Soros Mega-Foundation's New U.S. Chief Has Ties To Obama Administration, Corzine

Dan Gainor
By Dan Gainor | June 8, 2012 | 11:01 AM EDT

The American branch of George Soros’s mega-foundation is getting new leadership with ties both to the Obama administration and to a prominent discredited Democrat, New Jersey former Gov. Jon Corzine.

Lawyer Kenneth H. Zimmerman is the new director of U.S. programs to “direct a grantmaking body that over the past several years has given more than $100 million annually,” according to an Open Society Foundation press release. He is a left-wing activist and one publication called him “Mr. Social Justice.”

Zimmerman served as chief counsel for liberal Democrat Corzine and also worked as “part of the presidential transition team preparing the Obama Administration's strategy for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

His background includes serving “as deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton Administration, and as a senior trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division,” according to U.S. States News in 2008. He is also listed as a “Nonresident Senior Fellow” for the liberal Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

Zimmerman takes over an American operation that has helped fund the infrastructure for much of the American left – donating $550 million to liberal public policy groups, and more than $52 million to left-wing media operations. Soros has given his foundations more than $8.5 billion over the years.

While Soros has protested that he stays out of politics, he recently committed $2 million to help re-elect Barack Obama. Yet, in the 2011 book, “The Philanthropy of George Soros,” he explained how problems in the nation of Georgia had made him stay out of politics. “This painful lesson taught me to keep a greater distance from the internal politics of the countries where I have foundations.”

That is the context for Zimmerman’s hire. Zimmerman left Corzine and went to the law firm of Lowenstein Sandler PC where he led the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest. The center’s site advertises that: “Gay fathers win custody of their twin daughters through Lowenstein trial team.” Its nonprofit partners include liberal groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and American Friends Service Committee.

Before working for Corzine, he served seven years as executive director for New Jersey’s Institute for Social Justice. New Jersey Lawyer called Zimmerman “a social justice wonk” who “litigated on behalf of the homeless in Washington.” The article said Zimmerman’s “resume reads like that of perhaps two or three social activists” and called him “Mr. Social Justice.”

According to, Zimmerman has given at least $2,250 to Democratic candidates. The site, also funded by Soros, showed $2,000 donated by Zimmerman when he was with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and another $250 to New Jersey state Sen. Nia Gill.

Zimmerman graduated Magna Cum Laude from both Yale in 1982 and Harvard Law School in 1988.

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