Chloe Cockburn


Open Philanthropy Project, Accountable Justice Action Fund, and Bia-Echo Foundation

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Chloe Cockburn is the criminal justice program officer at the Open Philanthropy Project (OPP), a grantmaking foundation funded and managed by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna. She is also the director and a board member of the Bia-Echo Foundation, and the creator of the Accountable Justice Action Fund.


In 2006, while at law school, Chloe Cockburn served as a summer law clerk at the Public Defender Service. After graduating in 2007, she worked for the Vera Institute of Justice, a New Orleans-based left-of-center legal advocate. In 2008, Cockburn became a law clerk in the Eastern District of New York. 1

In 2009, Cockburn became a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) where she researched opportunities to launch lawsuits against the police and penal system on racial grounds to enact criminal justice reforms. She left the following year to work for the private firm, Neufeld Scheck and Brustin, which specializes in challenging law enforcement on wrongful convictions. In 2012, Cockburn returned to the ACLU and joined the group’s advocacy and policy counsel to end mass incarceration. 2

At some point, Cockburn became director and board member of the Bia-Echo Foundation, a left-of-center grantmaking foundation. The organization focuses on three areas: abortion advocacy, environmental protection, and criminal justice reform. 3

Open Philanthropy Project

In 2015, Chloe Cockburn joined the Open Philanthropy Project as the criminal justice program officer. OPP is a grantmaking foundation which operates on effective altruism principles. Since 2015, OPP has made 322 grants worth $128,121,016 towards criminal justice reform organizations. 4

On June 2, 2020, Cockburn wrote a Twitter thread with a list of organizations that she considered to be the most efficient recipients of donations for criminal justice reform. She later rewrote the list as a memo to potential donors, and Vox wrote an article on Cockburn entitled, “A criminal justice expert’s guide to donating effectively right now.” 5 The list consisted of 25 left-of-center and far-left organizations, many of which are connected to Black Lives Matter. The listed organizations were:6

As of October 2020, OPP has donated to 11 of these organizations: Color of Change, The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, Real Justice PAC, Citizen Action of New York, Michigan Liberation, Justice LA, Voice of the Experienced, Southsiders Organizing for Unity and Liberation, Project Nia, Essie Justice Group, Equity and Transformation, and the Texas Organizing Project. 7


Chloe Cockburn is the granddaughter of Claud Cockburn, a prominent journalist and a leading member of the British Communist Party. 8 Claud was best known for his opposition to the British government’s policy of appeasement, and his coverage of the Spanish Civil War, both of which were believed to be Communist propaganda efforts by critics. Historian D.C. Watts noted that Claud’s writing on appeasement aligned closely with Soviet foreign policy goals. 9 According to George Orwell, Claud’s work on the Spanish Civil War was filled with inaccuracies and blatant lies to downplay the strength of the nationalist forces to entice more foreign aid for the Soviet Union-backed republicans. In one instance, Claud claimed to have witnessed a battle which never took place. In Homage to Catalonia, Orwell outright accused Claud of being an agent of the British Communist Party, and by extension, of the Soviet Union. 10

Chloe’s father is Andrew Cockburn, a filmmaker, author, and the Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine. 11

Chloe’s uncle is the late Alexander Cockburn. Alexander was a journalist who edited Newspunch and wrote for The Nation and The Week. He was an open Marxist and socialist, and later identified as an anarchist. 12 Another uncle, Patrick Cockburn, is also a journalist. He has worked for The Independent and the Financial Times, and is best known for his reporting on the Iraq War. 13

Chloe has two siblings, including actress and director Olivia Wilde. 14


  1. “Chloe Cockburn.” LinkedIn. Accessed October 4, 2020.
  2. “Chloe Cockburn.” LinkedIn. Accessed October 4, 2020.
  3. “Chloe Cockburn.” Bio-Echa Foundation. Accessed October 4, 2020.
  4. “Grants Database.” Open Philanthropy. Accessed October 5, 2020.
  5. Matthews, Dylan. A criminal justice expert’s guide to donating effectively right now.” Vox. June 9, 2020. Accessed October 5, 2020.
  6. “Chloe Cockburn thread.” Twitter. June 20, 2020. Accessed October 5, 2020.
  7. “Grants Database.” Open Philanthropy. Accessed October 5, 2020.
  8. “National Archives: Francis Claud Cockburn – Security File.” The National Archives. December 31, 1940. Accessed October 4, 2020.
  9. Watt, Donald Cameron. “Rumors as Evidence.” Russia War, Peace and Diplomacy. Weidenfeld & Nicholson. 2004. Accessed October 4, 2020.
  10. “Claud Cockburn.” Spartacus Educational. Accessed October 4, 2020.
  11. “Andrew Cockburn.” Prabook. Accessed October 4, 2020.
  12. “Five Days that Shook the World: Seattle and Beyond.” C-SPAN. Accessed October 4, 2020.
  13. “Patrick Cockburn.” Independent. Accessed October 4, 2020.
  14. “Olivia Wilde’s son is ‘hard’ on his younger sister.” AP News. June 15, 2017. Accessed October 4, 2020.
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