The Center for American Progress (CAP)

Profile: The Center for American Progress (CAP)

1- Name of NGO:

The Center for American Progress (CAP)

2- Brief & Mission:

The UAE deployed foreign agents to target prominent and influential think tanks in Washington, D.C., as well as experts affiliated with think tanks that received direct or indirect funding from the UAE. In 2018, the Center for American Progress (CAP) found itself entangled in this web of Emirati influence. It has come to light that the UAE has been utilizing this organization to further their interests within the United States.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

The Center for American Progress, an independent and nonpartisan policy institute, is ostensibly committed to enhancing the well-being of all Americans through innovative progressive concepts, effective leadership, and collective efforts. However, there have been allegations that this non-governmental organization promotes and defends the interests of the UAE. As per reports, UAE foreign agents reached out to Brian Katulis, a Middle East expert affiliated with CAP, at least 11 times, as stated in their 2018 FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) filings. These communications primarily revolved around a “CAP group trip to UAE/KSA” scheduled for late April and early May 2018. Richard Mintz from the Harbour Group served as Katulis’ primary point of contact in this matter.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

There have been allegations that this Institute actively promotes the foreign policy objectives of the UAE, as its agenda seems to align closely with the policies of the UAE.

5- Sources of Funding:

Based on the records of the Center for American Progress (CAP), the think tank has received funding ranging from $1.5 million to $3 million from the UAE starting from 2014. This financial information strongly suggests a working relationship between the NGO and the UAE.

6- Activities:

The connections between CAP and the UAE became a subject of scrutiny following the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi. After the killing, CAP issued a response denouncing the Saudi government’s role in the murder, but refrained from advocating for specific consequences to hold the Kingdom accountable. According to reports from Ryan Grim of The Intercept, a CAP staff member, Brian Katulis, removed the call for consequences from the statement. Furthermore, in December, CAP took a largely passive stance as the Senate passed a significant resolution to terminate US participation in the destructive Saudi-UAE war in Yemen.

7- NGO Leadership:

Patrick Gaspard currently holds the position of President and Chief Executive Officer at the Center for American Progress.

8- Controversy:

Following the publication of The Intercept’s story, the Center for American Progress (CAP) made an announcement that it would cease accepting funds from the UAE. As a consequence of The Intercept’s report, CAP terminated the employment of two staff members, but Brian Katulis was not among them. Interestingly, just a month later, Katulis participated as a speaker at an event hosted by the Middle East Institute (MEI), held in a building partly financed by a $20 million donation from the UAE. The event was titled “The Role of Think Tanks in Shaping Middle East Policy.” During his remarks, Katulis expressed that throughout his tenure at CAP, he never had concerns about funding sources influencing the organization’s stance or the viewpoints expressed by analysts like himself.\

9- Contact Details:

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The institution has been labeled as blacklisted because of its associations with UAE government.

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