Robert Borosage

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Robert Borosage

Robert L. Borosage is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Policy Studies.[1] He is also the President of the Institute for America's Future and the Secretary-Treasurer of Campaign for America's Future.[2][3]

He writes widely on political, economic, and national security issues for publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation and The American Prospect magazine.

He is a frequent commentator on television and radio, including Fox Morning News, RadioNation, National Public Radio, C-SPAN and Pacifica Radio. He teaches on presidential power and national security as an adjunct professor at American University’s Washington School of Law.

Borosage is acting chair for the American Progressive Caucus Policy Foundation. Borosage is a a regular columnist on The Huffington Post. He writes regularly on economic and national security issues. Borosage is founder of the Campaign for New Priorities, a nonprofit organization calling for post-Cold War reinvestment in America. [4]

Borosage was married to Barbara Shailor who died in 2022.


Borosage attended the University of Michigan where was elected class president in 1964.

Borosage is a graduate of Yale Law School and holds a master's degree in international relations from George Washington University.[5]

Progressive Majority Political Action Committee

Borosage also helped to found and chairs the Progressive Majority Political Action Committee, developing a national base of small donors and skilled activists. Progressive Majority recruits, staffs, and funds progressive candidates for political office.[6]

IPS connection

In 1979 Robert Borosage of Institute for Policy Studies served on the steering committee of the Institute for Policy Studies initiated Conference on Alternative State and Local Public Policies.[7]

Campaign for New Priorities

Borosage was the founder and Director of the Campaign for New Priorities, involving over 100 organizations in the call to reinvest in America in the post-Cold War era.

Soviet visit

On April 10, 1982, an IPS-sponsored group visiting Moscow for a week of meetings with high-level Soviet officials responsible for disseminating disinformation and propaganda for U.S. consumption, met with U.S. reporters to serve as the unofficial means for floating the possibility that Brezhnev might agree to a New York summit meeting in New York at SSD-II. The IPS group, led by its principal spokesman, Marcus Raskin, IPS cofounder and senior fellow, included Robert Borosage, IPS director, National Lawyers Guild activist and former director of the Center for National Security Studies; Minneapolis Mayor Donald M. Fraser; Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, Episcopal Bishop of New York; New York lawyer Robert S. Potter; and Roger Wilkins, journalist and senior fellow of the Joint Center for Political Studies which specializes in "black issues."

The IPS group identified only two of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee officials they met - Georgi A. Arbatov, head of the Institute of the USA and Canada, a "think-tank" that provides research and analysis and also cultivates and develops contacts with Americans at the direction of the KGB and the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee; and Vadim V. Zagladin, first deputy chief of the International Department.

In various U.S. interviews, Borosage has floated such standard Soviet themes as the Soviet Union is satisfied by "rough parity" with the United States; that the United States is restarting the arms race; that the Soviets want to go back to SALT II and get U.S. ratification; that if the United States starts another round in the arms race, it will seriously hurt the Soviet economy and ordinary Soviet citizens-but they'll still go ahead, so competition is futile; and the threat that the modern U.S. weapons proposed for deployment are "very dangerous... and would lead to much more dangerous stages that would make both sides insecure, not more secure."

Borosage took pains to say that the Soviets are "skeptical" of the disarmament movement and "they hadn't expected it. It was much more powerful and widespread than they'd ever imagined."[8]

Jesse Jackson campaign

In 1984 Institute for Policy Studies director Robert Borosage was brought into Jesse Jackson's campaign by IPS fellow Roger Wilkins, a former assistant attorney general and a nephew of the late NAACP president Roy Wilkins.

To Jackson, he was a senior adviser. The relationship between "Jesse and IPS is built on me", says Wilkins. Jesse and I have known each other for a very long time, more than 20 years, since he was working for Martin Luther King Jr. and I was in the Department of Justice.

As an older fellow I have not always approved of everything Jesse has done; nor have I always approved of his style. Having said that, my sense is that his run in 1984 was historic and constructive.[9]

In Geneva with Gorbachev

In 1985 Robert Borosage, Sissy Farenthold and Rev. Jesse Jackson as members of delegation who met with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, at the Reagan/Gorbachev Summit.

Political campaigns

Robert Borosage has served as an issues advisor to progressive political campaigns, including those of Senators Carol Moseley Braun, Barbara Boxer and Paul Wellstone. In 1988, he was Senior Issues Advisor to the presidential campaign of Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Campaign for America's Future

In 1996 Robert Borosage, was one of the original 130 founders of Campaign for America's Future.[10]

He was also and founder and president of CAF sister organization[11] Institute for America's Future.

The organizations were launched by 100 prominent Americans to challenge the rightward drift in U.S. politics, and to develop the policies, message and issue campaigns to help forge an enduring majority for progressive change in America.

Recently Borosage spearheaded[12] the Campaign’s 2006 issues book, StraightTalk 2006, providing activists and candidates with distilled messages on kitchen table concerns, from jobs to affordable health care.

"Is the Pentagon Budget Increase Needed?"

February 3, 1999 Council for a Livable World convened a seminar in Rayburn House on "Is the Pentagon Budget Increase Needed?"

Participants were;


Within the labor movement and among progressive organizations like USAction, Alliance of Retired Americans, Campaign for America's Future, and the Childrens Defense Fund, important new initiatives are designed to push Democrats to "challenge the limit of debate" on such issues as raising the minimum wage, health care for all, and changing budget and tax policy to "leave no child behind."

Robert Borosage, director of Campaign for America's Future (which organized two conferences Communist Party USA leadership attended in 2001 in Washington, DC), delineates these initiatives in an article in the July 2-16 2001 edition of American Prospect. He begins by quoting Rep. Jan Schakowsky speaking at the Next Agenda Conference:

"What we need to do is create a political home for progressives that is permanent. We need to transform the anger, the frustration, and the rage that I'm hearing from people out there into progressive activism. To accomplish that - this is an announcement - we are creating a progressive-leadership organization of activists and leaders across the country to spread ideas and strategy, to educate the next generation of leaders, to get our message into the media, and to separate rhetoric from reality. We're recruiting progressive political officials, local activists, labor leaders, and others."

Borsage continued, "This effort is now under way. On June 24, Antonio Villaraigosa, Richard Gephardt and others will speak at a conference in L.A. devoted to the theme "Take Back Our Country," co-sponsored by the southern California chapter of Americans for Democratic Action and the Campaign for America's Future. And in September the Campaign for America's Future will co-sponsor a conference with the Progressive Los Angeles Network (PLAN), which is at the center of the labor-based community movement for change in the city. Progressive legislators will join with local officials, union leaders, and community activists in laying out an agenda and learning how to make the case.

"A similar conference in October will help launch in Pennsylvania a coalition of progressive groups, many of which worked heroically and successfully in the 2000 presidential campaign to set up the issues that determined the outcome of the vote. Co-sponsoring the conference will be the Keystone Research Center, Citizens for Consumer Justice (the state's USAction affiliate), many labor organizations, and the Campaign for America's Future. Other conferences are now being planned for Illinois and other states, and a regional conference is in the works of people all over the South. In each area, activists will be enlisted into an ongoing statewide or regional coalition; they'll be able to share information on local and national issues and form an agenda and strategies....

"The Bush presidency and the short-lived Republican majorities in both houses of Congress may mark the end of the conservative era... but change isn't inevitable... It will come only if independent citizen-movements force new demands onto the Bush administration and if activists join with political leaders forwarding an agenda that inspires hope and building coalitions on the ground that can do the heavy lifting..."[14]

"WAKE UP DEMOCRATS! Take Back the Country"

"WAKE UP DEMOCRATS! Take Back the Country" Conference, with Rob Reiner, Robert Reich, Robert Rosendahl, Rep. Hilda Solis, Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Ed Begley, Jr., Robert Borosage, Vincent Bugliosi, Warren Beatty, Susan Lerner, Rep. Maxine Waters, Roy Ulrich, Medea Benjamin, S. David Freeman, Peter Navarro, Hon. Jackie Goldberg, Harold Meyerson, Hon. Antonio Villaraigosa, Amy Wakeland, Bob Erlenbush, Hon. Eric Garcetti, Tom Hayden, Aqella Sherrills, Parke Skelton, & Lila Garrett. Sponsored by SCADA. L.A., CA, 6/24/01.[15]

The Next Agenda Conference

Progressive LA: The Next Agenda Conference was held On October 20, 2001 in Los Angeles at the California Science Center.

The Progressive Los Angeles Network (PLAN) and the Institute for America’s Future "will co-sponsor an important conference -- the Next Agenda Conference -- designed to celebrate recent victories, build upon Los Angeles’ progressive momentum, and link local issues with a national progressive agenda. The conference will also help solidify a more strategic and integrated progressive movement in Los Angeles".

Speakers included Robert Borosage, Institute for America’s Future[16]

Apollo Alliance

In 2004, Joel Rogers from the Center On Wisconsin Strategy, Robert Borosage from the Institute for America’s Future, and environmental visionary Dan Carol approached Steelworkers President Leo Gerard and SEIU President Andy Stern, among others, to propose a new alliance of labor, environmental groups, business and social justice leaders called the Apollo Alliance. The Alliance, which soon included over 200 supporting organizations, released a report that year arguing for a ten-year program of investment in a “clean energy, good jobs” economy.[17]

Apollo Alliance board

In 2008 Borosage served on the board of the Apollo Alliance.

Soros connection

On November 29, 2006 Open Society Institute held a roundtable discussion entitled "How Do Progressives Connect Ideas to Action?"

Individuals and organizations with similarly progressive goals often dilute their power by working alone or even working at cross-purposes. As Americans who are politically left of center move forward, questions of infrastructure, communication, and collaboration are particularly important.

Participants included several key leaders of the "progressive" movement[18];

  • Eric Foner Columbia University, Department of History

Take Back America America - "progressive plan for victory"

On March 17, 2008, at the Take Back America conference in Washington D.C. Dianne Archer, Robert Borosage, Donna Edwards and Van Jones spoke in the Opening Plenary entitled "The Progressive Plan for Victory". [19]

Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011

Robert Borosage was one of the 158 speakers who addressed the Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011 . The Conference was hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future, [20]

Foreign Policy in Focus

Robert Borosage serves on the Advisory Committee of Foreign Policy in Focus - a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.[21]

The Nation

In 2009 Robert Borosage was listed as a Contributing editor of The Nation[22].

Wellstone Action

In 2009 Robert Borosage was listed as a member of the Advisory Board[23] of Wellstone Action, a Minnesota based organization based on the political legacy[24] of that state’s late ‘progressive” Senator Paul Wellstone.

Wellstone Action and Wellstone Action Fund combine to form a national center for training and leadership development for the progressive movement. Founded in January 2003, Wellstone Action's mission is to honor the legacy of Paul and Sheila Wellstone by continuing their work through training, educating, mobilizing and organizing a vast network of progressive individuals and organizations.

Rainbow PUSH Coalition

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund held its 42nd Annual International Convention "A More Perfect Union: 150 Years Later Beyond Freedom – Reconstruction" July 6 - 10, 2013 Chicago Hilton & Towers. The Saturday morning Forum key issues we face today: access to health care, achieving high quality public education for all students, home and church foreclosures, urban violence, unemployment, economic recovery, and more, was moderated by Professor Charles Ogletree, Harvard University School of Law.

Panelists were: Rep. Marcia Fudge, Chair, Congressional Black Caucus, Michelle Alexander, Attorney and Author of “The New Jim Crow”, Barbara Arnwine, Attorney & Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, David Slane, Attorney, Robert Borosage, Founder & President, Campaign for America's Future, Cliff Kelly, Talk Show Host, WVON Radio, Chicago, Willie Gary, Attorney, Jonathan Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition National Spokesman, Fred Gray, Civil Rights Attorney, Danny Davis, Congressman, Bobby Rush, Congressman.[25]

ProgressNow To: Date: 2008-04-29 18:29

Subject: Do you want to discuss any of these states?

Dear Board, Investors and Progressive Partner Organizations,

Great news! We are proud to announce our newest advisors below. I've also included the most recent successes in each of our state partner organizations.

Please let me know if you'd like to discuss any ProgressNow partner states: California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Washington or Wisconsin.

I'd also like your advice on any of these states: Arizona, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon or Pennsylvania.

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.


Mike (303) 931-4547 cell

P.S. Let me know if you wish to discuss our plans around the August convention in Denver (the Pepsi Center is four blocks from our office).

P.P.S. Below is an updated list of our advisors (if you would like to be added let me know)

National Board of Directors: Wes Boyd, Martin Collier, Rob McKay, Doug Phelps, Jared Polis, Deborah Rappaport, Bill Roberts, Jeff Rusnak, Anne Summers, Ted Trimpa (Chair) and Joe Zimlich (We recently lost one of our cherished board members-- Adam Solomon-- who went out of his way to help so many of us and so many progressive causes. Our deepest condolences to his entire family. Adam's passing is a true loss and we will miss him.)

Advisors Include: Alexandra Acker, Karen Ackerman, Jennifer Ancona, Adam Bink, Kafi Blumenfield, Bill Budinger, Marc Buell, Anne Bartley, Patricia Bauman, Jeff Blum, Heather Booth, Robert Borosage, David Brock, Anna Burger, Steve Cobble, Noey Congdon, David Donnelly, Cathy Duvall, Christian Ettinger, Patricia Evert, Kirstin Falk, Ricki Feller, David Friedman, Meg Gage, Beth Ganz, Chris Gates, James Golin, Ellen Golumbek, Ken Grossinger, Jill Hanauer, Honorable Gary Hart, Jerry Hauser, Bracken Hendricks, Norton Kalishman, Craig Kaplan, Paul Lhevine, Paul Loeb, Mark Lotwis, John Luongo, Mike Lux, Awilda Marquez, Matt MacWilliams, Tony Masarro, Peter Murray, Sandy Newman, Eli Pariser, Steve Phillips, Drummond Pike, John Podesta, Mike Podhorzer, Zach Pollet, Carl Pope, Rachel Pritzker, Andrew Rasiej, Cecile Richards, Will Robinson, Robin Rorapaugh, Donald Ross, Ron Rowell, Catalina Ruiz-Healy, Laura Quinn, Marsha Scott, Steve Silberstein, David Sirota, Frank Smith, Greg Speed, Steve Shapiro, Rob Stein, John Stocks, Valerie Tarico, Betsy Taylor, Roy Temple, Lisa Turner, Michael Vachon, Phil Villers, Antha Williams, Al Yates, Jon Youngdahl, David Zwick.

ProgressNow affiliate organizations have already launched in nine states and we hope to expand to twenty-five states by 2012.

Global Progressive Forum, Brussels 2009

Progressives from all over the world are getting together in Brussels on April 2-3, 2009 at the Global Progressive Forum to discuss how to create a better globalization for people[26]

Workshop 7: Tackling the energy crisis and climate change (AFET Room P3C 050)

America's Future Now!

Robert Borosage was one of the 148 speakers who addressed the 2010 America's Future Now Conference.[27]

RT broadcast

The Russia Today Moscow-funded propaganda channel, aired a special program on Tuesday February 22, 2012, on how progressives in the U.S. can “Take Back the American Dream” by defeating Republicans. The propaganda effort was broadcast throughout the United States and produced in collaboration with major liberal groups such as the Campaign for America's Future, and Demos, all of them George Soros funded.

The host was Thom Hartmann, who regards himself as the nation’s “number one” progressive radio talk-show host.

The “National Teach-In to Take Back the American Dream” featured Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor; Heather McGhee of Demos; Leo Hindrey, a businessman and self-styled “Patriotic Millionaire;” Natalie Foster, the co-founder of Rebuild the Dream; and Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America's Future.

Nobody on the program, which also aired on DISH Network, DirectTV and the Free Speech TV Network, demonstrated any concern about appearing on a Moscow-funded channel to promote the “American dream.”[28]

Elizabeth Warren fundraiser

On March 21, 2012, Young Professionals Event fundraiser was held at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Boston, for Elizabeth Warren

Hosted by: Alisha Bhagat, Heather Booth, Paul Booth, Robert Borosage, Chris Bowers, Denise Bowyer, Laura Clawson, Carla Ohringer Engle, Robert Friedman, Rich Goldberg, Adam Green, Sarah Harrison, Sabrina Hersi Issa, Mike Lux, Kate Ottenberg, Jonathan Parnes, Ami Patel, Cecilia Poon, Joel Silberman, Stephanie Taylor, James Williams, Jenny Wu, Zaid A. Zaid

Contribution: $1,000 chair; $250 Sponsor (VIP reception included); $50 guest.[29]

Progressive bridge

Campaign for America's Future leader Robert Borosage boasts of close relationship with top Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin.

"I'd say we are the bridge," Borosage said. "We are attuned to the grassroots and in touch with the progressive leadership in Congress."[30]

Roosevelt Institute

In 2010 Borosage sat on the National Advisory Board of the Roosevelt Institute. The namesakes of the Institute are Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Historical leaders of the Progressive movement.[31]

Serving as advisors to the Roosevelt Institute are:[32]

The Roosevelt Institute works closely with many progressive political and educational organizations to encourage public debate, promote sound public policy and involve students in the civic life of their communities. In addition, they are supportive of the efforts of a wide range of groups involved in similar progressive causes. Partners include:[33]

21st-Century Green Industrial Transformation

December 10, 2013, Sherrod Brown, joined leaders from the BlueGreen Alliance, the Institute for America’s Future and the Center for American Progress to release a new report that "offers a bold strategy to lead a 21st-century green industrial transformation".

The report, “The Green Industrial Revolution and the United States: In the Clean Energy Race, Is the United States a Leader or a Luddite?,” proposes maximizing the national strength of U.S. manufacturing by employing a region-focused strategy for clean energy manufacturing.

“We need solutions now to ensure that America competes at the highest level of the global clean energy manufacturing sectors,” said Sen. Brown. “This report is a valuable tool to help ensure that we take advantage of the strengths of our country, like our regional diversity and our ability to innovate at all levels of government...We need to capitalize on America’s competitive advantages—like our skilled workforce that lends itself to advanced manufacturing—to ensure a vibrant domestic clean energy manufacturing base.”

“The green industrial revolution has already begun. It will inescapably be a leading source of jobs, innovation and dynamism in the next decades. The countries that forge the lead here will reap the benefits in good jobs, expanding markets and global leadership against the threats already being posed by catastrophic climate changes,” said Robert Borosage, Founder and President of the Institute for America’s Future and a member of the BlueGreen Alliance Advisory Board. “This report outlines a strategy that builds on America’s strengths—combining a regional approach with proactive national policies that provides a sensible way forward.”

“We’ve seen great clean energy successes here at the national level in the U.S.—including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—but our real strength will come from bottom-up regional action,” said Kate Gordon, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and board member of the Apollo Alliance Project of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Energy is an inherently regional issue, and a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it. It’s time for Washington to step up and promote regional clean energy strategies as part of an overall national commitment to taking action on climate change.”

“Backward-looking ideologues have pitted good jobs against the environment for far too long. Even some of their erstwhile allies in the energy sector are waking up to the reality that we need a different set of policies to address the undeniable reality of climate change,” said Derek Pugh, co-author and Senior Fellow at Campaign for America's Future.[34]

The Nation Forum

Circa June 2014, The Nation invited leading activists from across the progressive movement to talk about how we can build power to effect real change, not simply fend off reactionary assaults.


  • David Rolf: “What if We Treated Labor Like a Startup?”
  • Dan Cantor : “How the Working Families Party Is Already Changing Electoral Politics”
  • George Goehl: “Organizing Where We Have the Most Leverage: in the Cities”

Populism 2015

Plenary: "Advancing a Populist Agenda that Puts People and Planet First".

This plenary will unveil the Populism2015 Agenda that outlines what we need to win in the next 10 years to put people and planet before profit and polluters. A bold agenda means we invest deeply in building our power at the scale of the crises we face, shifting the landscape of public debate toward our story of what’s broken and how to fix it, and taking on new campaigns to build the world we want instead of tinkering around the edges of the old economy and a broken democracy.


"Progressive Agenda"

Signers of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's May 12, 2015 launched The Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality included Robert Borosage, Campaign for America's Future.[36]

CPCC Leadership

Congressional Progressive Caucus Center leadership as of January 2019.


Template:Reflist Template:Campaign for America's Future co-founders

  2. IAF Board
  3. Board
  4. Progressive majority BOD page, accessed July 1 2012
  5. Progressive majority BOD page, accessed July 1 2012
  7. Information Digest August 24, 1979
  8. The War Called Peace: Glossary, published 1982
  9. Left-Wing Thinkers Interview by Sidney Blumenthal Washington Post, 30 July 1986
  13. CSPAN February 3, 1999 "Is the Pentagon Budget Increase Needed?"
  14. political report, Report on Political Independence September 22 2001 tags: Pre-Convention Discussion, Electoral
  15. [1]
  16. [Announce Oct. 20: Progressive LA Conference announce-admin at announce-admin at Tue Oct 16 10:22:22 CDT 2001]
  17. Apollo Alliance website: Report entitled "High Road or Low Road? Job Quality in the New Green Economy", page 10
  19. Campaign for America's Future website: Take Back America 2008 - Agenda (accessed on May 11, 2010)
  20. Our Future website: Take Back the American Dream 2011 Speakers (accessed on Sept. 22, 2011)
  21. Foreign Policy in Focus website: Advisory Committee (accessed on April 28, 2010
  25. Rainbow PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund 42nd Annual International Convention
  26. [, GPF newsletter, President Bill Clinton at GPF Brussels 2009 Lundi, Février 2, 2009 - 00:00]
  27. Our Future website: Take Back America 2010 Speakers (accessed on July 12, 2010)
  28. Full Show 2/21/12: The "National Teach-in to Take Back the American Dream" Special, Submitted by Thom Hartmann A... on 22. February 2012 - 8:32
  29., Fundraising Events Senator Elizabeth Warren
  30. Meet the Left's Grover Norquist January 8, 2013
  31. Roosevelt History Roosevelt Institute, October 29, 2010
  32. National Advisory Board Roosevelt Institute, October 29, 2010
  33. Partners Roosevelt Institute, October 29, 2010
  34. [, CFAF press release, Progressive Leaders Release Plan for U.S. Clean Economy Leadership, December 10, 2013]
  35. Time to Stand Up and Fight for a More Perfect Union, Robert L. Borosage June 18, 2014