confrontational approach to China, arguing that the Chinese-claimed Taiwan and Hong Kong are “American democratic allies.” 6 The FDD also ties its recommended policy towards Russia to other perceived American adversaries such as China and Iran, arguing that these and other “illiberal” nations are a threat to American global dominance. The organization condemns the prospect of a Russian “sphere of influence” in Eastern Europe, claiming that Russia is engaged in “imperialist aggression,” while defending the existence of what it calls “the American-led, liberal international order.” 7

FDD Action Priorities

Foundation For Defense of Democracies Action promotes policies which match its parent organization’s stance towards its preferred American allies. 8 In March 2022, FDD Action joined Heritage Action for America, the advocacy arm of the right-of-center Heritage Foundation, as well as a number of other pro-Israel groups, in endorsing a congressional resolution to condemn President Joe Biden’s plans to resume negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. The FDD Action-backed statement on the issue claimed that President Donald Trump’s to abandon the Obama-administration-negotiated “Iran Deal” formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would “bring stability to the Middle East.” FDD Action and its partners also oppose the involvement of Russia in helping implement the JCPOA. 9

In February 2023, FDD Action once again joined Heritage Action to endorse the proposed Preventing Malign Chinese Communist Party Influence on Academic Institutions Act, which seeks to increase transparency requirements for universities which received funding from the government of China or its political affiliates. 10

In March 2023, FDD Action released a statement defending continued United States funding for Ukraine and its conflict with Russia. The statement cited House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and his claim that “no significant acts of fraud or misuse” had taken place. 11 Two months prior, reports of embezzlement and corruption at high levels within the Ukrainian state had surfaced, and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy had acknowledged that a number of top officials had been investigated and fired. 12


Toby Dershowitz is the senior vice president for government relations and strategy at the FDD. She oversees FDD Action programs. Dershowitz has written for a variety of news and foreign affairs publications, including the left-of-center New York Times, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and the left-wing Huffington Post. She also founded the Dershowitz Group, a consulting and public relations firm. 13


When FDD Action launched in 2019, it received a budget of $230,000. This grew to more than $466,000 in 2020. 14


  1. “About FDD Action.” FDD Action. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  2. “About FDD.” FDD. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  3. [1]“About FDD.” FDD. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  4. [1]“Projects.” FDD. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  5. [1]“Israel Program.” FDD. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  6. “China Program.” FDD. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  7. “Russia Program.” FDD. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  8. “Projects.” FDD. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  9. [1]“Congresswoman Tenney Joins Colleagues in Condemning JCPOA 2.0 and Ongoing IRGC Terrorism.” United States Representative Claudia Tenney. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  10. Zachary Bordner. “Pfluger legislation to end Chinese influence in American universities.” ABC 2 KMID/FOX 24 KPEJ. February 23, 2023. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  11. Maseh Zarif. “Funding for Ukraine is far from unchecked charity.” FDD Action. March 14, 2023. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  12. [1]Tara Law. “What to Know About the Corruption Scandals Sweeping Ukraine’s Government.” Time. January 24, 2023. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  13. “Toby Dershowitz.” FDD Action. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  14. FDD Action. ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed April 24, 2023.
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Foundation For Defense of Democracies Action

PO Box 35575
Washington, DC