by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joe Biden’s transition team includes several people affiliated with organizations bankrolled by the left-wing billionaire George Soros.
Biden’s “Agency Review Teams,” which include lists of individuals “responsible for understanding the operations” of each government agency, will prepare “President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris … to hit the ground running on Day One.” Soros is well represented on those lists.
Sarah Cross, an advocacy director at Soros’s Open Society Foundations, received a seat on Biden’s State Department transition team. Michael Pan, a special adviser in the executive office of the Open Society Foundations, will join the United States Mission to the United Nations team. Diane Thompson, who is listed as “self-employed” and a member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau team, is a current Leadership in Government Fellow at the Open Society Foundations.
Soros poured more than $70 million into election activity backing Biden’s candidacy this past cycle, more than three times his previous high of $22 million in the 2016 election cycle. Soros and the Democracy Alliance donor club previously enjoyed close access to the Obama administration; under a Biden administration, that access will likely return.
Other members of Biden’s transition team work for groups that receive heavy funding from the billionaire. Sharon Burke and Viv Graubard, both at the New America think tank, will join Biden’s Department of Defense and Department of Labor teams. Soros’s Open Society Foundations gave New America more than $1 million last year, according to the group’s disclosures. Soros’s son, Jonathan, sits on New America’s board emeriti.
Biden’s team also includes six employees from John Podesta’s Center for American Progress who are sprinkled across the Treasury, Federal Reserve, Department of Labor, Department of the Interior, National Security Council, and Office of the United States Trade Representative.