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NOVEMBER 10, 2008


This report sets forth the findings of my review of the Legal and Human Resources
Departments of the William J. Clinton Foundation (“Foundation”) and those
pertaining to other areas of the Foundation revealed during this review, and my
recommendations to the Foundation based on this review.


While the Foundation has grown impressively over the past several years, it has a
number of fundamental organizational challenges and deficiencies that
undermine its effectiveness, expose it to significant risk, and, ultimately, threaten
its long-term survival. The Foundation (as opposed to its initiatives, which I have
not reviewed) operates more like a political operation focused on immediate
situations, tasks, and events, as opposed to a professional, strategic, and
sustainable corporation committed to advancing its overall mission. While that
may not be a problem while the President is personally involved in the
Foundation -- and can garner support based on that involvement -- it will be a
problem when he is no longer involved, and the Foundation has to rise and/or
fall on its own name and work only.
If the leadership (that is, the Board and the CEO) intends and wants the
organization to survive beyond the President’s personal involvement, then it
must take measures to move the organization onto a path of sustainability,
starting with revamping both the Legal and Human Resources (“HR”)
Departments; reviewing its corporate structure and governance documents;
and, perhaps most importantly, having a frank discussion with the President
about the current state of the organization, the future of the organization, and

NOV. 10, 2008 DRAFT


his appetite and willingness to allow the Board and CEO to make the changes
necessary for it to become sustainable, even great.
The time for making these changes, if they are desired, could not be better: The
presidential campaign, which distracted some key employees and caused
uncertainty among others about the future of the organization, is now over;
virtually all of the employees interviewed are anxious for more structure,
professionalism, and mission-focus; and funders are expecting the same.


As you know, the Foundation operates in a highly-regulated environment, which
impacts its operations in significant ways. Specifically, as a not-for-profit
organization, which enjoys tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the
Internal Revenue Code and which solicits funds from third parties, the
Foundation is subject to a number of Federal and State laws governing such
organizations. As an employer, the Foundation is subject to the various laws
governing workplaces and workforces of the Federal government and of the
countries and states in which the Foundation has offices and/or employees.
And, as a corporate entity with a board of directors, the Foundation is governed
by certain laws applicable to boards of directors and by standards and
practices that have developed in the area of not-for-profit governance.
The larger philanthropic landscape makes these legal, compliance, and
governance issues even more important. Despite the record levels of
philanthropic activity in recent years, donors have become more and more
focused on the strategic use of their donations, on realizing a real return on their
investments (that is, demonstrable impact), and on the actual operations of the
organizations to which they donate. Specifically, they are demanding that notfor-profits function with the same level of discipline, professionalism, and
transparency as for-profit companies. These expectations are likely to become
even more important to funders in light of the current financial crisis.
In light of these important issues, we agreed that I would
1. Review the Legal and HR Departments to determine whether they
function as effectively and efficiently as possible and as necessary to
service this rapidly-growing organization;
2. Identify any other areas in need of improvement, as revealed or
unearthed during the review of the Legal and/or HR Departments; and


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3. Make recommendations for improvements in all areas reviewed and/or
The specific work I have conducted to date is outlined in Tab A.


In order to ensure that the review, the assessments, and subsequent actions
address all aspects associated with organizing and operating an effective
organization, I structured this review around the McKinsey & Co. 7-S Framework.
As you may know, this Framework is recognized as capturing the fundamental
elements of an effective and holistic organization: (1) shared values,
(2) strategy, (3) structure, (4) systems, (5) staff, (6) style, and (7) skills.
This report looks at each factor separately, discussing the findings and the
implications of those findings. (A detailed list of all of the major findings is set
forth at Tab B.)
1. Shared Values: This factor focuses on the central and shared beliefs and
attitudes underlying and driving an organization.
There seem to be two principal beliefs that permeate the Foundation:
(1) that its entrepreneurial culture, which sets it apart from most not-forprofits, makes it more effective than like organizations, and (2) that
structure, rules, and processes result in a bureaucracy that slows down an
organization. The former is true to some extent, but not entirely: While the
Foundation appears to be nimble and quick in response to opportunities
and to problems, it is not very good at planning. This causes the
Foundation to be less strategic and less efficient than it could be and
increases the risks of mistakes or worse, which could affect it in significant
ways legally and/or reputationally.
The belief that controls (through structure, rules, and processes) slow down
an organization is also a bit misguided. Structure, rules, and processes
ensure that the Foundation operates lawfully, consistently, and efficiently,
which ultimately enhance its effectiveness and reputation. It is unclear
whether certain managers shun such controls because they have never
worked in an environment that was both entrepreneurial and disciplined;
because they do not know how to create and/or manage an
office/initiative that is entrepreneurial, but disciplined and structured;
because they prefer working, as they do, with little oversight or
accountability; and/or all, or some combination of all, of the above. No


NOV. 10, 2008 DRAFT


matter what the cause, this disdain has resulted in a culture that undervalues structure, controls, and compliance.
Because the lack of planning and controls can adversely affect the
Foundation’s effectiveness, efficiencies, and reputation, and because a
being entrepreneurial and being strategic and compliance-oriented are
not mutually exclusive, the Foundation should work to turn around what
appears to be current values in a way that leaves intact the
entrepreneurial culture of the Foundation and its employees.
2. Strategy: As you know, mission focuses on the “why,” and strategy
focuses on the “how.” Strategy provides a game plan for an organization
to achieve its mission, by setting priorities, directing staff and resources
toward those priorities, and enhancing the decision-making process and
actual decisions, by focusing both on priorities, in the face of what are
oftentimes conflicting requests, demands, and pressures, made daily.
Finally, a strategy ensures accountability, both by the organization as a
whole and by individual employees.
The lack of a strategy tied to an articulated vision is one of the major
deficiencies of this organization. Employees, even at the senior level,
could not articulate the organization’s game plan for achieving its mission,
confessed that there are no goals or measures tied to any strategy, and
complained that the work across the organization is not linked to each
other or, even worse, does not always advance the Foundation’s mission
or best interests.
The lack of strategy has resulted in, among other things, a lot of confusion
across the organization about organizational priorities (which many claim
appear to shift constantly); missed opportunities (as a result of shifting
priorities and lack of a game plan); very little, if any, accountability (as no
one’s work is measured against established goals and measures); a
bottom-up budget tied to the priorities and desires of individual
department heads, not to the organization’s mission; and wasted time
and resources.
Absent greater strategic clarity, the Foundation may be able to achieve
some immediate tactical goals, but is unlikely to ever fulfill its mission, to
maximize the President’s impact, or to endure beyond the President’s
personal commitment or lifetime. Moreover, without such clarity,
improvements in other fundamental areas (e.g., skills) will be limited or


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3. Structure: This factor relates to the way an organization is structured -- that
is, how work is divided, how work is integrated, and who reports to whom.
While there is not one type of structure that fits all organizations, the
structure of any organization should be developed around the
organization’s needs (including, specifically, ensuring proper controls,
maximizing resources, and reducing waste), and must be clear to those
who operate within it.
The current structure of the Foundation accomplishes neither. Specifically,
the organization appears to have been built around individuals, not the
needs and interests of the Foundation, and it has not been reviewed or
mapped against needs or interests (much less a real strategy) since the
days of its inception. Moreover and significantly, the work of the
Foundation and the President are intertwined in a way that creates
confusion at, and undermines the work of, the Foundation at virtually
every level. As a result, there is no “central command,” functionalities are
divided across offices, Foundation offices and initiatives are dangerously
independent, resources are not maximized, and a couple of key
managers appear to have interests that do not always align with those of
the Foundation.
This organization, loosely linked around the President, comprised of many
“free agents,” and serving, to some degree, the interests of the President
may have been appropriate when the Foundation was in its start-up
phase, with few offices, few employees, and few major decisions. It is not,
however, appropriate for an organization that operates across the globe
with over 500 employees and a budget of $90 million, that is regulated at
every level of government, and that depends on outside funders for
Absent a clearer structure and greater clarity about that structure, the
Foundation will continue to be faced with reputational and legal
challenges, and with confusion, inefficiencies, and waste.
4. Systems: As noted above, having the proper systems, procedures, and
processes in place ensures appropriate controls and consistency, and
reduces risks and waste. In short, it enables an organization to operate
lawfully, efficiently, fairly, and effectively, and ensures that it does.
The Foundation has very few procedures, processes, and systems in place,
and even fewer that are consistent across the organization. For example,
it is missing several policies/procedures that are required by law (e.g.,
record retention policy). Moreover, although it has an employee manual,

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that manual is not comprehensive and is not distributed or followed
consistently across the organization. Finally, the Foundation has no system
in place to ensure equity or consistency in compensation or to allow for
professional development or training, issues that a number of employees
noted and/or complained about.
What makes this (systems) deficiency particularly problematic is that
(1) the organization is legally liable for the acts of its offices and initiatives
and those who run them; (2) managers in key positions have no to little
experience in not-for-profit management and thus do not even possess
the right instincts when faced with a problem for which there is no policy
or procedure; and (3) there is no established mechanism for catching
problems and mistakes.
In short, the systems deficiency subjects the Foundation to significant legal
and reputational risks, results in inconsistencies and inefficiencies, and
undermines its work and viability.
5. Staff: As you know, having the right people in the right positions is critical
to the success of any organization. Employees effectuate the work
necessary to achieve mission, serve as the ambassadors of the
organization to the outside world, and, when talented and properly
utilized, enhance the organization and its impact. Thus, organizations
must be committed fully to finding, recruiting, retaining, and developing
the best and the brightest.
The Foundation is not appropriately organized or sufficiently staffed to
meet these objectives. Specifically, there is no central personnel office,
there are few position descriptions or requirements and standards for
recruiting and hiring staff, and the heads of offices and initiatives have
great discretion in creating and filling positions. This can lead to and has
led to inconsistent and sometimes negative results.
As an initial matter, there are individuals serving in managerial positions
that have no to little managerial experience or skills. This not only impacts
the effectiveness of such managers, vis-à-vis their own work, but it impacts
the effectiveness, working conditions, and morale of those working with
them. For example, at least two senior managers tend to micro-manage,
which not only takes away from their own responsibilities, but undermines
their subordinates. Ultimately, the entire department suffers, which affects
the entire organization.


NOV. 10, 2008 DRAFT


In addition, several key managers appear to prefer qualities in candidates
that are unrelated or indirectly related to the position at hand or that will
add little value to the organization as a whole. For example, the head of
the Harlem office has admitted that she likes hiring and/or promoting
interns, despite the fact that many of these individuals have no to little
experience outside the Foundation and the fact that this office is located
in a city with vast talent pool. Such an approach does not allow the
Foundation to identify or ferret out the best talent, it promotes
inconsistencies in hiring, and it could have a discriminatory impact on
certain groups in hiring and promotion.
Moreover, because very little attention is paid to these staff issues,
employees are often confused about their roles and the expectations of
them in their roles, which confusion is exacerbated by the fact that they
are not evaluated on a regular basis.
Finally, morale is low among the current staff. Moreover, according to
several members of the staff, the Foundation has lost some employees
because of some of the issues identified in this report, including,
specifically, the lack of clear priorities and of good managers.
This lack of attention to staffing standing alone could lead to the
Foundation’s demise: Without the right talent, the Foundation will be
unable to accomplish its important work and will be unable to attract new
talent to do that work. It will also lose good people, which will affect its
work and its reputation.
6. Style: This factor refers to the way key managers behave to achieve
organizational goals, with respect to, among other things, their priorities
and their use of time.
As noted above, a couple of key positions are filled with individuals who
do not have a lot of managerial experience or strong managerial skills
and who operate without a strategy or much oversight. As a result, these
individuals do not have a clear sense of priorities or how to prioritize, or of
their roles or the roles of those who report to them. Moreover, because
there are so few systems, policies, and procedures, they tend to make
decisions on an ad hoc basis, which are not always appropriate, in terms
of the law or organizational interests. And, because the lines of authority
are murky, managers tend to under-consult or over-consult with others in
the organization. Finally, the anti-compliance attitude of a couple of key
managers has affected not only the culture or certain decisions, but has
affected the view of lower level employees who either witness less than

NOV. 10, 2008 DRAFT


fully compliant behavior or, even worse, are asked to participate in or
condone it. (Indeed, several staff members virtually begged fro a
stronger whistleblower policy and process.)
If the Foundation becomes more strategic, professional, and compliancefocused, its managers will likely change their style to conform.
7. Skills: Skills refer to the capabilities within and of the organization.
As noted above, there are some extremely committed employees who
are able to react swiftly and competently to opportunities and problems.
Unfortunately, that reactive approach dominates the entire organization.
As one employee stated, managers and staff seem more interested in
“getting it done than getting it right.” Most troublesome, perhaps, is the
fact that neither the individuals nor the organization seem committed to
planning or “getting it right” from a strategic or efficiency point of view.
Without this commitment, the organization and its employees will never
realize their full potential.


The assessment of the organization through the 7-S Framework makes clear that
the organization is not operating as effectively or efficiently as it should or could.
Indeed, it has major deficiencies in each of the fundamental areas. Each of
these deficiencies, standing alone, threatens the effectiveness of the
Foundation in the short and long term. When combined, as currently the case,
they threaten its very existence (absent the President’s involvement).
Because it is unclear whether the President wants the Foundation to exist
beyond his personal involvement, the Foundation’s leadership (that is, the Board
and CEO) should address this question head-on with the President. That will
require a frank discussion with the President about his desire, willingness, and
appetite to move the Foundation to the next level of development. If the
President concludes that he does, in fact, want the Foundation to survive and
thrive beyond his involvement, then he should authorize and empower the CEO
and Board to make the changes necessary for this survival.
While you and/or the leadership puzzle through this question, the Foundation
should begin improving immediately the Legal and HR Departments, which
have responsibility for a number of the 7-S elements (i.e., systems, staff, skills, and,
to some extent style).


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No matter what the leadership decides about the larger, over-arching question,
it must act immediately to bring the Foundation into compliance with the law
and standards that govern not-for-profits, and must create strong legal and HR
offices so to prevent any lapses in the future. To this end, I recommend the

Hire professional legal and HR managers dedicated solely to overseeing
each of these departments;
Empower each of these department heads to oversee and manage that
area of operation for the entire organization, including structuring his/her
department and hiring staff as s/he deems necessary and appropriate;
Have staff currently functioning in each of these areas report directly to
the new department head, as the department head deems necessary
and appropriate;
Have the new department head establish policies and procedures in
his/her area of responsibility (by a date certain), oversee the
implementation of these policies and procedures, and monitor
compliance for that department;1
Establish at least two new positions in HR, one for employee benefits and
development and one to handle complaints, in accordance with the
Sexual Harassment Policy I have proposed;
Authorize and empower the Legal Department to oversee compliance for
the entire organization, create an internal controls position within that
department to oversee that area of responsibility, and hire an attorney to
serve in that capacity;
Engage a consultant to conduct a compensation review of all positions in
the entire organization;
Review and adopt the proposed Sexual Harassment Policy, for immediate
implementation; and
Review the Records Retention Policy after it is drafted.2

As I have recommended, I urge the Foundation to adopt and implement
a handful of policies and procedures immediately (even before the
appointment of these recommended department heads), and I will continue to
forward these to you as I draft them. Currently pending before you is a
proposed Sexual Harassment Policy, and I will soon be submitting to you a draft
Records Retention Policy.

When the proposed policy is drafted, I will not ask you to approve it for
adoption; rather, I will want your permission to circulate it to department heads
for their review and comment. Because it will change the way the Foundation
(continued . . .)


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I urge you to adopt the recommendations set forth above and authorize me to
execute against/implement it, which work will include, among other things,
developing an organizational chart for the two departments, drafting position
descriptions for the General Counsel and HR Director positions and for the
internal controls position, and retaining a consulting firm (such as prm
Consulting) to conduct a compensation review across the entire organization.


My review also disclosed that the Foundation’s Board may not be functioning as
effectively as it could or should and that the Foundation’s governance
documents may be dated and/or inappropriate given the current state of the
law and of the organization. To that end, I recommend that you expand my
assignment to include reviewing specifically the Board’s structure and governing
documents so to ensure that they meet current standards, and that I do so in
time to enable you/us to present any changes to the Board at its December


As noted above, the Foundation has challenges and/or deficiencies in all of the
7-S areas, which have significant implications as to the viability and sustainability
of the organization. You/the Board should discuss with the President these
findings and their implications.3
If the Foundation is meant to survive only for the time that the President is
personally involved, then it may want to only focus on bringing itself into
compliance and on maintaining that compliance, through the revamping
suggested above for Legal and HR. If, however, the Foundation is committed to
surviving and being effective beyond the President’s personal involvement -that is, until the problems it is attacking are resolved, which likely means into
perpetuity -- then it should consider undertaking an in-depth review of its

(continued . . . )
does business (specifically, retains records), I want to make sure that the
proposed approach is workable.
This report expresses no view on whether the Foundation should survive
beyond the President or should be structured to survive beyond the President.
These considerations are being proffered in the event that President and the
Board want to address this bigger issue or conclude that it should.

- 10 -

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structure and operations, which should include, among others, the following

Consider separating the Foundation completely from the President’s
operations, functionally, staff-wise, and physically, re-assigning staff as
necessary to meet the needs of the Foundation;
Consider creating a position, below the CEO, to oversee and coordinate
all of the offices and initiatives, with each of the heads of these offices
and initiatives reporting to that position;
Consider developing a strategy to guide the Foundation’s work and to
serve as the benchmarks for the performance of the organization and its
employees; and
Consider creating a central administrative office that services all offices
and initiatives, either directly or through off-shots that report back to it, in
the areas of budget and finance, legal, human resources and personnel,
and IT.

If the President is interested in such a review, he must communicate this directly
to the management team, so to make clear his personal commitment to
improvement and the fact that he will not entertain individual pleas for
exemption from review or complaints about the review. This expression of his
interest in and commitment to taking the Foundation to the next level -- which,
again, will likely involve, among other things, changes in value, structure, and
systems --- will be critical to a successful and smooth review and to the
implementation of necessary changes.


The challenges and deficiencies plaguing the Foundation cannot be overstated: They are real and undermine the organization’s effectiveness,
immediately and more long term. To address the issues that present immediate
threats, the Foundation should revamp its Legal and HR operations, should
review its governance structure and documents; and should have an open and
honest discussion with the President about the future of the Foundation.

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I commenced this work in mid-September, and, to date, my review and
assessment have included the following:

 Interviews with all department heads, with the exception of Terry Krinvic

and Matt McKenna, who have not yet responded to my requests;
Interviews with select members of the non-managerial staff;
Interviews with the personnel/HR/recruiting staff in Boston;
Review of policies and procedures, with the exception of unidentified
documents maintained by Laura Graham (including salary information),
which I have not yet received;
Review of all corporate documents and interview with the firm retained to
assist with state filings;
Research into current legal requirements governing not-for-profits and the
best practices employed by similar not-for-profits; and
Research (very preliminary) into the structures and compensations of
similar not-for-profits.

Note: This report does not include any back-up documents, and I will retain
those documents in my files unless requested otherwise by you to submit them or
release them. Please be advised, however, that the notes of my interviews have
not been transcribed or typed and that a number of staff members requested
that the contents of their interview be treated as confidential and not shared
with anyone other than you, for fear of retribution. I promised these staff
members that I would not share them with anyone but you, but could not
commit you to confidentiality.

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Set forth below are the significant findings to date, which serve as the basis for
the assessments and recommendations in the report.

There are members of the staff who are paid by the President/his office
and the Foundation, which may cause apparent or real conflicts of
o For example, a senior staff member being paid by the President, the
government, and the Foundation allowed the Foundation to host
what may have been (or may have been viewed as) a political
event, apparently, without official pre-approval from the
Foundation’s legal department and without regard, before the
fact, to the impact of that decision on the Foundation’s tax exempt
o It has been reported to me that a senior staff member has
attempted to have (and perhaps succeeded in having) her travel
paid for by the Foundation when traveling with the President on
mixed trips, even though her presence may not have been needed
for the Foundation.
o It is not apparent how staff members paid through various sources
(which means, presumably, having more than one full-time job) are
able to fulfill their responsibilities and duties to the Foundation given
the amount of work associated with those responsibilities and duties.

Many staff members believe that staff members with closer ties to the
former President receive better benefits or more favorable treatment from
the Foundation as a result of those ties.
o Many staff members believe that certain people are “untouchable”
because of their relationship to the President.
o A few commented on Laura’s extended absence and her late
arrival time, believing that both violate Foundation policy and/or

Many staff members are confused as to the decision-making process at
the Foundation, not knowing where the ultimate authority lies for most
major decisions.

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Virtually everyone I interviewed expressed some level of concern about
the Foundation’s sustainability and/or viability when the former President is
no longer involved, and their interest in it becoming a sustainable
organization that survives the former President.

It is not clear that the Board is sufficiently independent from the President
and/or is structured appropriately given the current size of the
organization and the breadth of its work.

Virtually all Harlem staff interviewed expressed relief that the campaign is
over, advising me that many staff members turned their focus on that
during the campaign and others advised that they were concerned
about the President’s commitment to the Foundation during the primary
and after the election if the Senator had prevailed.


The initiatives and offices operate independently and do not share

The Foundation’s largest initiative operates extremely independently,
oftentimes to the detriment of the Foundation.
o I believe that the current lawsuit that the Foundation is facing
involving CHAI could have been avoided altogether if the Boston
office had contacted the CEO as soon as it learned of the problem,
instead of trying to resolve the problem itself.
o This office also seems to make employment-related decisions based
on factors other than the Foundation’s policies, procedures, or

The functions typically associated with human resources are divided
between at least two offices, with no one person providing oversight
and/or uniformity; the legal office is now located in the office with the
least number of staff members, and its role is not clear to staff; and the
CFO does not appear to have sufficient management authority over the
finance operations in the satellite offices.

No one is charged with overseeing compliance for the Foundation.


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The Foundation has no articulated strategy tied to its mission or a vision,
with benchmarks, goals, and/or measurements.

There appears to be very little planning at the departmental level, with
the exception of the finance operation, which appears to have a real
budget process (which, in my view, may be a bit inefficient in the Harlem

Staff complained about confusion around priorities and/or the constant
shifting of priorities.

Staff complained about the proactive and last-minute culture of the
organization, many believing that it operates more like a campaign than
a professional corporation.


The Foundation lacks important policies and procedures and a real
process to ensure compliance, resulting in increased risks, confusion,
conflicting (and perhaps arbitrary) decisions, and inefficiencies.
o The Foundation does not have a record retention policy, and the
procedures currently utilized in Harlem may violate the law.
o The Foundation does not have a discernable risk management
policy or a business continuity plan, although I understand that
Donovan submitted to Laura a draft policy for IT protection.
o The Foundation’s current Sexual Harassment and Whistleblower
Policies should be stronger, and it may want to strengthen its
Conflict of Interest Policy.
o The Finance Department in Little Rock has minimal, if any, control
over the policies and procedures used by the various initiatives and
offices regarding financial and budget matters. For example,
virtually all expenditures made by staff in Harlem have to be
approved by Laura Graham, despite the fact that they had been
pre-approved as part of the budget process and are approved, on
an expenditure-by-expenditure basis, by each of the department
heads before submission for payment. This triple-approval process is

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not only inefficient, but it also is unnecessary in terms of financial
controls and undermines the annual budget process and the
authority of your department heads.
o Employment decisions are ad hoc and are not always guided by
what is in the best interest of the Foundation -- especially in the
Boston office.

There is no policy or procedure regarding compliance, and the
Foundation is out of compliance in several important respects. Several
staff complained about the ant-compliance sentiment that permeates
the Harlem and Boston offices.

Important responsibilities regarding corporate filings are delegated to the
CFO, who appears to delegate them to an outside organization, with very
little oversight by the legal department. As a result, the Foundation is not
in compliance with the filings rules, including in New York, which requires
the Foundation to be certified to do business in the State.

No established policy or procedure for contract reviews, and some
department heads do not submit contracts or MoUs for review. Associate
General Counsel suggests that each “unit” have a contract administrator
that reports to Legal.

HR has paid very little attention to the organization’s employees, failing to
institute job/position descriptions, a real evaluation process, any
professional development, or any process for complaints.

It is unclear whether lower level employees actually meet the definition of
exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Foundation needs to review its policies and procedures regarding
interns and volunteers, including how individuals are classified and are
trained with respect to overseas travel and work.

Processes and employment decisions are made on an ad hoc basis.

There is no real evaluation process, and employees are not held
accountable for their performance (or lack thereof).
o A perfect example is Harlem office’s recent decision about
evaluations. During my interviews, a lot of staff members
complained about the evaluation process -- specifically, not being

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evaluated in two years and having Laura Graham involved in the
majority of evaluations. I asked Laura about the process generally
during a conversation she and I had regarding a particular staff
member who is being a bit difficult. In response, Laura decided
that the organization must do evaluations as soon as possible, and
announced that decision to the Harlem staff -- without any
discussion about the process (which I think needs to change),
without much notice to staff (some of whom are in the midst of
budget preparation), and without consideration of training
managers first on how to conduct and write-up a proper evaluation
(which I think is absolutely necessary). Improper, inadequate, and
inaccurate evaluations do little to educate employees about their
performance and create an inaccurate paper trail, which is harmful
to the Foundation on a number of levels.

Staff complained about the lack of comprehensive and/or written
policies and procedures.

Staff complained about the lack of a real complaint and/or
whistleblower policy.


Many key Foundation staff came from the President’s political world or
through the internship program, and, thus, lack real management and/or
not-for-profit experience. A number of staff members complained about
the lack of real managerial experience among the people filling key roles
(virtually all citing Laura Graham as an example, and a few citing Julie

Many key managers micro-manage their operations, which is inefficient
and undermines the authority and/or roles of mid- and lower-managers.

There is no clear decision-making hierarchy, and staff “forum shop” or
bypass the hierarchy to secure a favorable decision.

Virtually everyone I interviewed in the Harlem office expressed some level
of dissatisfaction with the operations of that office and/or Laura Graham’s
management style. Indeed, a couple complained about her attempts to
“manage by fear,” which they claim includes yelling.


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The Foundation has paid very little attention to its workers or their
professional development and has not insisted on or paid for
management training for its staff.

Although only a handful of staff commented on their own level of pay, a
few expressed concerns about how salaries are set generally and others
expressed concern about the Foundation’s ability to compete for talent in
New York City because of its compensation levels.

My own preliminary review shows that the compensation for the
Foundation’s CEO position is lower than other not-for-profits, of similar size
(that is, total annual expenses), in New York City, and suggests that it may
be lower for other management positions as well. For example, LISC
($102M in expenses) pays its CEO approximately $410,000; the Open
Society Institute (expenses exceed $100M) pays its CEO over $312,000,
pays its Director of U.S. Programs over $197,000, and pays its General
Counsel over $187,000, plus it contributes into each of these employees’
benefits plan (with contributions ranging from $30,000 to $53,000); the
Robin Hood Foundation ($94M in expenses) pays its CEO over $435,000;
and the Children’s Aid Society ($89M in expenses) pays its CEO over
$339,000. Even smaller organizations in New York seem to pay better than
the Foundation: The ACLU (total expenses only $40M) pays its CEO over
$309,000, pays its legal affairs director over $206,000, and pays its
communications director $185,000; and the National Urban League ($36M
in expenses) pays its CEO $425,000.


Virtually everyone I interviewed stated that morale was low in the entire
organization or in certain departments and that upper management
either did not know this or care about it.

Virtually everyone I interviewed expressed their desire for a more
professional and structured environment.

Many staff expressed concern about the Foundation’s ability to attract
and retain talented employees, particularly in New York, where there are
a number of impressive not-for-profits, and a few cited employees who
the Foundation may have lost due to the Foundation’s structure and/or


NOV. 10, 2008 DRAFT


A couple of staff members identified as a good source of the staff’s
discontent the interviews and comments provided during the
GSDM/Ogilvey review. I am not sure if you were ever able to track this
down, but it may be worth pursuing.