New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom, who tracks foundation and charitable giving for the Times, gushed over George Soros in a story Wednesday on the new leader of “his unconventional philanthropic empire”: “Criminal Justice Expert Expected to Lead Soros Foundations.”
Through his Open Society Institute, Soros has invested heavily in left-wing groups Moveon.org and the Center for American Progress. Although his philanthropy and fierce rhetoric and political activism clearly mark the billionaire moneyman on the left, Strom is averse to putting an ideological label on Soros in her coverage.
On Wednesday, George Soros, the billionaire investor, is expected to name Christopher Stone, a well-known expert on criminal justice, the new leader of his unconventional philanthropic empire.
Mr. Stone, a professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, will fully take the helm in July of the Open Society Foundations, a sprawling constellation of more than 30 organizations that operate in places as diverse as Baltimore, Jakarta, the Kremlin and Congress.
Mr. Soros has never endowed his collection of foundations, but he often gives away enough money in a year to make Open Society the most generous philanthropy in the country after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This year, for example, it is on track to give away about $860 million.
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Still gushing, Strom glanced by Soros’s most notorious financial gambit, when he made a fortune and caused market chaos by shorting the British pound, the sort of thing that ordinarily calls down Occupy sit-ins. But Soros is one “1%” person that’s virtually immune to criticism from the Times:
That ability to knit together disparate groups will come in handy at Open Society, where Mr. Soros may elect to support struggling scientists in Russia, as he did after the Soviet Union collapsed, using money he made shorting the British pound. Or he may choose to provide loan guarantees to spur the development of low-income housing in South Africa and money to endow the Central European University, which he founded.