- Former New Left radical
- Co-founder of Campaign for America's Future
- Co-founder of Institute for America’s Future
- Former Director of the Institute for Policy Studies
Robert Borosage was born in Ohio in 1945 and grew up in Michigan. He earned a BA in political science from Michigan State University in 1966, a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University in 1968, and a JD from Yale Law School in 1971. Borosage then practiced law until 1974, at which time he founded the Center for National Security Studies, whose purpose was to compromise the effectiveness of U.S. intelligence agencies.
In 1979 Borosage became director of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), on whose board he still sits.
In April 1982 Borosage was part of an IPS-sponsored group that visited Moscow to meet with high-level Soviet officials who were responsible for disseminating disinformation and propaganda for American consumption. In media interviews around that time, Borosage floated a number of carefully crafted falsehoods: that the Soviet Union was satisfied by “rough parity” between its own military and America's; that a provocative Reagan administration was eager to restart the arms race; and that the modern U.S. weapons proposed for deployment “would lead to much more dangerous stages that would make both sides insecure, not more secure.”
In 1984, IPS fellow Roger Wilkins recruited Borosage to aid Jesse Jackson's first presidential campaign.
Four years later, Borosage left IPS to serve as the senior issues advisor to Jackson's second White House bid. In subsequent years, he would go on to advise the political campaigns of such notables as Senators Barbara Boxer, Carol Moseley-Braun, and Paul Wellstone.
In 1989 Borosage married AFL-CIO director of international affairs Barbara Shailor, a senior advisor to the union federation's then-president, John Sweeney.
That same year, Borosage founded the Campaign for New Priorities, which called for massive cuts in U.S. military expenditures post-9/11. In February 1991 Borosage attributed America's high levels of defense spending to its desire for worldwide domination and its quest to avert “the threat of peace.”
In 1996 Borosage and Roger Hickey co-founded the Campaign for America's Future (CAF), where Borosage today serves as president. Three years later, Borosage and Hickey established a sister organization, the Institute for America's Future (IAF), where Borosage today is a co-director.
Also in 1999, Borosage founded the Progressive Majority (PM), where he continues to serve as board chairman.
In 2002 Borosage led the production of CAF's book StraightTalk 2002, which provided readers with leftist talking points that, by Borosage's telling, “would help mobilize the Democratic base—unions, African Americans, Hispanics, women, environmentalists—while reaching out to seniors and working families.”
Two years later, Borosage, Joel Rogers, and environmentalist Dan Carol approached United Steelworkers president Leo Gerard and SEIU president Andrew Stern, among others, to propose the creation of a new coalition of labor unions, environmental groups, and social justice organizations. This eventually resulted in the 2007 founding of the Apollo Alliance, where Borosage served as a board member.
On November 29, 2006, Borosage participated in an Open Society Institute roundtable discussion entitled “How Do Progressives Connect Ideas to Action?” Other participants included Deepak Bhargava, Rosa Brooks, Anna Burger, Eric Foner, John Podesta, Joel Rogers, and Katrina vanden Heuvel.
In 2009 Borosage co founded ProgressiveCongress.org, a non-profit foundation dedicated to “building ... political power for progressives in Congress.”
In 2010 Borosage sat on the national advisory board of the Roosevelt Institute, an organization “devoted to carrying forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by developing progressive ideas and bold leadership....” Fellow board members included Patricia Bauman, Rosa DeLauro, John Podesta, Robert Reich, Simon Rosenberg, Rob Stein, and Katrina vanden Heuvel, among others.
On February 22, 2012, the Moscow-funded propaganda channel Russia Today aired a special program titled “National Teach-In to Take Back the American Dream,” which featured Borosage, Robert Reich, and a handful of other leftists.
A month later, Borosage co-hosted a fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, held at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers headquarters in Boston. Among the other co-hosts were Paul Booth and Mike Lux.
Also in 2012, Borosage's CAF launched a new website called WageClassWar.org, where Borosage posted a piece deriding Republicans as a “stale, male, pale, Southern-based party in a nation of diversity”; extolling the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement for “driving America’s extreme inequality and rigged system into the debate”; lauding Barack Obama's defense of “contraception and pay equity” for women; charging that “the harsh anti-immigrant posturing” of Republicans “drove Hispanics and Asians into Democratic arms”; and praising such political candidates as Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Barack Obama, and Elizabeth Warren for skillfully using “class warfare” to their advantage.
In addition to his work with the organizations cited above, Borosage today is a board member of both the Blue Green Alliance and Working America. Moreover, he writes widely on political, economic, and national security issues; is a contributing editor at The Nation magazine; blogs regularly on the Huffington Post; edits CAF's Making Sense issues guides; co-edits Taking Back America (with Katrina Vanden Heuvel) and The Next Agenda (with Roger Hickey); and is a regular contributor to The American Prospect.
At one time, Borosage was an adjunct professor at American University’s Washington School of Law.
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