* Assets: $5,126,489 (2017)
* Grants Received: $250 (2017)
* Grants Awarded: $340,000 (2017)
A member of the Peace and Security Funders Group, the Kenbe Foundation (KF) seeks to “support peace in the United States and internationally” by bankrolling peace-related projects in the U.S., the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Middle East. Among the organizations funded by KF are the Center for American Progress, Earthjustice, Human Rights Watch, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. (To view sources of information on KF’s grant-making activities, click here, here, here, and here.)
KF is a particularly strong supporter of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which “fights discrimination” against Iranian Americans; opposes “negative, inaccurate portrayals of Iranian Americans”; and features University of Michigan professor Juan Cole on its advisory board. Through its chief spokesman, Trita Parsi, NIAC has long been an apologist for the Islamic Shiite fundamentalist regime in Tehran. In 1999 Parsi and Siamak Namazi, a member of that regime’s inner circle and a major figure in the Iranian oil industry, hatched a plan to establish an Iranian-American lobby to act as a counter-balance to the Jewish lobby AIPAC. Utilizing the services of public-relations specialist David Fenton and his firm, Fenton Communications, NIAC seeks to convince the American public that U.S. sanctions punishing Iran for its suspected nuclear ambitions would be “counterproductive.”
In February 2007, KF collaborated with the Pluralism Fund, the Ploughshares Fund, and George Soros‘s Open Society Institute to support a NIAC-sponsored conference in Washington, DC, on the future of U.S.-Iran relations. Fourteen months later, KF joined the Pluralism Fund, the Ploughshares Fund, the Colombe Foundation, and Lee & Gund Foundation in co-sponsoring a NIAC-organized conference on Iran’s nuclear program.
KF’s president is Genevieve Lynch, who first became involved in philanthropy by spending$15,000 in tuition for a Rockefeller Foundation course on the subject. In 2001 Lynch was among a small group of philanthropists who co-founded the Pluralism Fund, which focused its attention on Iran and Pakistan. Over the course of her professional career, Lynch has also worked as a director with CTI Graphics; an independent film producer; co-owner of Asta Films, a video-production company based in the United Kingdom; and a journalist for both ABC News and KOTO Public Radio in Telluride, Colorado. Today Lynch is a board member of the Haitian Education and Leadership Program; sits on the board of the National Iranian American Council; is a member of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Council; and serves on the finance committee of J Street, to which Lynch has personally donated many thousands of dollars. Lynch has also contributed money to the political campaigns of such prominent Democrats as Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Al Franken, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Charles Schumer, as well as to left-wing activist groups like ActBlue and MoveOn.org. (For sources of information regarding Lynch’s funding activities, click here, here, here, and here.)