Non-profit

HJW Foundation

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

23-3012622

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2012):

Revenue: $26,603,589
Expenses: $15,701,819
Assets: $302,517,606

Formation:

2013

Status:

Defunct

President:

Molly McUsic

Type:

Grantmaking foundation

HJW Foundation, or Hansjoerg Wyss Foundation, was a left-of-center grantmaking foundation founded in 1999 by Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss. [1] In 2013, Wyss dissolved HJW Foundation and merged its $283,909,776 in assets into the Wyss Foundation. The HJW Foundation’s president was Molly McUsic, who is as of April 2021 the president of the Wyss Foundation.

Hansjorg Wyss was the HJW Foundation’s chairman. Wyss was the founder of Synthes, a biotechnology supply company which Wyss sold to Johnson and Johnson for over $20 billion. [2] Wyss has become a major donor to left-of-center causes, particularly the philanthropic and political work of the Clinton family.

Grants

In 2013, the HJW Foundation’s final year, the organization made grants to 31 organizations totaling almost $37 million, with most grantees receiving amounts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and seven groups receiving over $1 million. Left-of-center recipients included the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, the Citizen Engagement Law Education Fund, the Center for American Progress, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Center for Responsible Lending, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Community Catalyst, the Constitutional Accountability Center, Demos, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, the National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, the New Organizing Institute Education Fund, the New Venture Fund, Project Vote, and the Rockefeller Family Fund. [3]

The largest recipient was the University of Zurich, which received over $17 million, followed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Foundation Beyeler, the ACLU, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. [4]

Controversy

Center for American Progress

HJW Foundation had close ties to the Center for American Progress (CAP). Hansjorg Wyss sat on the board of CAP. [5] From 2011-2013, HJW Foundation and the Wyss Foundation gave $5 million to the CAP. [6] HJW Foundation program manager Andrew Blotky was also the director of legal progress at CAP. [7]

In 2013, HJW Foundation paid $87,083 in consulting fees to CAP founder John Podesta. In 2014, Podesta became an advisor to President Barack Obama. The conservative Daily Caller accused Podesta of potential ethics violations for advocating for policies favored by HJW Foundation and Hansjorg Wyss. Podesta denied any undue influence from Wyss, and claimed that he simply agreed with his political views. [8][9]

Sexual Harassment and Settlement Violation

At some point in the 2010s, HJW Foundation development officer Jaqueline Long sued Hansjorg Wyss for sexual harassment. Wyss allegedly repeatedly demanded sex and forced himself on Long. To keep Long silent, he supposedly gave her gifts, favored her recommendations for charitable grants, and paid for Long’s daughter’s drug addiction treatment. Wyss maintained that the relationship was consensual. Long and Wyss reached a $1.5 million private settlement which included a non-disclosure agreement. [10][11]

In 2015, Wyss asked the Boulder, Colorado, city government to hold Long in contempt for violating the terms of their settlement by continually speaking about her experiences in public, thereby violating the non-disclosure agreement. Long was arrested and charged a penalty for each violation and was required to return the $1.5 million settlement. Eventually, a new settlement was reached. [12][13]

In June 2015, the Daily Caller published an article on the legal dispute and connected Wyss, a major donor to the Clinton Foundation, to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In response, Wyss sent a letter to the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) demanding a retraction and threatening a lawsuit for libel. The DCNF refused to retract or change the article. [14]

References

  1. “HJW Foundation.” HJW Foundation | Washington, DC | Cause IQ. Accessed April 24, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/hansjoerg-wyss-foundation,233012622/. ^
  2. “Hansjorg Wyss Net Worth.” TheRichest. Accessed December 18, 2016. http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celebrity-business/entrepreneurs/hansjorg-wyss-net-worth/ ^
  3. “HJW Foundation Form 990.” Foundation Center. Accessed April 18, 2021. http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990pf_pdf_archive/233/233012622/233012622_201312_990PF.pdf. ^
  4. “HJW Foundation Form 990.” Foundation Center. Accessed April 18, 2021. http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990pf_pdf_archive/233/233012622/233012622_201312_990PF.pdf. ^
  5. “Montana Wildlife Federation.” Green Decoys. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://greendecoys.com/decoys/montana-wildlife-federation/. ^
  6. Shogren, Elizabeth. “John Podesta: Legacy maker.” High Country News. May 25, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://www.hcn.org/issues/47.9/john-podesta-legacy-maker. ^
  7. “Andrew Blotky.” LinkedIn. April 18, 2021. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewblotky/. ^
  8. “HJW Foundation Form 990.” Foundation Center. Accessed April 18, 2021. http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990pf_pdf_archive/233/233012622/233012622_201312_990PF.pdf. ^
  9. Shogren, Elizabeth. “John Podesta: Legacy maker.” High Country News. May 25, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://www.hcn.org/issues/47.9/john-podesta-legacy-maker. ^
  10. Pollock, Richard. “Clinton Foundation Donor Threatens Abused Former Lover With Jail, DCNF With Litigation.” Daily Caller. July 29, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://dailycaller.com/2015/07/29/4655420/. ^
  11. Malfitano, Nicolas. “Swiss billionaire says former employee who alleged sexual abuse violated settlement.” Pennsylvania Record. September 1, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://pennrecord.com/stories/510635561-swiss-billionaire-says-former-employee-who-alleged-sexual-abuse-violated-settlement. ^
  12. Pollock, Richard. “Clinton Foundation Donor Threatens Abused Former Lover With Jail, DCNF With Litigation.” Daily Caller. July 29, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://dailycaller.com/2015/07/29/4655420/. ^
  13. Malfitano, Nicolas. “Swiss billionaire says former employee who alleged sexual abuse violated settlement.” Pennsylvania Record. September 1, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://pennrecord.com/stories/510635561-swiss-billionaire-says-former-employee-who-alleged-sexual-abuse-violated-settlement. ^
  14. Malfitano, Nicolas. “Swiss billionaire says former employee who alleged sexual abuse violated settlement.” Pennsylvania Record. September 1, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://pennrecord.com/stories/510635561-swiss-billionaire-says-former-employee-who-alleged-sexual-abuse-violated-settlement. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Hansjorg Wyss
    Officer/Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 1999

  • 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
    2012 Dec Form PF $26,603,589 $15,701,819 $302,517,606 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $201,067,984 $13,227,185 $291,615,836 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    HJW Foundation

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