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George Soros hands over the reins of his massive, ideology-driven philanthropy to Alex, his even-more-politicized son, whose first decisions give functionaries the vapors.

The moment nonagenarian billionaire George Soros announced this June that he had handed over the keys of his financial kingdom to his son Alexander, “Alex” put Philanthropy Inc. back on its heels by announcing major changes for Open Society Foundations, the umbrella of the Soros clan’s grantmaking nonprofit empire.

Exercising his new authority immediately, the 37-year-old scion revealed in early July that the grantmaking monolith had “approved significant changes to the foundations’ operating model.” This “proposed new model” would “involve the redesign and retooling of our existing operations and a substantial reduction in head count of no less than 40 percent globally.”

OSF’s far-flung offices—located in over 20 countries—have a collective administrative staffing of over 800, soon to be a post-casualty count of 400.

This son-driven cutback comes two years after Pater Soros—the hedge-fund giant who, over the decades, has infused OSF with some 32 billion dollars that have bankrolled a colossal amount of partisan-tinged political nonprofit activity, both in the U.S. and abroad—dictated significant reductions in his philanthropy operations’ bureaucracy.

The new layoff order created immediate anxiety for OSF’s many grantees. The Human Rights Funders Network’s Kellea Miller employed textbook industry jargon in telling The Chronicle of Philanthropy, “We are most concerned for social-justice movements, which now have to wait for the impact on their sustainability. In the field of philanthropy, decisions at the top can have an outsized ripple effect on those enacting change.”

Could the OSF reboot foretell a cut in the charity’s massive annual grantmaking, which totals approximately $1.5 billion, according to various sources? Maybe not. Could the shakeup, and the certainty of fewer bureaucratic eyeballs overseeing applications, donations, and funded programs, result in more money, but for fewer recipients? Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch, an OSF grantee, speculated (reports the Chronicle) that he had “no reason to think the OSF layoffs will mean a decline in support for human rights work. It may mean OSF makes fewer, larger grants in the future because the staffing decline makes it harder to handle multiple smaller grants.”

OSF describes itself as “the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights. We approach this mission through the illuminating principles of justice, equity, and expression—defining characteristics of any truly open society."

The p.r. one-two punch of recent Soros father-son announcements has drawn significant attention to Alex, not unknown but surely overshadowed by the relentless media presence of his 93-year-old father—a confirmed leftist, a major financier of progressive political candidates and activities on six continents (and, for all we know, maybe even Antarctica), and the leading bête noire of conservatives here and abroad.


New Boss, Same (and then Some) as the Old

The takeover of George Soros’s philanthropic empire by his young son—a role that many had expected to be assumed by his much-older brother Jonathan—has led to renewed widespread media attention to Alex. A major profile in the Wall Street Journal dispels any fantasy those on the right might have had that Soros money might not outlast the investor who seems inured to his plentiful public criticism.

Compared to his father, Alex—a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Studies at Bard College (Soros Sr. gave the school $500 million in 2021)—assured the Journal, “I’m more political.” The signs of that passion are on full display.

Deeply connected with Democratic Party leadership, Alex Soros is a frequent guest at the White House and any place Democrats congregate. A recent Fox News report details how the leftist rainmaker has visited with top Biden administration officials at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 17 times. He is as welcome on Capitol Hill:

Alex's Instagram shows dozens of pictures with top Democrats in the House and the Senate between 2018 and 2022. Two of the Democrats who appeared the most were Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, with at least nine meetings, and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, with at least eight visits.

"Good to see majority leader [Schumer] earlier this week! Energized to elect at least two more Democratic senators so we can secure voting rights and a woman's right to chose!" Soros posted on his Instagram in July 2022 along with a picture of the pair.

There are few doors that won’t open to the young billionaire. Earlier this month, Alex Soros raised eyebrows while globe-trotting with former President Bill Clinton. The bankroller of pro-abortion and other causes that are wildly at odds with Catholic doctrine, accompanied by the accomplished Arkansas lothario, enjoyed a Vatican audience with a broadly smiling Pope Francis.

A peek at the philanthropic style, passion, and temperament of Alex Soros can be found in an organization that was the first beneficiary (in 2011) of his charitable largesse: Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, a nonprofit that calls itself a “multiracial, multiethnic, intergenerational movement of Jews and allies . . . who are rising up to build an American future free from white supremacy, antisemitism, and racism.”

Intensely involved in high-profile local controversies, such as the fight to prevent Atlanta from building a new police training facility, Bend the Arc is also engaged on a national political level. Its priority is to rally Jewish support for four bills now introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, including one to establish a national black-reparations commission and another to end “qualified immunity” for police.

Low-key stuff, that.

In 2015, Alexander Soros also cofounded Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC, launched with his own $200,00 contribution. That is, admittedly, a relative mite compared to how much cash his father has rained on American politics—from presidential campaigns to once-sleepy and now-controversial big-city district attorney races—in recent years.

But the son has trained at the foot of the father. They may differ wildly in age, and in the obvious fact that one was self-made and the other born into wealth. But their ideological kinship, solidified by paternal trust, means that the immense Soros wealth is now at Alex’s disposal. And it is wealth that seems destined to be doubly dedicated to the radical agenda of his father.

Even if there are fewer functionaries in the philanthropy’s offices to see how the billions are being doled out.

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