George C. Marshall Institute

Logo of en:George Marshall Institute (link)


Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2014):

Revenue: $319,092
Expenses: $489,454
Assets: $820,494




Defunct right-of-center environmental and defense policy organization


John Hamre (former)

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George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) is a now-inactive right-of-center think tank that focused on environmental policy and national defense. GMI argued that human activity had a limited role in climate change, and after taking that controversial position, GMI lost funding and eventually dissolved. 1

Founding and History

In 1984, former National Academy of Science president, Frederick Seitz; NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies founder, Robert Jastrow; and the retiring director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, William Nierenberg formed George C. Marshall Institute. The scientists initially founded the organization to promote and defend the Strategic Defense Initiative, a national anti-ballistic missile defense program popularly known as “Star Wars” launched by then-President Ronald Reagan. GMI spent its early years focused on the threat posed to the United States by the Soviet Union. In 1987, Jastrow argued in National Review that the Soviet Union would overtake the United States as a global leader by the early 1990s. When the Soviet Union collapsed, GMI pivoted to begin addressing the rise of environmentalism, arguing against the idea that human activity was responsible for climate change. 2

Critics accused GMI of publishing reports challenging the role of human activity in causing climate change at the request of representatives from the oil industry, from which GMI had received donations. 3 GMI accused climate scientist Benjamin Santer, publisher of the Second Assessment Report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claiming that human activity was responsible for climate change of committing fraud in the published paper, though such accusations were not substantiated. 4

GMI dissolved in 2015, citing difficulties in fundraising due to its association with unpopular positions on climate change. GMI transferred its defense policy work and assets to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and formed the CO2 Coalition, a new nonprofit organization, to continue its work on climate change. 5

Financial Information

Before it dissolved, George C. Marshall Institute accepted funding from a number of right-of-center foundations and organizations, including the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Exxon Education Foundation, the H.B. Earhart Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Gelman Education Foundation, the Fieldstead Foundation, the Historical Research Foundation, and the Charles and Jean Brunie Foundation. 6

In 2015, the Institute’s final year of operation, GMI reported $309,750 in revenue, of which $279,150 came from contributions and grants and $23,600 came from investment income. GMI also reported $1,086,309 in expenses, of which grants accounted for $670,461 and employee compensation accounted for $157,984. Most of GMI’s grants came from the disbursement of its $792,885 in assets that occurred when the organization dissolved. 7


  1. Vaidyanathan, Gayathri. “Think Tank That Cast Doubt on Climate Change Science Morphs into Smaller One.” E&E News. December 10, 2015. Accessed January 27, 2021.
  2. Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. “Distorting Science While Invoking Science.”, September 19, 2010. Archived from the original September 19, 2010. Accessed January 27, 2021.
  3. Keane, Phoebe. “How the Oil Industry Made Us Doubt Climate Change.” BBC News. BBC, September 19, 2020.
  4. Oreskes, Naomi. “Why Science Failed to Stop Climate Change.” Salon., November 15, 2019.
  5. Vaidyanathan, Gayathri. “Think Tank That Cast Doubt on Climate Change Science Morphs into Smaller One.” E&E News. December 10, 2015. Accessed January 27, 2021.
  6. “Recent Funders.” George C. Marshall Institute, 2000.
  7. George C. Marshall Institute, IRS (Form 990), 2015, Part 1.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: January 1, 1985

  • 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
    2014 Dec Form 990 $319,092 $489,454 $820,494 $27,609 N $303,630 $1,024 $3,184 $155,072 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $508,943 $498,150 $980,010 $16,763 N $496,182 $289 $472 $180,456 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,406,633 $615,130 $1,219,208 $267,908 N $1,379,421 $0 $212 $179,124 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $539,428 $523,396 $252,800 $98,975 N $473,330 $0 $0 $149,833 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    George C. Marshall Institute

    1601 N KENT ST
    ARLINGTON, VA 22209