The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation is a family foundation run by the descendants of Vernon K. Krieble, inventor of the super-glue Loctite. The foundation supports a variety of center-right nonprofits and has played a role in the debate over American immigration policy.
In 1956, Vernon Krieble, a chemistry professor at Trinity College in Connecticut, invented a glue that could firmly seal pieces of metal to each other. With the help of his son, Robert H. Krieble, Vernon Krieble marketed the sealant as Loctite and created Loctite Corp. to sell his invention. 1
Robert Krieble ran the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation from 1984 until his death in 1997. Krieble was a member of the Heritage Foundation board between 1978-96 and chaired Heritage’s finance committee between 1987-96. 2 Krieble also sat on the boards of the Free Congress Foundation and Empower America and created the Krieble Institute, which supported democratic movements in Eastern Europe before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Richard W. Rahn, chief economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the 1980s, noted that Krieble made 80 trips to Eastern Europe in the 1980s, donated computers and fax machines to dissidents, and paid for future Russian premier Boris Yeltsin’s first trip to America. Krieble, Rahn wrote, “spent millions of dollars of his own money […] on political and economic training, to help ensure that qualified people would be available to serve in the new non-communist governments” that emerged after the collapse of the USSR. 3
Helen Krieble ran the Krieble Foundation from 1997 until her death in 2021. She sat on the boards of the Free Congress Foundation, the Leadership Program of the Rockies, the Hartford Art School, the Wadsworth Atheneum, and the Florence Griswold Museum. 4
Krieble Foundation executive director Shari Williams told the Denver Post in 2005 that the foundation supported “groups that are promoting free markets and the vision of our Founding Fathers.” 5
Helen Krieble was an advocate of what she called the “red card solution” to immigration reform, in which immigrants to the U.S. would submit their personal information to websites on which employers could post jobs and hire immigrants who were not citizens. Applicants’ work activity would be tracked and recorded before they could obtain their green cards, and they could stay in the U.S. if they kept working. She argued that conservatives should support red cards because they would “mean opportunities for businesses to get workers they need, for workers to find legal jobs and earn good money,” while liberals should like that the cards “gives workers upward mobility, portability, and renewal as long as they stay employed and productive.” 6
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) supported Krieble’s proposals in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries and mentioned them in presidential debates. 7
The largest grants the Vernon Krieble Foundation made in 2019 were to the Leadership Program of the Rockies ($300,000), TCI Education Foundation ($50,000), Bill of Rights Institute ($40,000), Yankee Institute for Public Policy ($37,500) and Radio America ($36,500). 8
- “About The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation,” https://krieblefoundation.org/about/ (accessed March 24, 2022). Loctite was acquired by Henkel in 1997. “Robert H. Krieble, 80, Dies: Was Co-Founder of Loctite,” New York Times, May 18, 1997.
- “Robert H. Kreible, 80, Was Co-Founder of Loctite,” New York Times, May 18, 1997.
- Hon. Newt Gingrich, “Tribute to Bob Krieble,” Congressional Record, May 13, 1997, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-1997-05-13/html/CREC-1997-05-13-pt1-PgE902.htm (accessed March 24, 2022)
- “Helen Elizabeth Krieble,” Hartford Courant, July 4, 2021, https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/hartfordcourant/name/helen-krieble-obituary?id=10824672 (accessed March 24, 2022)
- Michael McCollum, “Krieble Foundation Funds Pro-Market Research,” Denver Post, December 14, 2005.
- Helen Krieble, “Guest Worker Permits Should Be At The Heart of US Immigration rReform “ The Guardian, February 21, 2013, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/feb/21/immigration-reform-guest-worker-permits (accessed March 24, 2022)
- Naftali Bendavid, “Gingrich Takes Risk with Immigration Stance,” Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2011.
- 2019 Vernon K. Kreible Foundation from 990.