George C. Marshall Institute

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Not to be confused with the George C. Marshall Foundation

The George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) is a "non-profit" organization funded by the profits from oil and gas interests and right-wing funders (listed later). It has received substantial funding from Exxon's Exxon Education Foundation.[1]

Its nominal creators, aside from Exxon-related entities and others, were William Nierenberg, Frederick Seitz and Robert Jastrow[2] This industry and right-wing front group has described its role as encouraging "the use of sound science in making public policy about important issues for which science and technology are major considerations." The institute makes claims about "national security and the environment"[3], generally to the detriment of the latter.

The institute purports to investigate what it calls "facts" about global climate change, which is largely attributed by others to the burning of fossil fuels. The institute also focuses its resources on making claims about the effect of the Kyoto Protocol upon "national security."

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.

Evidence the Institute Distorted Facts in Pursuit of its Ideological Agenda

In a 2009 essay, former Marshall Institute Executive Director Matthew B. Crawford, wrote that after he commenced with the group in September 2001

"...certain perversities became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise. The organization had taken certain positions, and there were some facts it was more fond of than others. As its figurehead, I was making arguments I didn't fully buy myself. Further, my boss seemed intent on retraining me according to a certain cognitive style — that of the corporate world, from which he had recently come. This style demanded that I project an image of rationality but not indulge too much in actual reasoning."[4]


Board of Directors

As of December 2009, the Board consisted of:[5]

The Institute's 990 Tax Filings for 2008[8] (filed October 15th 2009) list two other members of the board.

Former Board Members


As of December 2009, the staff consisted of:[9]

Former Staff


As of December 2009, the Marshall Institute Fellows consisted of:[10]

  • Dr. Eric Loewen, George C. Marshall Institute Fellow
  • Dr. John Sheldon, Visiting Professor, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air University, Maxwell AFB
  • Eric Sterner, George C. Marshall Institute Fellow

Roundtable Speakers

As of December 2009, the Marshall Institute Roundtable speakers consisted of:[11]


In its 2006 annual return, the Institute states that its total revenue for the year was $969,923 with total expenses of $877,156.[17] Of its program areas, it reported that $308,819 was on global warming work, $43,000 on general energy policy discussion, $148,729 on bio-terrorism, and $110,841 on missile defense system.[17]

The Institute received $ 7,178,803 in 105 separate grants from only five foundations between 1985 and 2006 [2]:

The George C. Marshall Institute no longer shows an overview of recent funders, but in 2000 [18] they listed:


Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets lists the George Marshall Institute as having received $715,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.[19]

This includes:

  • $50,000 from ExxonMobil Foundation in 1999 for "support for science and public policy education programs;
  • $50,000 from ExxonMobil Foundation in 2000 for general support;
  • $60,000 from ExxonMobil Foundation in 2001 for "climate change work";
  • $80,000 from ExxonMobil Foundation in 2001 for "'global climate change program" in 2002; plus a further $10,000 for the Awards Dinner;
  • $95,000 from ExxonMobil Foundation in 2003 for Global Climate Change Program
  • $145,000 ExxonMobil Foundation in 2004 for "climate change" and a further $25,000 from Exxon Corporation for "Awards Dinner -- Climate Change Activities";
  • $90,000 from ExxonMobil Foundation for, according to the Institute's IRS return, "climate change" and a further $25,000 from ExxonMobil Corporate Giving for "Awards Dinner and General Operating Support"; and
  • $85,000 from ExxonMobil Corporate Giving for "General support and annual dinner" in 2006.

Related organizations

Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Several people of GMI are also involved in the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP):

Environmental Literacy Council (ELC)

The now-defunct Environmental Literacy Council was set up by then-GCMI executive director Jeffrey Salmon and run from offices next to the GCMI. (GMI's 2009 Form 990 reported a "bad debt" loss of $82k, which might have been rent owed by the ELC.)


George C. Marshall Institute
1601 North Kent St., Suite 802
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: 571-970-3180
Fax: 571-970-3192
info AT
web site:


The National Hispana Leadership Institute is down the hall at 1601 North Kent St., Suite 803.

Previous Contact

1625 K Street, NW, Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20006
phone: 202.296.9655
fax: 202.296.9714

?-2002: 1730 K Street NW Suite 905
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-296-9655
Fax: 202-296-9714

In Feb 1994, the address was:[20]
1730 M Street NW Suite 502
Washington DC 20036
...with the same phone and fax #s:
Phone: 202-296-9655
Fax: 202-296-9714

Articles and Resources


  1. "George C. Marshall Institute",, accessed March 2008.
  2. Remembering Robert Jastrow. The Marshall Institute (2008-02-11). Retrieved on 2010-01-05.
  3. "George C. Marshall Institute", accessed March 2008.
  4. Matthew B. Crawford, "The Case for Working With Your Hands", New York Times, May 21, 2009.
  5. Board of Directors. The Marshall Institute. Retrieved on 2009-12-27.
  6. 2009 Form 990
  7. Filing Images
  8. "[1]"
  9. Staff. The Marshall Institute. Retrieved on 2009-12-27.
  10. Marshall Institute Fellows. The Marshall Institute. Retrieved on 2009-12-27.
  11. Marshall Institute Roundtable speakers. The Marshall Institute. Retrieved on 2009-12-27.
  12. Oliver W. Frauenfeld - Curriculum Vitae. CIRES. Retrieved on 2010-01-26. “Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, 2010-present; Research Scientist II, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Division of Cryospheric and Polar Processes, University of Colorado, 2005–2009”
  13. Richard Garwin. Wikipedia. Retrieved on 2010-01-26. “member of the JASON Defense Advisory Group.”
  14. Biographies : BRIGADIER GENERAL JOHN W. "JAY" RAYMOND. Peterson Air Force Base. Retrieved on 2010-01-26. “Brig. Gen. John "Jay" W. Raymond is Commander, 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.”
  15. Simon P. Worden - NASA Ames Center Director. NASA. Retrieved on 2010-01-26. “Dr. S. Pete Worden (Brig. Gen., USAF, ret.) is the current NASA Ames Research Center Director. Prior to becoming Director, Dr. Worden was a Research Professor of Astronomy, Optical Sciences and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona where his primary research direction was the development of large space optics for national security and scientific purposes and near-earth asteroids.”
  16. (bio). Larry Wortzel. Retrieved on 2010-01-26.
  17. 17.0 17.1 George C. Marshall Institute, "2006 Annual Return", 2006, page 1.
  18. George C. Marshall Institute, "George C. Marshall Institute: Recent Funders", August 2000.
  19. Factsheet: George C. Marshall Institute, GMI",, accessed March 2008.
  20. Press release from Salmon touting Seitz on climate (pdf), dated 1994-02-22

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Articles

Wikipedia also has an article on George C. Marshall Institute. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.