by Johnny Vedmore
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 Tomorrow program, 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 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:
This had meant that Kermit Jr. had travelled around the world at an early age.
A 1950 photo of Kermit Roosevelt Jr.,
grandson of US President Theodore Roosevelt,
and a former Central Intelligence Agency official,
Source: National Security Archive, GWU
Kermit spent the war years serving in the Middle East and Italy, travelling extensively throughout the war and was reported to have toured Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Palestine, Iran and Ethiopia.
His father, had spent the war fighting mainly in Norway and Finland, but also served briefly in Egypt, and died tragically in Alaska in 1943.
The Abilene Reporter newspaper reported on Sunday 6 June 1943 that Kermit Sr. had passed away in Alaska the day before the article was published, with the paper noting:
It was later confirmed that he had actually committed suicide.
Kermit Jr. continued to work for the OSS as a Middle East expert once the war had ended and he also began writing and editing the history of the secretive organization.
By 1947, the OSS had become the CIA and Kermit was on the forefront of designing projects and programs for the newly-founded intelligence agency. He also seemed genuinely concerned for the situation in the Middle East, and soon took part in a lecture tour.
That tour, whether sponsored by the CIA or not, saw Kermit argue passionately on behalf of those who were suffering in Palestine.
In December 1947, Kermit began a lecture tour on a paper he had written concerning the Middle East, entitled, "The Arabs Live There Too," which discussed the "Palestinian problem" and looked at the basic issues between the Arabs and Jews who inhabited the region.
The report, which was published in the Evening Post, warned that the situation deserves,
Kermit described Palestine as "the UN's baby" and stated that America had taken over the job as "nurse and governess" of the region.
The lecture tour was advertised in the Waukesha Daily Freeman on 22 December 1947, with Roosevelt stating within the articles:
He warn that,
Kermit Roosevelt believed that the Arab league would stop short of all out war, describing an official declaration of war by any of the seven Arab nations as being "extremely unlikely."
Roosevelt was eventually proved correct about the Arab nations not declaring war immediately and predicted instead that:
Before Kermit began his first covert operation in an Arabic country, he had been initially sent to Tibet by then-President Harry Truman to help ward off communist influence.
Kermit Roosevelt believed that forming alliances with Arab countries as they emerged from British and French rule would pay dividends for America while also preventing Soviet infiltration of Arabic nations.
However, that strategy would rely on the Western powers' ability to keep Arab nationalism at bay, whether by diplomacy or subterfuge.
During 1943, Kermit worked for the State Department in Cairo and this was one of the first Middle East countries in the post-war years to experience a CIA-backed coup d'etat.
At the same time as Kissinger was commencing the pilot of the Harvard International Seminar in the early 1950s, Kermit Roosevelt was deeply involved in overthrowing the ruling Egyptian regime, running a special covert operation which was gingerly named "Operation Fat Fucker", normally referred to as simply "Operation FF."
Egypt, at the turn of the 50s, was ruled by King Farouk, a notorious ruler who was already seen as corrupt in the eyes of most Egyptians.
The project to depose him was led by,
...with the original aim of applying pressure on Farouk to enact certain political reforms within his country.
When the initial "pressure" phase had failed, resulting in Farouk rejecting the American proposals, Kermit Roosevelt came up with an idea of how to orchestrate a peaceful revolution which would see both the required reforms enacted and the country more open to "American control," as historian Matthew F. Holland puts it.
Roosevelt met in secret with the Free Officers Movement, a nationalist revolutionary group, which was led by Gamal Abdel Nasser and Mohamed Naguib, and which was already planning to overthrow the government.
On 23 July 1952, the coup d'etat, which had been the brainchild of Roosevelt, saw Farouk forced into abdicating power and he was sent into exile in Italy.
The following year, in March 1953, the then Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, directed the CIA, which was still headed by his brother, Allen Dulles, to begin preparing a similar coup in Iran.
The same people who had successfully installed Nasser in Egypt were given $1 million in funds - equivalent to $12,128,464.73 in 2022 - which were to be used to bring about the fall of the Iranian leader Mohammed Mosaddegh.
Mosaddegh was successfully deposed on 19 August 1953 in a coup orchestrated by both the CIA and MI6, again led by AFME's Kermit Roosevelt Jr., in a project entitled "Operation Ajax."
The successful coups in Egypt and Iran were not spontaneous events but were instead well executed and intricately planned operations.
However, the Americans were soon to learn that, if they were to continue to overthrow governments, they would first need to have effective American-aligned leaders already trained-up and ready to install into their target countries.
Before the newly-created CIA had begun to enact the aforementioned coups in Egypt and Iran, Roosevelt had founded the Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land with many of the same people who would later make up the American Friends of the Middle East.
...and was a leading figure in the Christian opposition to the creation of the Israeli state.
Gildersleeve had been the long-term dean of Barnard College, but - in 1947 - she had stepped down from her position to concentrate on other activities.
In February 1948, the New York Times reported that she led a group opposed to the creation of a UN police force in Palestine.
The article, entitled 7 Leaders Propose Truce in Palestine, also stated that the group's members were:
...with the group stating:
Also prominent alongside Gildersleeve and Roosevelt in the creation of the AFME was Harry Emerson Fosdick, an American pastor described as an "active anti-Zionist" and who later became a major influence to Martin Luther King Jr.
Another notable member of the AFME was the controversial Dorothy Thompson.
Thompson was an American journalist and radio broadcaster who had the honor of being the first American journalist to be expelled from Nazi Germany in 1934.
Thompson was described in a 1939 Time magazine piece as being equal in influence to Eleanor Roosevelt and was often referred to as the "First Lady of American Journalism."
However, Thompson also held extreme views concerning America's black voting population, describing them as:
Thompson was a vocal anti-Zionist, coming to the conclusion that Zionism was a recipe for perpetual war.
But, even though Roosevelt, Gildersleeve and Thompson all publicly opposed Zionism, the CIA in general would reap many benefits by creating a world which, if not in a state of perpetual war, was nearly always on the brink of perpetual war.
The AFME included some of the key people who were moulding and influencing the post-war intelligence push.
Even though we could find many interesting facts in studying all 27 members of the AFME, we now know that their interests focused on education and eventually resulted in the funding of a specific Harvard project that would create cadres of future international leaders who were amenable to America's political interests and desires, including Klaus Schwab.
Just after World War II, there were many differing opinions within the American political establishment concerning what should be done about the "Palestinian problem."
Although many of the members of the AFME may have been publicly anti-Zionist, an upsurge in Arab nationalism had been triggered by the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians following the creation of Israel in 1948.
This initially resulted in a divide in public opinion, with many Americans eventually siding with the newly founded Israeli state and their occupying force.
Popular opinion among the Arabic countries was much less divided.
The Arab League closed their offices in Washington DC - referred to as the Arab Office - in 1947, stating publicly that the United States had shown a,
At this time, the United States were still heavily dependant on Arab oil and the supply of this oil also relied on America having good relations with the Arabic world.
The US oil consortium ARAMCO could only continue benefiting from Arab petroleum if the US stayed on good terms with the Saudi king, Ibn Saud, who was an extreme anti-Zionist.
ARAMCO soon setup an office in Washington so as to lobby government on behalf of the Arabs while also putting funds into educational institutions such as the Middle East Institute.
Yet, it wasn't only the Arab contingent of the American population who were concerned about the rise of Zionism, with the American Council for Judaism (ACJ) objecting to Zionism because they believed that it conflated religion and nationality.
Rabbi Elmer Berger of Michigan, who was an ACJ leader at the time, campaigned for American Jews to stop supporting the creation of the state of Israel.
According to historian Hugh Wilford, it was to be the Cairo-based former-OSS members who acted as,
...as he makes note of in his paper entitled, American Friends of the Middle East - The CIA, US Citizens, and the Secret Battle for Public Opinion in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-1967.
Wilford also points out that Kermit Roosevelt associated with many anti-Zionists of the period.
For example, he was actually under the command of an anti-Zionist descendent of missionaries named Stephen B. L. Penrose Jr. Roosevelt had also shared a room with George L. Levison, a State Department officer of Jewish descent who later introduced Roosevelt to such leaders as the aforementioned Elmer Berger.
Roosevelt, Levison and Berger all became close friends, with Levison eventually being godparent to one of Roosevelt's children.
Roosevelt was not only vital in setting up the original iteration of the AFME, the Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, he also ran the organization out of his Washington home alongside the organization's secretary, Garland Evans Hopkins.
Eventually the anti-Zionist activists within the government failed in their efforts to prevent the creation of the state of Israel when President Harry Truman officially recognized Israel's sovereignty.
Roosevelt continued to undermine future support for Israel and, a year after Truman's recognition of the country, Roosevelt and others formed the Holy Land Emergency Liaison Program (HELP), which was to coordinate aid for displaced Arabs in the region while also working to, as Hugh Wilford puts it:
It is also around this time where Dorothy Thompson and others began to raise the profile of Roosevelt's organization.
The Battle for the Hearts, Minds and Souls of the Future Global Leaders
The Harvard Summer School had been running for over 75 years by the time Henry Kissinger was finishing his studies at the university.
In 1950, Kissinger achieved his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and, during his studies, he received much attention from some very powerful Harvard grandees.
In 1951, Kissinger launched the Harvard magazine entitled "Confluence," which was to run alongside the International Seminar, and became the publication's editor.
This quarterly magazine was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and received contributions from others who were described as,
The International Seminar was later boosted by extra funding totaling at least $135,000 - $1,637,342.74 in 2022 - by the Central Intelligence Agency between 1960 and 1966 alone, with any previous CIA funding since the seminar's creation in 1950 being left undeclared.
Harvard Summer School's International Seminar Forum had originally been the brainchild of William Yandell Elliott, an important mentor of Kissinger who took a back seat and remained out of the public eye.
After the pilot event for the International Seminar Forum in 1951, the young Kissinger wrote to William Yandell Elliott, saying:
Subsequently, the majority of participants would recall the influence of Kissinger rather than Elliott, with the forum eventually being commonly referred to as "Kissinger's International Seminar."
The CIA money for what was described as the "foreign seminar" came via a known CIA conduit, the aforementioned Kermit Roosevelt's American Friends of the Middle East.
Kissinger and his biographers would claim that he was unaware of the organization's intelligence ties, describing Kissinger as "flying into a rage" upon learning that the AFME was actually a front for the CIA.
However, Kissinger's letters to H. Gates Lloyd during this period told a different story.
Other documents within William Yandell Elliott's papers also revealed that Kissinger may have even acted as a contract consultant for the Office for Policy Coordination (OPC) which was the covert operation wing of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In fact, Elliott had written a letter to Lloyd on 15 November 1950, which urged progress with the Summer School proposal and the creation of Kissinger's International Seminar.
With that letter came certain papers directed to Kissinger himself which showed he had discussed the proposals with Cleveland Cram, an infamous and powerful early member of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Cram had originally sought a career in academia but was recruited by the CIA in 1949.
He was soon liaising with Yandell Elliott and Kissinger concerning the Harvard Summer School project and, after it was up-and-running, Cram was sent to London to become the Deputy Station Chief and the official liaison between the CIA, MI5 and MI6.
In this CIA/Harvard nexus of the late 1940s and early 1950s, came the formation of what would, a generation later, evolve into the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader initiative.
One of the original reasons for the creation of the CIA had been to counter Soviet influence in foreign countries and they used multi-pronged attack strategies to achieve their aims.
While Allen Dulles, Kermit Roosevelt Jr., and their secret army, were organizing and enacting coup d'etats in country after country, other CIA-linked organizers and contributors were beginning to create the infrastructure that would allow them to recruit, train and install young European leaders into positions of power, leaders who they believed were unlikely to be susceptible to potential Soviet influence.
Harvard was not alone in its funding of such projects.
In fact, as Hugh Wilford noted in his fascinating and informative book The Mighty Wurlitzer, Yale was:
Also noted by Wilford are Yale's James J. Angleton and Norman Holmes Pearson.
The latter, Wilford notes, had graduated from Yale before serving in the OSS and returned to the university after the war in order to set up his "American Studies" program.
The CIA were essentially trying to win the hearts and minds of young foreigners in direct competition with the Soviet Union.
The communists had already been busy targetting the impressionable youth for over 25 years before the end of WWII with Wilhelm "Willi" Münzenberg, a German-born communist activist, being the first leader of the Young Communist International (Comintern) as early as 1919.
In 1945, a conference took place in London which saw the launch of the anti-imperialist World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY).
The following year saw the founding of other groups with some members sympathetic to communist ideals such as the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the International Union of Students (IUS).
The latter had been created in Prague and saw a 25 member intelligence-linked US delegation attend.
As these entities were created, they each became virtual battlegrounds for East vs. West ideology and the clash of Rhodesian Imperialist Capitalism and Soviet Communism.
In fact, the World Federation of Democratic Youth saw Cold War rifts in their organizations soon fester and, by 1949, the non-communists had publicly withdrawn from the group, going on to create the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions instead.
These sorts of organizations were valuable instruments for spreading communist propaganda and had been defined by Lenin as "levers" or "transmission belts" because of the way they can connect the Communist Party with the masses and were often referred to as "democratic" or "mass" organizations in Communist Jargon, as a pamphlet entitled, Facts About International Communist Front Organizations described in April 1957.
In that particular pamphlet a quote from Lenin, which also appeared in Lawrence and Wishart's 1947 book, The Essentials of Lenin, volume II, states:
In essence, the CIA's creation and funding of youth organizations and their wider infiltration of American universities was a strategy that essentially came straight out of Lenin's own play book.
Before the CIA's involvement, the British had been the ones taking the initiative by targetting the youth of Europe with the aim of countering Communist Party infiltration.
The Cultural Relations Department was tasked with developing strategies relevant to Western-aligned youth groups, organizations and conferences.
The first of such groups was the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) which had been given a draft charter in England in February 1949. All youth related member organizations of the United Nations were invited to attend an international conference held at Westminster Hall in August the same year.
Here, they officially established WAY and elected their first president, Mr. Maurice Sauvé of Canada.
It was around this time that the Americans first began organizing their own efforts to "educate the youth," which eventually led to such initiatives as Henry Kissinger's International Seminar.
At Harvard, the International Affairs Committee (HIACOM) began gathering a group of young veterans who had worked within intelligence during World War II, in an effort to rival the much more advanced communist propaganda efforts.
In December 1946, HIACOM officers were involved in organizing a meeting in Chicago which discussed the idea of creating a national body to represent American students, as well as wider American interests, at international events.
As a result, by the summer of 1947, the United States National Student Association was born.
For the two years prior to the launch of Kissinger's International Seminar, Harvard students had conducted surveys of international student opinion in order to identify potential anti-communist allies overseas while also poaching potential members from rival organizations such as the International Union of Students.
The National Student Association had their second survey funded by two very interesting private donors via the Office for Policy Coordination.
The Chicago lawyer and President of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, Laird Bell, and a Wilmington industrialist named Thomas Brittingham, each provided the princely sum of $6000 to the organization specifically to carry out the survey.
Laird Bell was an extremely influential and well-connected lawyer who had found himself frequently visiting Nazi Germany just before World War II in order to represent the interests of US bondholders who had lost more than $1 billion to the German Reichsbank.
Thomas Brittingham was extremely important in the development of America's effort to win over skeptical foreign youth, especially in Northern Europe.
Setting up "The Brittingham Scholarships" just after the war, he targeted the youth in Scandinavian countries.
Also referred to as the "Viking students," he would attract young men to his collection of scholarship programs which would eventually become named the "Brittingham Viking Scholarships" and which were run out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Many of "Tom's Vikings" - as they were also called - would become successful in organizations that the program's current website describes as:
Although there were many different youth groups throughout the various educational establishments across the United States, Kissinger's International Seminar at Harvard's Summer School was a very unique project.
It was a focused event with a limited number of participants who were carefully chosen by a select few.
The Harvard Crimson reported on 1 February 1956 that:
This was a special elite group, selected, groomed and trained for powerful positions, with their allegiances forever tied to the interests of the United States government, and those interests would soon begin to fluctuate wildly over the following decades.
The Kissinger Continuum
By 1992, the Berlin Wall had fallen and the education of Schwab's specially selected globalist politicians of the future was just about to begin.
During this time of great political change, Schwab's World Economic Forum had become a powerful globalist entity and Schwab was ready to begin following the model first established by Kissinger's CIA-funded International Seminar.
As Herman Kahn and his Hudson Institute colleagues had mapped out in a 1967 document entitled, Ancillary Pilot Study for the Educational Policy Research Center Program - Final Report, training a comprehensive future leadership group outside of the normal educational frameworks was of the highest priority.
As previously reported, Kahn was yet another mentor to Klaus Schwab.
The first iteration of the WEF's Young Global Leader program, called "Global Leaders for Tomorrow," was launched in 1992 and was described as "a new community" which saw its first gathering of future leadership candidates take place in 1993.
Some of the people who attended this first event were soon placed into top positions of power in their respective countries.
This initial group was full to the brim with other future leaders with many members who were destined to soon become heads of states in their respective countries.
Well-known leaders who attended include,
Alongside the politicians in this first group, there were also notable business leaders in attendance, such as,
In total, the first year of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow program was comprised of 200 potential candidates who were all under 43 years-old at the time.
For over a decade, the Global Leaders for Tomorrow program trained various leaders who often found themselves subsequently installed into various positions of power, including many elected officials.
In 2004, the Global Leaders for Tomorrow program was rebranded as the Forum of Young Global Leaders and was re-launched after Schwab found funding from an old friend.
The Harvard Kennedy Magazine of Summer 2009 starts their lead article by stating:
Astoundingly, the Tel Aviv-based Dan David Foundation that awarded Schwab the $1 million which was directly used to create the Young Global Leaders program had one extremely significant member of note on their board:
Harvard's International Seminar and the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders initiative were created to be extremely powerful vehicles for training and installing world leaders who would be sympathetic to a Kissinger-style globalist government.
They were also both made possible by organizing assistance and funding from Kissinger himself.
It isn't a surprise that Schwab's links with Kissinger prevailed throughout both their lifetimes, Schwab was a student of Henry Kissinger and the two men also appeared to share many similar views.
Yet, what is really notable about Harvard's Summer School, and Kissinger's International Seminar in particular, is that the programs, conferences and the basic elements involved were very similar to what the World Economic Forum still presents to their members annually to this day.
They are extremely similar projects aimed at achieving similar agendas.
When the World Economic Forum began their Global Leaders for Tomorrow initiative in the early 1990s, Klaus Schwab's organization implemented a program of recruitment and training for global leaders which was almost indistinguishable from Kissinger's CIA-funded International Seminar.
Schwab was treading in the footsteps of his mentor, Henry Kissinger, and it was the Dan David Foundation, while Kissinger was seated on their board, which eventually awarded Schwab with the initial funding required to create the current iteration of the program, the Forum for Young Global Leaders.
and others board a flight to Ukraine
for the 1993 World Economic Forum
annual meeting, Source: WEF
The World Economic Forum has spawned many globalist-aligned heads of states, cabinet ministers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and other powerful actors, through their Global Leaders for Tomorrow and Young Global Leaders initiatives.
Schwab has even spoken openly on how his organization has gone on to "penetrate the cabinets" of supposedly sovereign states, and we should not be naive, as he has been planning on doing exactly this for at least three decades.
However, it isn't the thousands of participants who have completed these programs who we should be most concerned about.
Our real concern should be with the billions of democratic voters who have been tricked into believing that any of the leaders produced by either Schwab or Kissinger have their best interests at heart.
Klaus Schwab became the heir to Henry Kissinger's most important project,
Klaus Schwab's activities since his time at Harvard can be seen as simply,
...and it would be naive of us to believe that there is not someone else, already groomed and trained, who is ready and willing to pick up Kissinger's political baton from Schwab and continue in their joint mission towards globalist governance...