Yale failed to disclose millions in Qatari funding, flouting federal law, report says

ISGAP found only one anonymous donation from 2015 worth $284,688 is publicly listed in the department’s online reporting portal.

By Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon

Yale University did not disclose upwards of $15 million in contributions from Qatar—the Middle Eastern nation that provides funding and shelter to Hamas’s top leadership—in violation of federal reporting laws, according to an investigation by a watchdog group.

The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) determined that Yale received at least $15,925,711 from Qatari entities since 2012, but only publicly reported one grant worth $284,668, according to a study provided exclusively to the Washington Free Beacon.

Yale’s failure to report this funding runs afoul of federal disclosure laws that require American universities to semi-annually list all foreign-funded gifts and contracts exceeding $250,000, ISGAP says.

It is unclear if the Qatari funding and projects were structured in a way that allowed the school to omit them from federal reports.

“It is difficult to ascertain the exact amount” of Qatari money flowing to the university, “as Yale does not disclose all its foreign funding. This despite the fact that, by law and according to the ethics guides of most major universities, all agreements, contracts, [memoranda of understanding], and service-in-kind arrangements should be made public.” The watchdog group determined that many U.S. schools, including Yale, “remain in breach of these rules and regulations and are thus engaged in illegal activity. If the law were to be enforced properly, these universities would face serious consequences.”

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Qatar has emerged in recent years as top donor to American schools, doling out $5.6 billion to 61 American schools since 2007, including Stanford University and Ivy Leagues such as Yale, Harvard University, and Cornell University, according to funding records reviewed by the Free Beacon in February.

This money has allowed Qatar to peddle outsized influence at prestigious institutions that have seen an explosion of anti-Semitism on campus in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel.

Qatar, experts say, has helped mainstream anti-Israel propaganda on campus and uses its money to stifle criticism of Doha’s longstanding ties to Hamas, Iran, and other malign regimes.

ISGAP’s latest report “highlights financial activities that could be classified as criminal and could potentially form the basis for litigation against several U.S. universities, including Yale.”

The watchdog group alleges that Yale and other schools are “defrauding the US Department of Education (DOE) by not fully disclosing the financial support they receive from Qatar.”

Yale did not respond to a request for comment on the report’s findings and allegations.

Yale’s financial reports to the Education Department “do not mention Qatar’s financial support or Yale’s relationship with Qatar,” according to the report.

Just one anonymous donation from 2015 worth $284,688 is publicly listed in the department’s online reporting portal, ISGAP found.

The dearth of records led the Education Department in 2020 to launch an investigation into Yale’s failure to report foreign funds, including those from Qatar.

The federal agency determined that “Yale University apparently failed to comply with federal reporting obligations when it underreported its foreign gifts and contracts by $375 million.”

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The probe further determined that Yale “failed to report its foreign gifts and contracts for four years, then retroactively reported them.”

Since this time, Yale has received “financial support directly and indirectly from Qatar,” contributions that ISGAP says “remain unreported to the” Education Department.

This includes Qatari-funded joint projects involving Yale employees, in-kind gifts, projects financed by Qatari subsidiaries, various seminars and conferences, the publication of books distributed by the Qatar Foundation, and fellowships, among other projects, according to the report.

At least three Yale schools have been awarded Qatari money, including its school of medicine, Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs, and the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.

ISGAP says it was able to uncover $9 million in grants to Yale from Qatar’s National Priorities Research Program from 2013 to 2020, including 10 joint research projects supported by the Qatar Research Development and Innovation Council.

Yale is also reported to have participated in the the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), which was established in 2009 by the Qatar Foundation, a primary vehicle driving Doha’s investments.

WISE “maintains relationships with staff and scholars at Yale University,” according to ISGAP, which found that university staffers participated in these events dating as far back as 2011.

Yale announced “new partnerships to foster international leadership, cooperation, and exchange with” WISE in 2014, and school representatives participated in a 2017 WISE summit in Athens, Greece, according to ISGAP’s research.

The watchdog group “estimates that the total funding invested by WISE in its collaborations with Yale amounts to approximately $1,500,000.”

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Similar partnerships have been inked by Yale with the World Innovation Summit for Health, a project run by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development.

Yale’s Jackson School of Global Affairs is also “working in close collaboration with the Qatar Foundation,” according to the report, which notes that former Biden administration Iran envoy Robert Malley recently joined the school as a senior fellow.

Malley is being investigated by the FBI for allegedly mishandling classified information that ultimately made its way to a “foreign actor.”

ISGAP says its findings should prompt the federal government to prohibit the Qatari government from funding all American universities. It also is calling for a federal investigation “into non-reporting of foreign donations to U.S. universities.”

Charles Asher Small, ISGAP’s executive director, said that Yale’s financial relationship with Qatar has fueled anti-Israel attitudes on campus.

Yale is one of many schools facing a federal investigation into unchecked anti-Semitism that has endangered Jewish students on campus.

“The omission of substantial Qatari grants in Yale University’s financial statements raises questions about academic integrity and foreign influence,” Small said.

“As demonstrated in ISGAP’s previous research, anti-Semitic incidents are more prevalent on campuses receiving Qatari funding compared to universities that do not receive Qatari funds. Therefore, there is concern that the same is happening at Yale, which has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitism on campus since the October 7 attacks in Israel.”

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