Report: Clinton Foundation Shutters Clinton Global Initiative

January 16, 2017 Updated: January 18, 2017

The Clinton Foundation has filed a notice with the New York Department of Labor saying that 22 employees with the main office of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) will lose their jobs as a result of the “discontinuation of the [CGI],” essentially marking the end of the organization.

The WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act notice filed on Jan. 12 for the CGI says the layoffs will be effective on April 15. Reports from media including the Observer, a publication owned by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, have noted that the layoffs coincide with a drop in donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments.

The CGI was set up in 2005 as an international networking platform for the foundation, but its mission and what it hopes to achieve are vague by its own definition.  

“Rather than directly implementing projects, CGI facilitates action by helping members connect, collaborate, and make effective and measurable Commitments to Action—plans for addressing significant global challenges,” its website states.

The WARN Act requires employers to notify their workers some 60 days “in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.”

On Aug. 22, former President Bill Clinton wrote a letter describing the decision to shut down the CGI. At the time, the Clintons were under pressure to figure out how they would handle potential conflicts of interest with their foundation if Hillary Clinton were to win the White House.

Bill Clinton wrote at the time: “Nine years ago in my book ‘Giving,’ I wrote, ‘I want to continue these meetings for at least a decade, with the objective of creating a global network of citizen activists who reach across the divides of our interdependent world to build real communities of shared opportunities, shared responsibilities, and a genuine sense of belonging.’ … That is exactly what CGI, its members, and its dedicated staff have done.”

As the Observer noted, some foreign governments started pulling out of their annual donations to the foundation.

For example, the Australian government told it hasn’t renewed its partnerships with the Clinton Foundation, ending 10 years of tax-payer funded contributions that totaled more than $88 million. Meanwhile, Norway dramatically reduced their annual donations.