Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns formerly headed an influential D.C. think tank while it employed undisclosed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members as well as individuals with Chinese government ties, the Daily Caller News Foundation has found.
During Burns’ tenure as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from February 2015 to November 2021, the think tank employed at least 20 policy experts whom the DCNF has identified as CCP members. These CCP members worked at both Carnegie’s Washington, D.C., headquarters and Carnegie-Tsinghua — the Beijing center Burns’ predecessor, Jessica Mathews, launched in 2010 in cooperation with Tsinghua University.
Yet, expert profiles on Carnegie’s website don’t disclose these individuals’ ties to the CCP. The DCNF only discovered their communist ties after analyzing hundreds of Chinese-language, Communist Party branch records and personnel profiles from more than a dozen CCP-linked organizations. (RELATED: American Elites Have Deep Ties To A New Chinese Spy Chief)
Burns’ tenure at Carnegie coincided with increased alarm from the FBI concerning the CCP conducting “malign influence operations” against key American institutions. In July 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that the CCP seeks to “influence our policymakers” and “manipulate our public opinion” by exploiting the “openness” of our society.
Considering such warnings, employing CCP members and those with Chinese government ties raises red flags, national security experts said.