The Atlantic Council enjoys a diversified donor base helping to ensure our credibility, integrity and sustainability. To protect our independence and reputation and to ensure we are in compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act, we have established a process, approved by the Nominating and Governance Committee of the board of directors, to review any potential government funding and to obtain authorization to negotiate financing with a government or state-controlled entity.

Council programs and centers must complete a worksheet to ensure a thorough review and formal approval of proposed government funding prior to entering formal negotiations for such a gift or contract. Prior to any exploratory talks with official government partners, programs and centers must coordinate in advance with the Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and Deputy Director, Board Relations & Strategic Planning to identify any early issues or concerns. Programs and centers are required to seek formal authorization from the management team and then the Council’s Nominating and Governance Committee once there is an expectation of credible interest on our part and on the part of our government partner for a potential project.

The Council will consider the following criteria to assess potential projects: 

  • Disclosure: The Council maintains a consistent disclosure policy and will acknowledge publicly the source of the funding.
  • Intellectual Ownership: The Council requires all sponsors to agree to the Council maintaining intellectual ownership of our work, including any products resulting from the project.
  • Multiple Funding Sources: When possible, the Council works to ensure that any one project is not dependent on one government funder.  
  • Topics:  The Council’s requires all projects to focus beyond any potential specific agenda of the donor.
  • Diversity: The Council—through each of its projects—endeavors to take into account a range of views and participants.