While investigations into Russian influence in the 2016 election regularly garner front-page headlines, there is a half-billion-dollar foreign influence industry working to shape U.S. foreign policy every single day that remains largely unknown to the public. The Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative is working to change that anonymity through transparency promotion, investigative research, and public education.

Recent Publications

Report: Foreign Funding of Think Tanks in America

by Ben Freeman


Think tanks vary considerably in terms of their objectives and organization, but many think tanks in Washington D.C. share a common trait—they receive substantial financial support from foreign governments. While these are often democracies with interests closely aligned with those of the U.S., a significant number of these foreign donors are undemocratic, authoritarian regimes whose aims often diverge significantly from U.S. interests. In a variety of instances, the public has learned that this foreign funding can significantly influence think tanks’ work. It can lead to a think tank producing reports favorable to a foreign power, think tank experts offering Congressional testimony in support of a foreign powers’ interests, or its scholars working closely with a foreign funders’ registered lobbyists.

Report: The Emirati Lobby: How the UAE Wins in Washington

by Ben Freeman


How has the UAE maintained its privileged status? In short, the UAE has a vast and immensely influential lobbying and public relations campaign in America that has allowed the monarchy to exert considerable sway over U.S. policy, while keeping the UAE’s indiscretions largely hidden. In this report we attempt to tell the story of that influence operation.

Latest News

Nuclear Arms Nightmare: Don't Let New START Die

by Ben Freeman and Colleen Moore


Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

If New START expires, or either party withdraws without a replacement treaty, America and Russia would be free to build up their nuclear arsenals. There would be nothing left to restrain the new nuclear arms race, and both countries would lose insight into the other’s nuclear arsenals. This move would reverse decades of bipartisan and international cooperation to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons.

U.S. Government Documents Detailing American Law Firm’s Work For Moscow Firm Puzzles Experts

Ben Freeman quoted


Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

Ben Freeman, the Director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center For International Policy and FARA expert said, “That’s so interesting, because none of that, reading their exact words, actually would require FARA registration. Where it could cross over, say, if they’re at a congressional briefing, telling a Congressman to do something to benefit their foreign client, that would trigger FARA, but it based on what they put here, this is just information collection”.

Don’t let the Saudis use coronavirus concerns to hide their crimes

by Sunjeev Bery and Ben Freeman


Freedom Forward and Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

Saudi Arabia has just offered to host a “Virtual” G20 summit, bringing the world’s leaders together to address the coronavirus pandemic. While the world absolutely needs much better international coordination in response to this catastrophic pandemic, Saudi Arabia’s ruling family is one of the last governments we should want convening a conversation on solving any humanitarian crisis, let alone a crisis of this magnitude.

Meet The Experts


Ben Freeman



Center for International Policy

2000 M Street NW, Suite 720, Washington, DC 20036

(202) 232-3317

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