Born on September 10, 1970, Jonathan Tivadar Soros is the son of the billionaire funder of numerous left-wing causes, George Soros. After earning a BA from Wesleyan University in 1992, the younger Soros went on to graduate from Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
In 1992, Soros worked on the campaign and inaugural committees for the Bill Clinton/Al Gore presidential ticket. He subsequently clerked for federal judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. prior to joining his father’s Soros Fund Management (SFM) investment firm in 2002. He remained with SFM for nine years, the last six of which he spent as its president and deputy chairman.
In 2006 Soros began a ten-year stint as a Board Of Trustees and U.S. Programs Board member of his father’s Open Society Foundations‘ (OSF).
In 2009, Soros and his wife of twelve years, Jennifer Allan Soros, co-founded an eponymous philanthropy called the Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation, whose grantees have included such organizations as the Tides Foundation, Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Demos, the Brennan Center For Justice, Public Campaign, New America, the National Audubon Society, Death Penalty Focus, the Common Cause Education Fund, and the Progressive America Fund.
From 2009 through at least 2015, Soros served as a board vice chair and director at the Foundation to Promote Open Society, a sister entity to OSF.
After leaving Soros Fund Management in 2011, Soros became the founder and chief executive officer of JS Capital Management LLC, a private investment firm in New York City. In 2014, Newsbusters listed Soros as one of America’s major donors to the political left. The following year, Bloomberg Politics identified him as a “hedge fund titan.”
While Soros has made hundreds of donations to various left-wing political campaigns and causes over the years, he has simultaneously pushed for campaign-finance reform measures aimed explicitly at removing the influence of big money from politics. In 2011 alone, while Soros served as a high-ranking OSF official, OSF gave more than $58 million to leftist beneficiaries. Soros himself has acknowledged the contradiction between his own massive infusions of cash into political causes on the one hand, and his calls for reductions in such expenditures on the other: “It’s ironic. We’re the first to acknowledge the irony. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with the rules [by] which people get elected and we’re not going to win this issue with hang wringing and good intentions… You actually need to demonstrate to candidates that it’s in their best interest to be for reform and against their interest to be against it. Money is part of that.”
In 2012 Soros founded the Friends Of Democracy PAC (FODPAC), which later merged into Every Voice, to promote campaign-finance reform. Politico.com dubbed FODPAC, whose professed aim was to “get money out of politics,” as a “PAC to End All PACs.” Similarly, the Washington Post called it an “anti-superpac super pac.”
On April 2, 2015, Soros was one of approximately a dozen influential American leftists who attended a closed-door meeting that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio held at his mayoral residence. The purpose of the gathering was to lay out a “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality” in the United States. Other notable attendees included Van Jones, Marian Wright Edelman, Joseph Stiglitz, Sherrod Brown, Dannel Malloy, Toni Morrison, and Raúl Grijalva.
In 2015 Soros co-founded Give Lively LLC, an organization that seeks to help undercapitalized nonprofits access state-of-the-art fundraising technology that would otherwise be beyond their ability to afford.
During the 2016 election cycle, Soros contributed money to Hillary Clinton‘s presidential campaign. In February 2016, he also donated $1 million to Planned Parenthood‘s political arm, Planned Parenthood Votes, which endorsed Mrs. Clinton for president.
Soros is a senior fellow of the Roosevelt Institute, a New York City-based think tank that strongly opposes the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2010, a ruling which struck down a regulation that had prevented corporations and labor unions from funding the production of political campaign ads within 60 days of a general election. He also serves as a board co-chair of the New America Foundation, a board member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and an influential member of the Democracy Alliance. In addition, he holds several board positions connected to OSF.
Further Reading: “Jonathan Soros” (NewAmerica.org, RooseveltInstitute.org, InfluenceWatch.org, Keywiki.org); “Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation” (InfluenceWatch.org); List of Jonathan Soros’s Political Donations (OpenSecrets.org); “Soros Son Says, ‘Get Money Out of Politics’ — But, Helped Give $58M to Lefty Causes in 2011” (CNS News, 3-28-2014); “George Soros’ Son Provides $1 Million Donation to Planned Parenthood Votes” (Washington Free Beacon, 3-22-2016).