Laureate International Universities, the world’s largest for-profit college conglomerate with several ties to the Clinton Foundation, named Bill Clinton its “honorary chancellor” and paid him nearly $18 million while its affiliated nonprofit received millions in grants from Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
After Bill Clinton was placed on Laureate’s payroll in 2010 — the former president was paid $17.6 million over five years, according to the Washington Post — then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “made Laureate part of her State Department Global Partnership,” reported Clinton Cash author and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer. The State Department subsequently funneled tens of millions of dollars to the International Youth Foundation (IYF), a nonprofit chaired by Laureate founder and CEO Douglas Becker.
In one of many examples of Bill and Hillary Clinton exploiting State Department business for her family’s own personal gain, what was good for Laureate and IYF was also good for Bill Clinton.
While the former president was jetting around the world giving speeches on various Laureate campuses, his wife’s State Department and its affiliated aid arm, USAID, was ramping up funds to IYF.
According to an analysis by Bloomberg: “In 2009, the year before Bill Clinton joined Laureate, the nonprofit received 11 grants worth $9 million from the State Department or the affiliated USAID. In 2010, the group received 14 grants worth $15.1 million. In 2011, 13 grants added up to $14.6 million. The following year, those numbers jumped: IYF received 21 grants worth $25.5 million, including a direct grant from the State Department.”
In 2012, IYF received its first grant, totaling $1.9 million, directly from the State Department.
For Becker and Bill Clinton, their relationship was personal and then philanthropic before it became business.
Becker met Clinton, at a 2007 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) event, through Laureate Senior Vice President Joseph Duffey, whom then-President Bill Clinton appointed Director of the U.S. Information Agency. A year later, Becker had donated to Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid.
In December 2008, Laureate became a partner with CGI, launching a major “Teacher Education Commitment” with the Clinton charity.
By 2009, the former president was speaking at Laureate campuses from Brazil to Germany. That same year, then-Secretary of State Clinton invited Laureate executives to a private State Department dinner on higher education policy. Hillary Clinton lauded Laureate as the “fastest growing college network in the world” in an email to her chief of staff.
In October 2010, the State Department held a gala on the 20th anniversary of IYF’s founding. The keynote speaker at the glitzy event was Maria Otero, the undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs. Otero showered praise on IYF for “doing such important work.”
That same year — while Bill Clinton was cashing checks from Laureate for “consulting” and while his wife stirred millions of tax dollars to its affiliated nonprofit — Laureate Education and its affiliate IYF announced its YouthActionNet® Program Commitment at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
To date, Laureate International Universites has given between $1 and $5 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation and has contributed millions thought CGI.
Of the $65.4 million from writing, consulting, and speaking fees Bill Clinton made during Hillary Clinton’s four years as Secretary of State, his Laureate gig was by far the most lucrative.
Last year, Becker donated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign; this time the Baltimore businessman contributed $2,700, the maximum individual limit allowed by law.
The beginning of Bill Clinton’s tenure with Laureate was just as dubious as its ending.
Clinton began “consulting” for Laureate around the time that the Obama administration began drafting more rigid regulations for federal financial aid sent to students who attend for-profit colleges. What’s more, the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions had already launched an investigation into the for-profit college industry.
Conversely, Bill Clinton’s five-year term with Laureate was not publicly disclosed when his hire was announced in April 2010, nor was it made public at any time before his abrupt departure in April 2015.
It was also April 2015 when Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton bashed for-profit colleges, like the one her husband made millions working for. “Some of the for-profit schools, some of the scandals that have arisen in these places where they take all the money and put all these young people and their families into debt,” she said during a roundtable event in Iowa at Kirkwood Community College.
The Douglas Becker-Bill-and-Hillary-Clinton-Laureate alliance looks like the kind of co-mingling of Clinton remuneration with favorable government action that has led to allegations that Hillary Clinton used her position as secretary of state to sell access to major Clinton Foundation donors.