The World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders program, Klaus Schwab’s supposed brainchild, is actually an almost exact replica of Henry Kissinger’s International Seminar that was originally run out of Harvard and was funded by the CIA. In this article, Johnny Vedmore investigates the people behind Kissinger’s International Seminar, the CIA conduits which funded the program, and Kissinger’s key role in the creation of the WEF’s Young Global Leaders program itself.
The World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders (YGL) initiative has been responsible for seeding many of the ruling elite into positions of power and influence within the worlds of business, civil society and, most importantly, politics. The fall of the Soviet Union soon became the apparent catalyst for the creation of the Global Leaders for Tomorrowprogram, which was the precursor to the Young Global Leaders initiative over a decade later.
However, the supposed mastermind of the project, the WEF’s lifetime leader Klaus Schwab, had himself already been helped into his own influential position by a very similar program run out of Harvard University that was heavily funded by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The Harvard initiative in question, often referred to as Henry Kissinger’s International Seminar, was one of several programs set up by senior members of organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the newly created CIA. In fact, during the post-World War II era, the United States was proactively creating many such programs with the intention of grooming potential young foreign leaders and installing them into positions of power. The main motive behind the establishment of these programs was ostensibly to combat and prevent communist infiltration of foreign states while also assuring that future global leaders would be amenable to US interests.
Originally, the United States created these secretive youth organizations with the aim of targetting potential future European leadership candidates. Yet, soon, no country in the world would be safe from possible CIA-sponsored political infiltration. In this article, we will examine one of the front organizations which used vast amounts of CIA money to fund various Harvard projects including Kissinger’s International Seminar. We will learn who the people were who created these funding platforms, and we’ll also look at other such educational initiatives, some still in existence today, which have helped American intelligence infiltrate governments worldwide.
The American Friends of the Middle East
In 1967, it was Harvard’s own Humphrey Doermann who exposed that certain Harvard Summer School courses and initiatives were actually being funded via CIA conduits. Even though almost a decade of funding throughout the 1950s remained undeclared, it was revealed that, between 1960 and 1966, Kissinger’s International Seminar received funding from three CIA conduits: The Asian Foundation, The Farfield Foundation, and The American Friend’s of the Middle East, the latter being one of the more well-known, influential and successful CIA conduits of the era.
The CIA funded Harvard-based International Seminar, and the conduits which the Central Intelligence Agency used to supply the forum with the necessary funds to run the program, are of great historical significance.
The American Friends of the Middle East (AFME) was not just a simple front organization used to funnel secret CIA money into their various projects, in fact, there were some very big names attached to this prominent post-war organization. The AFME was considered to be an “international educational organization” and was formed the same year that Henry Kissinger launched the International Seminar at Harvard, in 1951. There were 27 men and women who made up the AFME, which was led by Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt, Jr., the grandson of former-American President Theodore Roosevelt. The CIA had been formed in 1947 from what was originally the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and Kermit Roosevelt Jr. was extremely influential in the early years of both organizations.
Kermit Roosevelt had been recruited by the mastermind behind the OSS, General William Joseph “Wild Bill” Donovan, in 1941 and he was soon placed into the newly-created Office of the Co-ordinator of Information— the precursor to the OSS—as a special assistant to Dean Acheson. Working out of the State Department, Acheson, who was then Assistant Secretary of State, had been tasked during World War II with implementing President Franklin Roosevelt’s policy of undermining Axis powers while at the same time supplying economic aid to Great Britain. Kermit Roosevelt, who was distantly related to the president, had had an affinity with the Middle East from a very young age with the Daily Mail of Hagerstown in Maryland reporting in September 1948 that: “Mr. [Kermit] Roosevelt’s career as a writer began when he was a child with the composing of a prophetic poem, ‘The Lure of the East,’ for the ‘American Boy’ magazine. He was eleven at the time.” Kermit’s father, also named Kermit, had been in the “shipping business,” as mentioned in the latter article. This had meant that Kermit Jr. had travelled around the world at an early age.