More than $9 million of Department of State money has been funneled through the Peace Corps to a nonprofit foundation started and run by Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.
The Department of State funded a Peace Corps program created by Dr. Vanessa Kerry and officials from both agencies, records show. The Peace Corps then awarded the money without competition to a nonprofit Kerry created for the program.
Initially, the Peace Corps awarded Kerry’s group – now called Seed Global Health – with a three-year contract worth $2 million of State Department money on Sept. 10, 2012, documents show. Her father was then the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which oversees both the Department of State and the Peace Corps.
Seed secured a four-year extension in September 2015, again without competition. This time, the Peace Corps gave the nonprofit $6.4 million provided by the Department of State while John Kerry was secretary of state.
Seed also received almost $1 million from a modification to the first award, as well as from Department of State funds the group secured outside the Peace Corps.
The Peace Corps program – called the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) – sends volunteer physicians and nurses to medical and nursing schools in Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Liberia, according to Seed’s website. More than 40 clinical educators worked at 13 sites in the 2014-2015 program.
Kerry and government officials colluded to launch the program and ensure that Seed would get the contract.
“Vanessa, Buck, and Sarah are meeting with Ambassador Goosby on the morning of 9/16/11 to discuss next steps for the GHSP,” said a memo from September 16, 2011 – one year before Seed received its first award. “Conversations with OGAC leadership confirm that Ambassador Goosby is very supportive of the initial proposal.”
The memo was referring to Peace Corps Directors Buck Buckingham and Sarah Morgenthau and Ambassador Eric Goosby, who then headed the Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) – the State Department office that later funded GHSP.
A meeting one month later unveiled the strategy to send tax dollars to Seed.
“The public funding to start the GHSP is secured, it will come from OGAC through [Peace Corps] to support core HQ and field based activities, and to develop a sub-agreement to provide support to the foundation for contributions for their work in this partnership,” minutes from a Nov. 18, 2011, meeting said. The “foundation” refers to Seed, which was then called the Foundation for Global Health Service.
Officials in that meeting also assured Kerry that she would not have to compete with other groups for Department of State funds.
“Buck obtained clarity of the mechanism by which federal money will be provided to” Seed, the minutes said. “The process can be fast tracked and non-competed through a specific grant mechanism.”
Meanwhile, the State Department buried its intent to transfer funds to the Peace Corps in its required congressional notification.
“The GHSP is a smaller line item in a multi-page document with multi-million dollar programs,” minutes from the November 2011 meeting said.
Seed received its first award less than one year later. Peace Corps later provided another nearly $900,000, noting it underestimated the program’s expenses, especially travel and salary costs.
It’s unclear when that modification was added, but Kerry drew a salary from Seed for the first time in 2014. She was the only officer listed on the nonprofit’s 990 tax form to receive compensation – some $140,000 for a reported 30 hours per week.